Inveneo ICT Archives
- Posted by Inveneo on February 16, 2016 in the categories: Projects
We’re extremely grateful for all of our Generosity campaign supporters! As of February 16, 2016, nearly 60 people had donated approximately $14,200 to our campaign. We’re excited to begin assembling the Solar Libraries this month to send to Haiti.
In particular, we’d like to give a big shout out to our three Solar Library Champion supporters!
- Ann Cude
- Alexandra Grill-Childers
- Sharon Penley
Thank you to our Solar Library Champions and to all of our donors for your help and support!
- Posted by Inveneo on November 23, 2015 in the categories: News
Inveneo is proud to announce the launch of its Generosity (by Indiegogo) campaign, which aims to raise $50,000 to deliver Solar Powered Digital Libraries to 15 remote, rural schools in Haiti. We are grateful to craigslist’s Craig Newmark for his generous contribution of $10,000!
Throughout the developing world, millions of schoolchildren lack (or only have limited access to) books and basic learning resources, much less computers or the Internet. Transporting volumes of books or computers to schools can be expensive and logistically daunting. Digital libraries – tablets or computers (PCs) loaded with thousands of e-books and other educational resources – have begun to enhance learning opportunities in the developing world. However, many existing digital library solutions require Internet or power.
Inveneo’s Solar Powered Digital Library (Solar Library) is ruggedly designed for schools lacking educational resources, Internet, and power. It includes thousands of e-books, lectures, and other educational resources (e.g. Wikipedia) that can be accessed completely off-the grid.
Call to Action
Donate Today! Please join our campaign by donating today! We are extremely grateful for any level of support you can provide. Thank you!
- Posted by Inveneo on August 18, 2015 in the categories: Publications
Inveneo is proud to announce that, due to its projects and Project Manager in Haiti Michelet Guerrier, there are now 71 more teachers who are digitally literate in Haiti. This newly published report is about an ICT Pilot Program [Extension of the Transforming Teaching Through Tablets (TTT) project] to improve Haitian teacher capacity and access to digital educational resources. Inveneo implemented this pilot program in three primary schools in three different regions in Haiti from March to June 2014 (Petit-Goave, Hyacinthe, and Cascade Pichon) before we expanded the program to reach more than 30 secondary teachers in Petit-Goave. The program’s main goal was to demonstrate the benefits of using tablets in a school environment to build teacher capacity and make educational resources available for teachers.
We re-designed the project to fit not only primary school teachers, but also those working in secondary schools. Read the report and check out all the updates!
- Posted by Inveneo on June 12, 2015 in the categories: News
Longtime Inveneo friend and colleague Dr. Laura Hosman has led her students this past semester on an exciting digital library project at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. One of the project’s leaders, Cecillia Tran, is a 5th year Liberal Arts Engineering Studies Major, and she recently spoke with Inveneo to give an explanation of the ICT project. She has been inspired by how people can make a powerful impact just by using older technology in inventive ways. Read the interview below.
- Inveneo: What is the SPELL Project?
SPELL stands for Solar Powered Educational Learning Library. Students in the Federated States of Micronesia as well as Vanuatu have no access to Internet or electricity in their schools. Our solution was to create and donate 50 solar-powered mini servers, pre-loaded with educational content, that could be connected to any WiFi enabled device through a WiFi dongle. The educational content our team curated onto an SD card was based through extensive research of what levels of education were needed on the islands. Some of the materials used were various Khan Academy videos on subject matters such as math, writing, and science. Due to a recent typhoon, we also decided to upload weather related content so students are better prepared if another accident were to happen.
Dr. Laura Hosman (left) with several of her students working on the SPELL project.
- Since the Banana Pis are going to Chuuk, will the educational content be in English, Chuukese, or another language?
The educational content will be in English, since students are required to learn English in the classroom. However, there will be some content that is in Chuukese.
- What is the role that students play within the SPELL Project?
We divided into four teams. There is a contents and deployment team who are responsible for researching and curating the educational materials that is put on the SD card. There is a design team responsible for creating the outer shell for the mini-server itself so that there is a protective casing and an attached solar panel to power the server. We also have a SPOT team (systems performance optimization team) that is responsible for testing and configuring the Banana Pi (mini server) and WiFi dongle. And also, we have a promotions team that is responsible for the marketing and branding of the project. We even created a website and logo for the team.
