Inveneo Sybille Fleischmann Archives

Girls in ICT Day: Meet Inspirational Women from mission*social

  1. Posted by Inveneo on April 24, 2014 in the categories: Events, News

Girls-in-ICT-Day

It’s never too early to encourage a young girl to enter the growing ICT field. “Girls in ICT Day” was created to help young women appreciate and understand their potential – and to let them know how many diverse ICT career options are really available to them.

Young women have all the potential and talent to become great leaders, but they do so partly because of the women who forged ahead of them and helped paved the way.

Meet a few women who have worked in ICT for many years, some of them at mission*social – a unique shared workspace in San Francisco where our offices are located. These women have helped shape ICT to what it is today. Young girls celebrating Girls in ICT Day can look up to women like these to understand what it truly means to be a leader.

 

Heather Ramsey
Current: Senior Director of Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives
Previous: Director of Women in Technology

As the Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Institute of International Education, Heather Ramsey tirelessly leads the State Department initiative known as TechWomen in 16 countries. Techwomen brings emerging women leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics from the Middle East and Africa together for both professional mentorship with their counterparts in the United States.

She also works to oversee Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability, Tunisia, a training and capacity building program for women-led organizations.

Previously she worked at Women in Technology where she helped provide cutting-edge training and coaching for women in business planning, professional development, information technology and entrepreneurship.

 

Kristin Peterson
Current: Co-Founder and CMO of Volo Broadband
Previous: Co-Founder, CEO of Inveneo

Within the ICT world Kristin Peterson is one of the leading entrepreneurs of her day. In 2004 she co-founded a non-profit ICT organization called Inveneo which has grown to deliver sustainable ICT and broadband projects that reach and impact over 3.2 million people around the world.

More recently she founded the company Volo, a “start-up connecting the next billion to the Internet”.  Although her new company is only eight months old, its online community has been steadily growing.

She has received multiple awards including the World Economic Forum’s 2013 Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Schwab Foundation and the 2011 ITU World Telecommunications and Information Society Award. In addition, she was a CNN Principal Voice back in 2007.

 

Jill Costello
Current: Manager of Special Projects at Inveneo
Previous: Board Member at Maranyundo Initiative and Founder of Pannotia

As Inveneo’s Manager of Special Projects, Jill Costello puts her heart and soul into her ICT initiatives, including Internet Now!, a project that is establishing 100 ICT work centers in rural communities across northern Uganda.

Before coming to Inveneo, she built the Maranyundo School where she helped to establish a school for underserved girls in Nyamata, Rwanda. Classes offer these girls not only a high-quality education, but also a great way to get online and connect to the world. The school enrolls 60 students each year, and Maranyundo now ranks #1 among all middle schools in Rwanda.

To further her passion for ICT and social justice, she also founded Pannotia, a social enterprise that provided construction services and collaborative design for sustainable projects in Africa.

 

Sybille Fleischmann
Current: Senior Project Manager and Owner of POSSYBIL
Previous: Director of Education Solutions at Inveneo

Sybille Fleischmann is a proven self-starter. She founded her own company POSSYBIL, focusing on project management for communities in developing countries with a focus on digital inclusion and education projects. Her list of clients includes Imagine Education,  Microsoft, NetHope and See Your Impact.

Previously she worked at Inveneo both as the Director of Education Solutions and as the Country Director in Haiti. She planned and implemented the Haiti Connected Schools program which was created after the tragic earthquake hit in 2010 and provides 40 rural schools with solar-powered computer labs and computer training training for more than 400 teachers in rural Haiti. As County Director in Haiti she led the expansion of the The Haiti Rural Broadband Network to connect 20 rural communities in Haiti to the Internet, and built local capacity to expand and maintain the network.

Before shifting her focus completely to work in international development Sybille worked for 13 years at Microsoft in Germany and The United States. For several years she drove innovative technology projects as a project manager and product planner and later managed the solution development and deployment for large scale pilot programs at schools in Peru, Uruguay, Colombia and Rwanda.

 

These four women have made, and will continue to make, giant and positive impressions in the world of ICT projects. Collectively speaking, they have helped several million people gain access to sustainable computing technology and solutions worldwide.

Girls who are participating in Girls in ICT Day should try to find mentors and teachers who are like the women mentioned above. Young people, especially girls, are the future leaders of tomorrow, and the next step is for them to learn from the leaders of today.

