Inveneo Tablets 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 March 1, 2015 in the categories: Events
Jana Melpolder, Inveneo’s Media Manager, recently attended the UNESCO and UN Women’s Mobile Learning Week conference held in Paris.
Mobile technology is increasingly becoming a valuable tool that educators around the world are using within their classrooms. When teachers use innovative tools such as a Raspberry Pi, tablets, and mobiles, they can combine them with an offline digital library, such as World Possible’s RACHEL-Pi.
What’s the end result? An incredible wealth of information, lesson plans, educational videos, and articles that can be accessed without the need for a reliable Internet connection.
This solution of creating an offline digital library was the main technological solution that Inveneo offered at the recent UNESCO and UN Women conference called Mobile Learning Week. Taking place in Paris, the event was held to connect organizations together that work to improve the status of women and girls through the use of education and technology. With Inveneo’s experience of 10 years working to connect those who need it most, Inveneo was on board to exhibit its work at the conference.
Jana Melpolder, Inveneo’s Media Manager, led the initiative to attend the conference. She created a display table which exhibited Inveneo’s ICT projects and technological solutions that are offered around the world. Inveneo’s exhibit table, shown below, showcased the team’s ICT projects with a main focus on Haiti, Uganda, and Sierra Leone. Ms. Melpolder also brought a Raspberry Pi, RACHEL-Pi, Asus laptop, Google Nexus 7 tablet, and Surtab tablet to give an example of what an offline digital library looks like and what it can do for classrooms around the world. Overall she was thrilled to meet so many inspiring representatives at the event who came from great organizations like UN Women, Butterfly Works, and 42 Education.
Ms. Melpolder organizes Inveneo’s ever-increasing and dynamic online presence. She previously volunteered with UNICEF USA, where she provided editorial direction to its web team and created its online newsletter for the northwest region of the United States. She is passionate about bringing human rights issues to the forefront through media and technology in the developing world, and she has reported on development programs from several countries including Bolivia, Ghana, Thailand and India. Her writing has been published on the World Vision, Beliefnet, and Twitter blogs. Jana’s educational background includes a B.A. in Anthropology from West Virginia University and a Master of International Development from the University of Pittsburgh.
- 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 November 6, 2014 in the categories: News
Dr. Kerida McDonald (standing, right) and Regional Director Emily Brouwer (standing, left) address several attendees and board members.
International organizations like UNICEF are no stranger to dealing with devastating medical outbreaks like the ongoing Ebola crisis happening in West Africa, which has already claimed almost 5,000 lives. To engage local supporters, UNICEF recently hosted a speaker luncheon in San Francisco to explain the powerful work they have been doing on the ground throughout Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. The main speaker was Dr. Kerida McDonald, the UNICEF Senior Advisor for Communication for Development (C4D). A doctor who called in then followed her presentation via Skype from Accra, Ghana, to give an update on UNICEF’s work at the forefront of the crisis.
How is UNICEF utilizing technology to help make an impact?
1. Understanding the Unique Media Norms of a Culture
Liberia and other West African countries have their own flavor of pop music and media preferences that may surprise some western relief organizations. For example, Liberia’s broadest form of media is radio, not television. To bring communities accurate information on Ebola and how to avoid the disease from spreading, UNICEF has been using media like radio programming, partnerships with media producers, and community cinema nights (for those who don’t have televisions). UNICEF leaders are continuously paying special attention to what individual communities need and what kind of media outlets they are already using.
2. Sending Out SMS Messages
UNICEF’s C4D response is also sent via SMS messages. Large numbers of people already use cell phones in West Africa, and to utilize this UNICEF has created a long list of a text messages available in three countries in 18 different languages. This method of communication engages whole communities because individual cell phone users will share the accurate medical information to neighbors, family members, and friends.
3. Cultural Sensitivity and the Need for More Technology
A large problem that health care workers are experiencing in Ebola-ridden communities is the cultural practice of touching bodies while funerals take place. It is common for many different populations to want to continue this practice, but for the sake of the health of family members and communities, this cannot continue. UNICEF is working hard with interfaith relief organizations as well as community leaders to find culturally sensitive solutions to this ongoing problem.