- How will this project made a difference in Micronesia?
This project will give students who don’t have access to Internet or electricity a new way to receive their education. They will have the chance to be able to interact with electronic devices that many of us are fortunate enough to have easy access to. Our contents team is working very hard to provide a good, substantial amount of information and educational materials that would be helpful. The platform could possibly open their minds and eyes like never before.
- What lessons have you learned from this project?
I think we learned a lot of real world skills, especially teamwork; our class was composed of students from many different backgrounds of education. For example, we have many liberal arts and engineering studies majors, as well as electrical engineering, computer science, journalism, graphic communication, and political science. We’ve gained a lot of knowledge and have seen many different perspectives as we’ve moved along through different parts of the project. We also learned that projects will not always go as planned. We have hit many bumps in the road and have had to change directions, but it was a good experience for all of us. We managed to work our way through them. Finally, we learned a lot about Chuuk and the islands, what educational access they have, and how we can make a difference. That’s what excited me about this class: this project really could make a difference and we could reach out to people who are in need. It’s exciting to be a part of a project that would go beyond the classroom and make a tangible difference that matters in the world.
- What can the ICT community learn from SPELL’s experience?
I think it’s amazing what a difference a small group of 15 people can make. We were donated 50 Banana Pi brand units, given as part of LeMaker’s non-profit educational program. We turned them into a powerful educational tool that we believe could make a real difference in Chuuk students’ lives, as well as other countries, that may not have Internet access or electricity in their schools.
The ICT community should be aware that anything can make a difference. Products that one may think is outdated can be turned into something incredible that would help people. Sometimes it’s the small but innovative changes that can make a big impact.
- Posted by Inveneo on March 30, 2015 in the categories: News
Inveneo has partnered with Protocase on the ARM Ltd. solar powered Micro-Data Center Design Challenge. The top prize for the competition is $10,000 and the winning design will be built and deployed in the developing world.
To support the challenge, Protocase will be providing resources such as its free 3D design software and guidance on designing electronic enclosures, and will precision-fabricate the top designs.
Inveneo is seeking students, engineers, researchers, and innovators to submit their design of a solar powered micro-data center. Given the harsh environments present in much of the developing world, designers will need to create a functional micro-data center that can be powered with a solar photovoltaic system, withstand intense heat and humidity, and run completely without access to standard air conditioning.
Candidates will use ARM based solutions to create the “micro-board chassis” design that will use off-the-shelf ARM based processor micro boards (i.e. Raspberry Pi, Banana Pi/Pro, ODROID, etc.). Inveneo has partnered with LeMaker, which is offering a discounted 15 Banana Pro kit that can be used to build a prototype micro-board chassis.
“We are excited to have Protocase as a partner as its CAD software will help innovators design their submission,” says Bruce Baikie, Executive Director of Inveneo. “Even more exciting is that they will be building the winning designs.”
The contest is open to applicants who are at least 18 years of age, in teams that range from three to seven members. The contest’s panel of judges includes industry experts from Inveneo, ARM, and LeMaker, among others. The top two winning designs will be announced on July 15, 2015.
If you are interested in entering this design challenge or to find more information, please visit this page.
Protocase: Engineers and designers throughout North America and the world recognize Protocase as a world-class facility that manufactures custom electronic enclosures, sheet metal parts, machined parts and components in two to three days, with no minimum orders. In addition to offering its own free downloadable 3D design software, Protocase works with customers in science, engineering and innovation to fine-tune their designs to their exact needs before all aspects of the product’s manufacturing is completed within the company’s cutting-edge production facility.
- Posted by Inveneo on March 2, 2015 in the categories: News
UNESCO and UN Women recently held their Mobile Learning Week conference in Paris. Located at the UNESCO headquarters, which is quite close to the Eiffel Tower, the event brought together around 1,000 participants from over 70 countries. Individuals gathered together to discuss how technology is being used to help women and girls gain access to quality education, better job opportunities, and an equal share to ICT tools.
Inveneo’s Media Manager Jana Melpolder traveled to Paris to represent both ICTworks and Inveneo at the event. She was able to meet (in person) the ICTworks writers Linda Raftree and Jim Teicher, in addition to many other inspiring ICT figures. Check out a few of the best photos below from the week-long conference!
