Inveneo Tech Archives

Inveneo Launches ARM Micro-Data Center Design Challenge 2015

  1. Posted by Jana Melpolder on March 11, 2015 in the categories: Events, External, Press

March 11, 2015 San Francisco, CA – Inveneo, in partnership with ARM Limited, will launch a solar powered Micro-Data Center Design Challenge, starting on March 11th, 2015. The top prize for the competition is $10,000 and the winning design will be built and deployed in the developing world.

Group of young people in training courseInveneo 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 envision a new type of blade server enclosure design. The design will use 15 of these new generation microcomputer boards and will be very low energy usage, DC powered, and passively cooled,” says Bruce Baikie, Executive Director of Inveneo. “Just as BackBlaze changed the low end storage market with their open source design, we are planning to revolutionize the low end blade server market with this challenge.”

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 http://www.inveneo.org/designchallenge

Inveneo is a San Francisco-based 501(c)(3) non-profit social enterprise that designs and delivers sustainable computing and better access to broadband Internet to those who need it most in the developing world. Inveneo enables organizations working in developing areas to better serve people in need. Our team works to transform lives through access to education, healthcare, economic opportunity and relief. Inveneo and its partners have delivered projects in 31 countries and are impacting the lives of over 3 million people in some of the poorest and most challenging regions in the developing world.

For More Information Contact:

Jana Melpolder
Media Manager
(814) 490-0114
jmelpolder@inveneo.org
Twitter: @JanaMelpolder

Top Takeaways from UNESCO and UN Women’s Mobile Learning Week

  1. Posted by Jana Melpolder on March 9, 2015 in the categories: Education, News

UNESCO and UN Women’s recent Mobile Learning Week conference in Paris was an ICT-focused event that brought together over 1,000 participants from more than 70 countries. As a participant representing Inveneo, Media Manager Jana Melpolder traveled to Paris to determine best practices on using technology to educate and empower girls and women around the world. She was pleased to run into several key ICTworks’ authors at the event, including Linda Raftree and Jim Teicher.

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Ms. Raftree made a presentation titled “10 Myths About Mobile Learning and Girls’ Empowerment”, and it made a big impact in the way she thought about how mobiles affect girls. Several of her key myths of mobile ownership included:

  • Cost being the largest barrier to owning a phone (which is not always true due to family pressures or societal norms that prohibit a girl from easily owning a phone)
  • Mobile phones can’t address the real needs of girls (when in reality mobile phones can address important issues such as domestic violence, information for rape victims, and more)
  • Vulnerable girls don’t have access to mobile phones (when in reality a girl may be borrowing a phone from friends, etc.)

Ms. Melpolder appreciate the insights that Linda Raftree and other speakers offered, and there were many terrific tech-related resources that were promoted for teachers throughout this event. However, the greater focus at the Mobile Learning Week conference should have been how parents could use technology to empower and educate young girls. Parents are a solid backbone to a girl’s education, and she believes that more technological resources need to become more easily available to them.

Technology that parents already own can be better utilized to push a girl’s education further and better prepare them for modern jobs. For example, since mobile phones are widely used in emerging regions, parents should more often utilize text messages about assignments that are due, or they should receive daily or weekly messages on what children are learning while at school. Additionally, teachers should use mobiles more often to communicate to parents what lessons a young girl is currently working on in school.

Engaged parents are vital to the education and empowerment of young girls everywhere, and resources should be made available to them just as often as they are made available to teachers. She hopes there is a better balance in the future – one where educational tech tools are brought equally to the hands of teachers and parents to make an even greater impact for young girls around the world.

Inveneo Showcases Work at UN Women and UNESCO’s Mobile Learning Week

  1. Posted by Jana Melpolder 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.

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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.

IMG_20150225_121821_479This 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.