Inveneo Transforms Teaching Through Tablets in Rural Haiti

  1. Posted by Inveneo on April 1, 2014 in the categories: Education, News, Projects
Teachers in training

Teachers in training

In March 2014 Inveneo launched a new project for primary school teachers in Haiti. The TTT (Transforming Teaching through Tablets) project is designed to improve teaching and learning in primary schools by providing teachers in rural Haiti with training and access to digital educational resources. Educators from two primary schools in the area of Petit-Goâve already received Nexus 7 tablets loaded with educational content and tools for professional development. In addition, they are participating in training on how to use the new technology tools to access information, acquire knowledge and collaborate with peers. The training and mentoring provided to teachers are intended to improve their confidence and capacity to deliver quality education in the classroom. Besides the initial on-site training, teachers will be participating in weekly online sessions via their tablets for several months where they will be learning about teaching, about classroom activities to foster 21st century learning and about ICT in the classroom.

An information session on professionnal development

An information session on professionnal development

The program was designed with the needs of Haitian primary school teachers in mind. Many teachers in rural Haiti have not received any or very little teacher training and have no access to resources like libraries or the Internet. We made sure the program would be relevant to the teachers’ needs and interests. They need technology, access to resources that support their work, training and ongoing coaching to become independent learners. The Haiti team (composed of PM Michelet Guerrier, Rico Mondesir, and Ronald Benjamin) is supported by Inveneo Education Solutions Director Sybille Fleischmann and San Francisco-based engineers. The team has been responsible for selecting schools, preparing administrators, identifying content, training development, setup of tablets and finally training delivery.

We are currently working with 21 teachers, 13 from College Harry Brakeman and eight from Ecole Methodiste de Hyacinthe, a small community located about one hour drive from the city of Petit-Goâve along a bumpy dirt road. There is no Internet connectivity in Hyacinthe available today. The teachers are willing to travel all the way to Petit-Goâve to find Internet access. Connectivity might finally reach their community later this year. The enthusiasm, motivation and interest for learning about technology and improving their teaching skills shows that these teachers are gaining an awareness of new challenges in the teaching profession and want to be ready to prepare their students with competencies for the 21st century. We see this as an important step to improving the quality of education.

Guirlène René showing how to enlarge content on the screen

Guirlène René showing how to enlarge content on the screen

The teachers were not sure how tablets could help them expand their knowledge and skills until they had the tablets in their hands and started exploring them. They were excited to learn about the tools and what they could do with them. Access to hundreds of books in French and Haitian Kreyol through Library for All, curricula of the Ministry of Education, offline apps and Internet access for research, communication, and collaboration have been described by the school director from Hyacinthe, Thony Domique, as closing the gap between city teachers and rural teachers.

In this program, we are working with preschool and fundamental education teachers. This includes Kindergarden and 1st to 6th grade. In the Haitian system, a teacher at the fundamental level teaches all subjects to a class. So what we have is a mix of teachers teaching different levels and age groups with classes of 35 to 50 students. The teachers will use their tablets to access information both offline and online, prepare lessons, create activities for the classroom, and share content with their students using a projector.

Rico demonstrating how to lauch apps

Rico demonstrating how to lauch apps

Wilson Monice, Director at College Brakeman said, “The first impact these tablets will have is on teacher and school image”. All parents want their children to have a quality education, and access to quality education passes through the training of teachers to develop new teaching and ICT competencies to enhance students’ learning. Consequently, schools with these teachers will be described as good schools and will be respected in the community.

A teacher with a tablet has access to lots of resources for professional development, references to sample lesson plans, learning activities for students, and content that will help teachers prepare the lessons. An expected outcome will be on the improvement of students’ performance.

A better education to the children in the community will contribute to making a change in the life of the community at different levels. The community should start to feel less marginalized as the people get more informed, educated and can participate in making decisions for themselves. We believe education supported by technology can help make this happen and bring hope to the community as a whole.

Progress continues in the Teacher Training classes

Progress continues in the Teacher Training classes

Working as the Project Manager has been such an honor. Being an educator myself, I have been lucky to be able to share and learn from all of these wonderful teachers’ experiences. And the surprise, so far, has been the level of commitment we have seen in these teachers who have so many years of  experience. Many of them have been in the teaching profession for more than 30 years, and they agree they need new skills to do what they like doing the most. We hope to inspire them to continue improving their teaching capacity to serve the children in these communities who need quality education most.