Mobile Learning Week was hosted by UNESCO and UN Women.
Outside the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
A panel discussing equitable access on the second day of Mobile Learning Week.
The main UNESCO office located in Paris.
Inveneo’s exhibition booth that was showcased during Mobile Learning Week.
UNESCO is celebrating its 70th anniversary throughout 2015.
A final panel of speakers moderated by ICTworks’ author Linda Raftree (far left). The panel discussed gender sensitive content and pedagogy.
- Posted by Inveneo on January 28, 2015 in the categories: Jobs, News
Inveneo is accepting applications for a spring internship position to assist in creating an Offline Digital Library Project targeted for small Pacific island schools.
Deadline March 15th, 2014
This internship program is an international development initiative, with the objective of using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to foster education in primary schools.
The principal development impacts are anticipated to be:
1) Empowerment of the rural schools and youth through increased and affordable access to information and communication tools
2) Developed leadership and skills in ICT4D
2015 marks the second year of Inveneo’s internship program focused on ICT and the emerging regions of the world. Inveneo is unique in its scope and approach to connecting those who need it most, with ICT4D work carried out in over 30 countries including in Oceania, Haiti, and across Sub-Saharan Africa.
The main work would be focused on improvement to the Rachel Pi server to meet project needs in the Pacific Islands, specifically in the Philippines, Micronesia, and Vanuatu.
Key areas of focus are:
- Porting Rachel Pi software (linux based) from Raspberry Pi hardware to Banana Pi hardware
- Web-based interface for Rachel Pi to add new content
- Program for easy creation of micro SD card with new content by non-computer science people
- Captive portal feature added to Rachel Pi server OS/Web interface
The position will be based in Inveneo’s San Francisco, CA office. The goal will be about four hours per week at the Inveneo office in San Francisco.
A strong academic record with a minimum of 3.0 GPA
Proven ability in Linux and web server skills
Ability to work effectively independently
To apply for this internship, please send a cover letter and resume/CV to Inveneo’s Media Manager Jana Melpolder, and include “Spring Internship” in the subject line.
Selected candidates will be contacted by email to schedule a phone interview.
Deadline for applications is March 15, 2014. Good luck!
- Posted by Inveneo on January 12, 2015 in the categories: News
Written by Michelet Guerrier, Inveneo’s Project Manager in Haiti
In our continuing efforts to support the participating schools in the Transforming Teaching Through Tablets (TTT) Pilot Project, we have had constant communication with the teachers who received Google Nexus Tablets loaded with content for professional development and attended Inveneo’s ICT training program, since our last August report.
Besides regular phone calls and emails to school administrators and teachers, we prepared a two month evaluation which we administer to every teacher participant and school administrator to learn more about what has worked well so far and what needs some improvement. This is so we can provide appropriate support either remotely or on-site. This is a good way to keep the teachers engaged in their own professional development process.
We thought it was a wonderful idea to stay in good communication with the teachers to support them when needed and evaluate the ongoing impact of the project. And the perfect time is during school time between September and June (in the case of Haiti) when teachers and students are really active in the teaching-learning process.
Below is the summary report from the first two-month evaluation (September-October 2014) from the teachers in Petit-Goave, Hyacinthe, and Cascade Pichon.
What has the team learned so far?
Since the submission of their learning portfolio that was a requirement for owning the tablet and participating in our certification ceremony that followed, all the teachers have used their tablets at least five days per week. They have used their individual tablet at home as a reference for lesson planning, reading, and browsing the Internet. At school, it is used as a tool for class instruction whenever possible. Bruny Casseus, a 5th grade teacher at Harry Brakeman says, “With my tablet, I take pictures that I use as teaching materials. I use the French dictionary to look up [a] word’s meaning and spelling when I plan lessons. I also use other applications on the tablet to teach math and facts about animals.” Renault Emilien, who is teaching 6th graders at Ecole Methodiste de Hyacinthe, explains that “being able to use a projector with the tablet in our classrooms is making a big difference in how we teach and how our children learn. We are doing more in less time and the students seem to become more motivated to participate in activities in the classroom”.
Eight teachers at “Ecole Methodiste Hyacinthe” participated in the program and successfully met the requirements of the program. They attended all training sessions, participated actively in workshops, and created and submitted a learning portfolio.