Making cultural changes are always at the grassroots level, which emphasizes the need for accurate medical information to be in the hands of aid workers so they can disseminate it to communities. Technology is essential and tablets, smartphones, or other WiFi-enabled devices need to be sent to West African communities. Inveneo is currently doing that – learn how you can help make this possible.
UNICEF’s C4D response is becoming increasingly more vital as those infected with Ebola continue to suffer. Regional C4D officers are on the ground working in Liberia to breakdown the walls of misconceptions, issues of denial that one can get sick, and the stigma and discrimination that Ebola victims sometimes face.
Many thanks to Ian Rosenfield, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Northwest Board Chair, Emily Brouwer, Regional Director, Linda Naugle, Director, and the entire Northwest staff who hosted the speaker event in San Francisco. Learn more and how you can help make a difference by visiting the U.S. Fund for UNICEF website.
Note: The official photographer of this event was Federica Armstrong. Her photos are not featured above, but you can find her incredible portfolio at www.federicaarmstrong.com
- Posted by Inveneo on October 23, 2014 in the categories: Healthcare, News, Relief
Ebola has become an increasingly serious health crisis around the world, and humanitarian aid organizations in West Africa are in critical need of ICTs (Information and Communications Technologies) to effectively support health care workers. In response, Inveneo is assembling a team that is preparing to travel to Accra, Ghana. Once there they will distribute 500 Google Nexus 7 Tablets (which will be pre-loaded with crisis-response apps) to major aid agencies working on the ground in affected areas.
The Inveneo team, led by Senior Field Engineer Samuel Perales and Executive Director Bruce Baikie, will provide a Tablets for Ebola Responders training, delivering relevant skill sets to aid workers stationed throughout West Africa. This project will support up to 50 aid organizations.
Inveneo is eager to launch this project because of its ability to impact thousands living in communities potentially affected by Ebola. “International relief organizations have been expressing the need for tablets on the ground. Having seen firsthand just how effective these tablets were in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan last year in the Philippines, we are particularly eager to get tablets into the hands of aid organizations working to eradicate Ebola,” explains Samuel Perales.
The Google Nexus 7 tablets will be pre-loaded with software and apps that enable post-crisis communication and coordination. With programs like street-level maps and access to medical information, tablets become powerful ICT tools in the fight against Ebola. Aid workers will be able to deliver medical supplies more quickly and will receive updates and news stories that rural communities desperately need.
Inveneo’s team has been at the forefront in responding to global crises with effective ICTs. In addition to supporting recovery efforts after Super Typhoon Haiyan hit The Philippines in 2013, our team also responded to Haiti’s 2010 earthquake with the rapid build-out of a wireless broadband network that enabled communication necessary for relief and rebuilding efforts. In 2005, we sent team members to Mississippi immediately after hurricane Katrina to assist with rebuilding communications.
Inveneo needs your help to fight Ebola and to raise $185,000 for our Tablets for Ebola Responders project. Your donation will enable us to provide these needed tablets and training in Ghana to support aid organizations working throughout West Africa. For more information and to support our efforts visit http://inveneo.org/donate
- Posted by Inveneo on September 24, 2014 in the categories: Events, Relief, User Machine
Our Executive Director, Bruce Baikie, recently co-presented at the Engineering for Change webinar on September 24th, 2014. Along with Dr. Laura Hosman, Assistant Professor at Cal Poly in California, he discussed Inveneo’s recent findings on the top ICT4D hardware challenges throughout the world, particularly in emerging markets.
Check out their entire webinar presentation here. If you were able to join in on the webinar, online or by using the hashtag #E4CWebinars, thanks for following along!
- Posted by Inveneo on June 16, 2014 in the categories: Education, News, Projects
One of the sessions from Inveneo’s TTT Project. Photo credit: Michelet Guerrier – Inveneo
Inveneo has worked very hard to help teachers in rural Haiti gain adequate access to new educational tools and resources. Led by the our team’s project manager in Haiti, Michelet Guerrier, Inveneo recently held a third Tablet training event, part of the Transforming Teaching through Tablets (TTT) project. The training, which was held in a remote part of southeast Haiti called Cascade Pichon, lasted three days. It hosted a total of 15 teachers who came from three separate schools.
How are these Tablets and training session helping teachers achieve greater educational success with their students? What are teachers using them for, and what are the challenges that come with the Tablets?