Thanks to our partners who made it possible to launch this ambitious program. Thanks to Google for providing Nexus 7 tablets for the teachers, and thanks to the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund and United Methodist Church of Resurrection for their financial support and assistance with in-country coordination.

Written by Michelet Guerrier, Project Manager for Inveneo Haiti Education

How Schools in Haiti Surprise Us

  1. Posted by Inveneo on August 22, 2012 in the categories: Education, News, Projects

In June, the Inveneo team in Haiti, Sybille Fleischmann, Michelet Guerrier, and Ronald Benjamin took a trip to Ouanaminthe to visit two schools where we deployed computer labs and trained teachers. This initiative was sponsored by Digicel Foundation and Kellogg Foundation.

One of these two schools, Ecole Nationale Ti Laurier, was a concern for us. I am Michelet Guerrier, project manager for the Haiti Connected Schools Program, and I worried about the management of the computer lab, but I was happily relieved. When Ronald and I went to Ecole Nationale Ti Laurier, our visit intended to surprise them, but they surprised us. When I looked at the door and the walls of the lab, there were lots of decorations made by the teachers posted almost everywhere. It was clear to any visitor that it is a well-operated computer lab.

We found Arold Phanord, one of the teachers we had trained in February, deep in a teaching context. Students were being guided and each student in the lab was working on a different program on the computers. A 20-year old 6th grader was on Google searching for information about Jean-Jacques Dessalines and when I interviewed him, he said:

“I did not even know the word ‘òdinatè‘ (‘computer’ in French Creole) before the school received these computers. But now, I have learned so many things in two months, I think I will be smarter from day to day.”

A lot more positive things can be expected from this school. And I hope we can use it as a model to inspire other schools, like those in the Haiti Connected Schools Program.

Haiti Connected Schools: BATI-Led Deployment at Scale

  1. Posted by Inveneo on August 9, 2012 in the categories: Education, News, Projects

In Haiti, schools need more than just relief, they need better access to information and communication technologies to improve student and teacher skills and learning opportunities.

Inveneo collaborated with World Vision, Microsoft, HP, SELF and Voila Foundation to create “The Haiti Connected Schools Program” – a solution that brings sustainable computing solutions and Internet connections to 40 schools in rural Haiti.

Inveneo’s Sybille Fleischmann, Inveneo Country Manager Haiti, and Michelet Guerrier, Haiti Project Manager, have been working with Haitian engineers and technicians, to install solar panels, set up computer labs, and connect the schools to the Internet. As part of the program, teachers receive basic computer classes. The classes are delivered by Inveneo trained local technicians.

Inveneo’s approach integrates school administrations, Haitian solar installers and local technicians in the preparation, deployment and long-term support of the computer labs. After a school is selected the school prepares for the future computer lab, adds security measures where necessary and purchases or builds the furniture for the lab.

When the school is ready to receive the lab the solar panels are installed either on the roof or on poles next to the computer lab and the indoor cabling with inverter and batteries are completed. Shortly thereafter Inveneo certified local technicians install the computer lab and set up the Internet access. Once the lab is ready, teachers are the first to receive a multi-day basic computer course. During this training many of the teachers are touching a computer for the very first time.

Local Deployment via BATI

A key aspect of the program is the BATI – young Haitians with information technology (IT) skills who are trained by Inveneo to deploy high speed, broadband wireless networks and new, relevant technology for educational institutions, like schools, in an entrepreneurial business model. During the school deployments, experienced BATI are training newer BATI, on how to connect clients, deploy and support the computer labs. They also receive coaching and experience providing basic computer classes to teachers and the community.

In fact, the program is now entirely run by Haitians and the results have been remarkable. Two computer labs are being installed each week by two BATI teams working simultaneously. The targeted 40 school deployments are on schedule to be completed by September 2012; so far 28 schools have been completed with 12 more to go – each complete with local ownership and local long-term maintenance.

Students throughout the country are now able to access online educational resources thanks to the help of The Haiti Connected Schools Program. Inveneo’s quick response to delivering long-term solutions offers students and school administrators the best combination of sustainable computing for years to come.