Electricity is still an issue for Harry Brakeman and Cascade Pichon schools. At Harry Brakeman, the teachers have still not found an opportunity to use the projector. The school directed noted that there has been no electricity in the city during the day. In addition, there has been a serious political problem leading to street demonstration in the city since late August 2014 that has terribly affected the functioning of schools in the area.
In Cascade Pichon, one school under construction (with the help of an organization called Heart to Heart) is about to finish. Once fully completed, the school might have a solar power system if funding is found. That will be another huge step in improving education in that community.
We asked the teachers, “in your opinion, what has changed in your teaching thanks to your participation in the techno-pedagogical training program of Inveneo’s TTT project?”
For this question, let me share the teachers’ opinions with you.
According to Marie Therese Philibert, who is responsible for the primary section at Harry Brakeman School: “The tablets are really bringing a change in our school when we consider the applications and resources we have access to now. This is a revolution.”
Catherine Sincere: “I think what has changed in my teaching through my participation in the techno educational training, is how to get and use new and reliable resources to teach in ways that encourage my pupils to better participate in the process. Indeed the Inveneo program allows me to shape young minds and affects the education in an integral way, it shows us how we should exercise our thinking on the subject of education and teaching.”
Emilien Renault (Methodiste Hyacinthe 6th Grade teacher): “With my participation in techno- pedagogical training program of Inveneo, my way of teaching has changed a lot since I implement what I have learned from the training. My students learn better and I find better results. Before I attended the training, I was always the one speaking to the students. But now it is the students who speak and I help them discover the knowledge. I was very surprised to see…what I needed to be a good teacher.”
Guirlene Rene (Harry Brakeman 3rd Grade teacher): “After my participation in the techno- pedagogical training program by Inveneo, teaching becomes easier and [it] helps my students learn better.”
Glose Louis (2nd Grade-Harry Brakeman): “After my participation in the training program, I have learned to make my class more active.”
Question 2: How have your students benefited from your training and use of technology?
Below are some of the answers from the teachers:
Blaise Enseau (Cascade Pichon School): “My students and I have benefited lots of big things from the program. I have used the videos to teach story tales to the students. The training materials have influenced me to use new working methods. Learning about the technology will help me be a good teacher. I like it when I need to check the meaning of a word in the dictionary. I look and find it very fast. When I am a good teacher, my students will be good students.”
Jean Guithaud Barthelemy (Cascade Pichon School): “This training that I attended with the tablet helps me a lot. I have benefited many things. It has brought me a new method for teaching and [will] help my pupils learn better. It is that I see and understand the real value of the training. I have even introduced my pupils to the use of the tablet.”
Jean Marnochy (Harry Brakeman School): “I can say that the tablet is very useful for course presentation. It helps me plan lessons better and faster.”
Compere Desil (Harry Brakeman School): “With this Inveneo Tablet program, I am happy to have been a participant. Besides my learning of technology, I have also learned new things relating to pedagogy that can help teach my students in a modern way. I am now able to train myself with the training materials available on the tablet, and my students can benefit…This training has encouraged in me the interest for research of new tools [for] teaching and learning.”
Mirlande Benjamin (Harry Brakeman 1st Grade Teacher): “I have shared part of what I learned with Inveneo. My pupils have used my tablet to take pictures and make short videos we use as learning tools for all.”
In conclusion, we can say that these teachers have been learning a lot from the program. New habits have been formed. They have become more aware of what planning teaching for learning involves. And we are happy to have facilitated that to happen. The two biggest challenges encountered since the beginning remain the same: electricity and connectivity. But work is being done to overcome these challenges. The school administrators believe that they will achieve much more with more access to electricity and Internet, which I believe, too.
Because we believe that successful technology deployment results from relevant capacity building and ongoing support, we want to keep this healthy relationship with the school administrators and teachers to keep them on the track of improving their professional practice and students’ learning.
Again, we would like to thank our partners. Please, feel proud of your valuable contributions in making a positive change in the lives of the most vulnerable.
On behalf of these teachers, Emilien Renault, a 6th grade teacher at Methodiste Hyacinthe, would like to congratulate Inveneo and its partners for this beautiful program developed for the improvement of education in rural Haïti.
