Inveneo women Archives

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

  1. Posted by Inveneo 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 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.

unesco-mobile-learning-week

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.

 

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

  1. Posted by sguser 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.

unesco-mobile-learning-week

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.

 

Digital Literacy Brings Hope to Women in Rural Haiti

  1. Posted by Michelet Guerrier on March 19, 2013 in the categories: News, Uncategorized

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Nancy Jean-Pierre speaking on the last day of her training on how much she’s learned.

The Haitian town of Dessalines sits in the middle of the country’s northern Artibonite Department. Spread out over 460 square kilometers the rural countryside around Dessalines is home to just over 12,000 people, as well as two of the 25 schools participating in a digital literacy program funded by the Intel Foundation. Launched by Inveneo and NetHope, Digital Literacy for Haiti Rebuilding (DLHR) offers basic computer training in Haitian communities like Dessalines and provides schools with the resources to continue the courses once the program ends. To date more than 500 people have taken part in the training, nearly 60 percent of whom have been women.

Nancy Jean-Pierre is one of these women. 20 years old, single and without children, Nancy was among the 27 attendees at the program’s first course given earlier this month at Institution Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In 2012 the school received a solar-powered computer lab as part of Inveneo’s Haiti Connected Schools program and is one of the many sites that DLHR uses as community training centers.

Having not yet passed the state exams, Nancy’s still considered an 11th grade student.

“After I failed the baccalaureate last year,” Nancy said, “I felt ashamed and hopeless. I did not want to go back to school. I wanted to learn something to be my profession. I went to a computer course for several months but did not learn much because the school did not have computers for practice.”

“So when I learned about Inveneo coming to give a special course here in Dessalines, I did not want to miss it. I came and I have learned so much with the instructors that I feel I can teach now. I would have lost a big part of my life if I had missed this course. I will continue to learn computers and help others who do not know. And that will be my profession.”

Nancy believes technology has the power to change her own life as well as the lives of people in her community. Dessalines may by a rural farming center, but there is overwhelming interest in learning how to use computers and the Internet. Farmers and businesswomen alike have taken the course, wanting to stay current with technology to make sure they’re not left behind. They hope that their experience learning to use computers will open their eyes to better ways to do their jobs and run their businesses. Younger participants are considering entirely new career paths focusing on IT.

The standard computer course involves 24 hours of class time and covers computer fundamentals (mouse, keyboard, etc.) and the basics of Microsoft Word, email and the Internet. Two sections of twelve students each – one in the morning and one in the afternoon – ensure that 24 participants get hands-on training with computers throughout the entirety of each course.

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Nancy receiving her certificate. From left: Rigaud Bel, Nancy Jean-Pierre, Michelet Guerrier

And while providing substantial benefit to participants, the courses are also proving to be economically sustainable. Attendees at Institution Jean-Jacques Rousseau paid 400 HTG, the equivalent of roughly US$10, for the full course. Future classes – which are already filling up – are being offered at 750 HTG. With the course fee that the schools collect, they can pay for trainers, Internet connectivity and ongoing maintenance of the lab.

Looking back at the training, Nancy feels she’s learned most of the important basics:

“I can type and format all kinds of texts. At least I can work as a typist now and I will make some money. I know how to do research on the Internet, which I think is very important for everyone because here we do not even have libraries. But with the Internet, we can find information about everything.

“For this reason, I am in this computer lab almost every day. Sometimes I stay here on the computer 3 or 4 hours a day to do typing exercises and research on the Internet. And with the Internet, email and Facebook, I am happy that I can connect with people everywhere. I am a member of a Facebook group that has many people with whom I can share everything I want. I love the Internet!”

Inspired by the patience and teaching skills of her instructors, Nancy offered to assist in future classes at Institution Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In response the school has agreed to hire her previous instructor and to bring Nancy on as an assistant. Nancy will have access to technology, mentorship of her instructors and the possibility of a small salary.

Rigaud Bel, one of the program’s community IT instructors, hopes to help Nancy develop the confidence needed to take over the course entirely, teaching future classes on her own.

Women like Nancy are inspiring examples of how DLHR is changing lives. With more than 500 past participants and another 200 women expected in the coming weeks, schools are looking to expand their programs to include courses in Microsoft Excel and advanced Internet usage.

With these skills women coming out of the program will be able to do more than simply compete in Haiti’s emerging job market. They’ll know they’re not alone, and they’ll be able to stay connected online where collaboration, sharing and learning continue to thrive.

Michelet Guerrier is a project manager for Inveneo working in Haiti.