Greater Access to Digital Content
A session on different learning styles. Photo credit: Michelet Guerrier – Inveneo
Michelet reports that Haitian teachers have been using their Tablets as a resource library. They were most interested in the offline dictionaries and the digital library that offers hundreds of books right at their fingertips. In addition, the Tablets also offer French grammar content which the teachers found useful to create better lessons for their students.
During Inveneo’s training sessions, not only were teachers provided the apps and tools to work on their Tablets, but they were also given a session on professional development. Michelet held a few sessions where he presented apps on the Tablet to model how some of the apps can be adapted for teaching, learning, and evaluation. To gain practice the teachers did a simulation class for each other, and feedback was then offered from their peers.
The school under construction. This is what the school looked like on May 30, 2014. Photo credit: Michelet Guerrier – Inveneo
Awareness of ICT Issues
The teachers in Haiti were very happy with the Tablets and tablet training process. It’s been reported that they are using Tablets at least five days per week! With all these positive points there are also a few problems that go along with using Tablets.
Internet connectivity is not very strong but very much a challenge in Cascade Pichon. During the training Michelet and a few others traveled to nearby hills to see if there was a better connection. A weak signal was available (at times) but it wasn’t good enough to send emails or to use Google’s search engine.
The second issue at hand is the lack of electricity. The school nearby is currently under construction and does not yet offer the community electricity. This gives the teachers limited time that they can use the Tablets. To charge up, teachers end up going outside of Cascade Pichon to charging stations (where they also charge their phones). To charge a Tablet it costs 25 Haitian gourdes which equals about $0.55 USD.
Michelet left the latest TTT training session in Haiti on a positive note. He describes “after these sessions, we are convinced that the decision to bring the Teacher Tablet project to this remote community was a complete gain considering the long-term impact that [it] should have on the teachers, students, and the community as [a] whole.”
Inveneo is proud to partner with other organizations to make this project possible. We would like to thank UMCom, Library for All, Gumdrop Cases, Heart to Heart, the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, Google, and the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection for being a part of this continued project in rural Haiti.
- Posted by Inveneo on May 15, 2014 in the categories: Education, News
Michelet Guerrier (front) at his Graduation Ceremony in Michigan.
Inveneo is proud to have an incredibly diverse staff. One of our team members, the Project Manager in Haiti, Michelet Guerrier, recently graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Certificate in Community Development from Madonna University, which is located in Livonia, Michigan.
Even more impressive, Michelet completed his degree while still living in his home country, Haiti.
Back in 2011, Michelet saw an advertisement in the local Haitian newspaper. The ad was for Madonna University who was looking for intelligent students living in Haiti to apply for its first Haitian scholarship program. Michelet quickly applied for the scholarship, and within a few months, was one of the seven winners.
Madonna University is a Catholic University, and the Haitian scholarship is supported by the Felician Sisters, members of the Catholic Church. Michelet received books, supplies, and equipment so he could study at home in Haiti and interact with teachers and peers via the Internet. Over the next three years, Michelet worked incredibly hard for Inveneo while also completing courses in marketing research, business management, and community leadership.
Finally, this past month Michelet moved to the University Campus in Michigan where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Congratulations, Michelet!
Michelet values how ICT allows for greater educational resources for people around the world, and he greatly appreciates the fact that he can earn a degree from the United States while still living in Haiti. He says further, “It has been a very good experience. I know Inveneo has a focus on education. The more we can design training to minimize onsite visits and keep it as high quality as possible, the more exciting it will be.”
Michelet helps lead teacher Tablet training projects in Haiti. Here, his co-worker Rico helps explain apps on the Tablet. Photo credit: Michelet Guerrier – Inveneo
Online classes are becoming a very popular choice for those seeking out higher education. Not only do offsite courses allow for the flexibility in scheduling that so many busy adults need in today’s fast-paced world, but they also offer the convenience of learning from anywhere – a vital component for those living in remote places in the developing world.
Michelet says that his education has added incredible value to the work he does for Inveneo. For the past several years, he has managed ICT projects in Haiti with other staff members like Sybille Fleischmann. With his new degree he will continue to train Haitian teachers on Tablets to develop the quality of education throughout the country. Inveneo intends to continue improving teacher capacity through ICT to deliver quality education, and we are happy that Michelet is our leader in Haiti to make that a reality.