- Posted by Inveneo on December 15, 2014 in the categories: Economic Development, Education, News
Digital information and ICTs have transformed how knowledge is dispersed in Africa. A digital library project called the Ulwazi Programme is helping to ensure that, through social technologies, everyone has equal access to aspects of their history and culture through technology.
Inveneo recently spoke with Grant McNulty, a Partner at McNulty Consulting, a digital media consultancy led by two brothers. They use digital media to foster cultural projects with technology, and McNulty Consulting has helped to create the Ulwazi Programme online library.
Sharing Histories Online
Many communities in South Africa do not have equal access to computer labs or other ICTs. The Ulwazi Programme is working to reverse that trend and ensure that those living in urban, peri-urban and rural settings can access online materials like never before. Ulwazi creates content like shared histories and local knowledge in local languages such as Zulu. McNulty Consulting, together with the eThekwini Municipal Libraries in Durban, is making this possible by “using open-source software, in collaboration with the public library and local communities”.
The Ulwazi Programme is not only being managed by the brothers at McNulty Consulting but instead is very much a community effort. Volunteer fieldworkers are recording personal histories which are saved digitally to be used in the online library. Local schools and formal researchers are also getting involved, and the project is quickly becoming quite successful!
Tips for Other ICT4D Practitioners
Those working in ICT projects around the world can learn from the Ulwazi model. Grant McNulty explained that the online library’s software will be kept open source and free to the entire community, meaning members won’t need to pay fees to license or access the resources.
The Ulwazi Programme is not only available online within the local library’s computer network, but it is also accessible on tablets and mobile phones. Almost 90% of Internet usage in South Africa is through a mobile device. McNulty Consulting concentrated on making the Ulwazi Programme mobile-friendly in order to engage communities and provide access to the resource on devices that they already use.
The Ulwazi Programme has seen incredible growth online through its website analytics, and the two brothers are very excited. To learn how you can get involved in this special ICT project in South Africa visit the website, Facebook page, or Twitter page. Best of luck to the continued growth for this well-deserving South African community!
- Posted by Inveneo on December 12, 2014 in the categories: Healthcare, News, Projects, Relief
The ERCI team who met in San Francisco for pre-deployment training.
As the Ebola crisis continues to hit hard in West Africa, Inveneo recently launched its Ebola Response Connectivity Initiative (ERCI) this past week to bring Internet connectivity to doctors, nurses, and others working at medical centers located in Sierra Leone. On Wednesday December 10th, several of our team’s engineers, contractors, and few Volo employees gathered together in San Francisco for pre-deployment training.
The ERCI project is already underway and the Inveneo team has been busy ordering and moving ICT equipment to a warehouse in Accra, Ghana. Several pieces of equipment that we are using for this project include Ubiquiti’s Rocket M5 Radio, AirMax Sectors, RocketDish 30 cBi Dishes, AirFiber5, NanaoBridge M5 25, and the Mikrotik RouterBoard CCR 1009.
Several members of the Inveneo team join Volo in the Ebola Responder Communications Initiative class.
In addition, our Senior Field Engineer Samuel Perales and contractor Eric Kuhnke will be traveling to Accra, Ghana on Saturday, December 13th. In Ghana, Samuel and Eric will start sorting all the equipment that arrived, and soon they will be joined by several other team members throughout December. Our Sierra Leone partners, called ICIPs (Inveneo Certified ICT Partners), will also travel to Ghana in mid-January to be trained on creating broadband connections. We certainly have a great amount of work ahead of us, and we are certainly glad to be partnering with such a talented team!
After their training is complete our ICIPs and contractors will travel back to Sierra Leone to create Internet connectivity for medical centers that will be used by Ebola victims in the near future. Inveneo will provide long-term support after the technicians have set up Internet connectivity in medical centers so that strong and permanent WiFi connectivity is available to the doctors and medical staff working at those centers.
Inveneo is no stranger to providing aid after an international disaster hit an area hard, leaving no to little WiFi connectivity. In fact, throughout the past several years Inveneo has responded to devastating crises around the world. In the Philippines we creating emergency Internet connectivity for humanitarian organizations after Super Typhoon Haiyan struck, and starting in 2010, our team assisted Haiti in rebuilding its Internet infrastructure after the devastating earthquake. If you would like to donate to this our impactful ERCI project, please visit our donate page.