SolarSPELL goes to the Capitol! (in Phoenix)

img_7734The ASU alumni association played host to ASU Day at the Capitol on February 21, 2017, and SolarSPELL had the opportunity to spread the word about our solar digital library to lawmakers, interested citizens, and ASU alums.

sparky-img_7740

It’s always exciting when Sparky shows up!

img_7748

The SolarSPELL team had the opportunity to demonstrate how the SolarSPELL works to Christine Wilkinson, President and CEO of the ASU Alumni Association (she is also the Senior Vice President and Secretary of the University).

img_7756

img_7775

img_7762

With the Arizona State Capitol serving as a beautiful backdrop, the SolarSPELL team explained the purpose, goals, progress, and mission of the digital library project on camera. We greatly anticipate the published interview!

img_7783

All photos courtesy of Marissa Huth, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University. Thanks, Marissa!

img_7809

Posted in Arizona State University, Solar Digital Library, SolarSPELL, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SolarSPELL Featured on Cronkite News

The SolarSPELL digital library was featured on the Feb. 7 2017 edition of Cronkite News, the news division of Arizona PBS.

Posted in Arizona State University, Pacific Islands, Peace Corps, Solar Digital Library, Solar Power, Tonga | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tonga Peace Corps embraces the SolarSPELL digital library

group-picture

A team of students and faculty from Arizona State University (ASU) traveled to Tonga the second week of December 2016 to deliver their portable ruggedized solar-powered digital library for use in schools and communities across Tonga. The SPELL, or Solar Powered Educational Learning Library, is self- (solar) powered and generates an offline WiFi hotspot that delivers thousands of books, videos and educational content, much of which is specially curated for the Pacific Islands. The team delivered training to 16 US Peace Corps volunteers who teach in the local schools for two years, most as English-language teachers.

_dsc0308

_dsc0305

The day’s activities consisted of an overview of the history of the development and implementation of the SolarSPELL project; training on how to use the SolarSPELL’s hardware and software; a scavenger hunt to familiarize volunteers with the library’s content (with SolarSPELL t-shirts as prizes); a brainstorming session on how volunteers could use the SolarSPELL itself to collect stories from their communities and counterparts as well as to create new, localized educational content.

_dsc0245

_dsc0303

The team received email feedback from one volunteer the day after the training:

_dsc0301

I just want to thank you for today. I know we were all really excited by the wonderful new technology and teaching possibilities, but I was really blown away by this project. You guys have really “thought of everything”. Working in a Developing country is challenging, but seeing your perseverance to deliver something you’re passionate about is inspiring in itself. I may be a “new” volunteer here, but I can’t wait to hit the ground running using this great new tool in my teacher tool box. I love the student involvement and the evolution of it all, and how simple you made it. This will be an amazing asset to me for my next 2 years– Thank you!

_dsc0292

_dsc0353

This implementation with the US Peace Corps in Tonga expands the SolarSPELL’s footprint to four Pacific Island nations, with prior deployments in Vanuatu, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Samoa. It is also the first SolarSPELL deployment that saw the team working in tandem with ASU’s library staff. Not only did ASU Assistant University Librarian Lorrie McAllister travel with the team and lead part of the Peace Corps training, the SPELL’s content rich website debuted a new, streamlined design that was developed in conjunction with a team of staff from ASU’s library, led by Deirdre Kermis.

_dsc0388

_dsc0314

 

Posted in Arizona State University, Pacific Islands, Solar Digital Library, Solar Power, Teacher Technology Training, Tonga | Tagged , , | Leave a comment