Haiti is a country filled with students who have great talent, skill, and intelligence. Inveneo is proud to continue partnering with Haiti’s local leaders like Michelet to provide educational resources that will impact students and benefit communities around the country.
- Posted by Inveneo on May 14, 2014 in the categories: Education, News, Projects
Inveneo is committed to improving education throughout Haiti through the use of ICTs, particularly Tablets.
Teachers gather together to send and receive files via Bluetooth. Photo credit: Michelet Guerrier – Inveneo
On Friday, April 10, 2014, United Methodist (UM), Heart to Heart, and our Inveneo Haiti team met together to select the 3rd pilot school for the TTT (Transforming Teaching through Tablets) project. The Inveneo team agreed to select a school in Cascade Pichon, near Bellanse (in the southeast part of the country). Pastor Cayce, on behalf of UM, proposed the school. This was in collaboration with Heart to Heart International, who has been doing incredible projects in Pichon for education, healthcare, and community organizing.
A few days later, we headed early to Cascade Pichon, which can be quite difficult to get to by car. We took the challenge head-on and drove the rocky and dangerous road to meet the community of Pichon. Soon it was time to launch the training and put Tablets in the hands of these incredibly motivated teachers!
The Teacher Tablet Training had 15 teachers from three schools (FORPPE du Nazaréen de la Cascade, Ecole Nationale Bois-de-Lance, and Ecole Nationale Nan Hauteur). Most of the teachers walked 2-3 hours to attend the all-day training. In three days we had an intensive 20-hour training for the primary school teachers. We held the training at the only health clinic in the community (since there is no local school building), and our electricity came from a generator from the only place visitors stay when they come to the community.
Enseau Blaise shows what he discovered on the Tablet. Photo Credit: Michelet Guerrier – Inveneo
During those three days, we introduced the teachers to the concept of professional development as a lifetime process. They concluded that professional development was a “must” for teachers to improve their capacity and facilitate learning. Although they were very interested in using the Tablets, I felt that the professional development module was equally important.
What did the Haitians teachers think of the training? Vitane Jean, one of the two female participants, thought that the training allowed them to understand that there is always room for improvement to become a better teacher. Chango Noncent, the School Director of Ecole Nationale Bois-de-Lance, said the training offered the rare opportunity for teachers to get together and learn from each other. The Inveneo team was happy to see how fast they understood that they were each other’s best resources.
Each teacher received a Nexus 7 Tablet, which were all donated by Google. They came loaded with about 50 educational apps including a library they can use for reference and classroom activities. This was all made possible with the generous donations of Library for All and Gumdrop Cases. These apps feature subjects that are taught in primary schools across Haiti: Language, Math, Science, Social Science, and the Arts. We gave several demonstrations on how they can use the apps with their students. This was an important part of the training because as new ICT users, the teachers needed to see the many opportunities that the Tablet offers. Tablets give an wide variety of teaching and learning activities to make lessons more interesting, and our teachers were excited to start using them right away.
To ensure ongoing technical support for the teachers, we identified two participants from the group to coach and facilitate online interaction with the group since The Inveneo team will not be able to go there every week.
Personally, I was very satisfied with this training because of three main reasons:
Ronald Benjamin shows how to use extra parts that come with the Tablet. Photo Credit: Michelet Guerrier – Inveneo
1. Engagement: The teachers valued the training and actively participated. We did not go there for nothing. We went there for those who need it most. The teachers were very passionate about ICT and interested in the training activities.
2. Teamwork: The teachers were wonderful to work with. They expressed their thanks and gratitude to the UM, Heart to Heart, and Inveneo teams for bringing these tools, training, and resources to the community. This was all possible because of the generous support of Google for providing Nexus 7 tablets for the teachers, the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, and the United Methodist Church of Resurrection.
3. Impact: We seem to have brought them something useful to help make a change. The teachers want to use what they have gained from the TTT project to improve their knowledge that will better help their students. In the future we hope to hear stories about what they have accomplished with their Tablets.
Written by Michelet Guerrier, Inveneo’s Project Manager for Haiti