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SolarSPELL: Solar Powered Educational Learning Library
What is SolarSPELL: Solar Powered Educational Learning Library?
Peace Corps volunteer, Fiji
What is SolarSPELL?
SolarSPELL (Solar PoweredEducational Learning Library) is a self-(solar-) powered digital library that emits a one-directional, offline Wi-Fi hotspot. Any Wi-Fi capable device (ex: smartphones, tablets) can connect to the server to surf thousands of educational resources. Moreover, SolarSPELL localizes the library’s content to add value for the users, and provides additional teacher-resources to facilitate adoption and uptake. To see how the SolarSPELL works, please watch this video.
SolarSPELL serves students and teachers in low-resource locations. Up to now, our primary in-field collaborators have been US Peace Corps volunteers, who are stationed at remote, rural schools and clinics for two years.
We address the digital and information divide with a relevant, localized offline digital library that does not require electricity or Internet connectivity. Through the library’s resources, children gain increased access to information to enhance their learning experience, while teachers are offered additional resources to support them in their crucial role as educators.
Why it's needed
The Internet’s rapid expansion has shown limitless opportunities for accessing information available online. However, nearly 95% of schools in the developing world do not have Internet access, severely limiting students’ (and teachers’) access to quality educational information. To empower the next generation of learners, an offline solution is needed to reach all students globally- without requiring Internet or electricity- and to expand access to information.
Why SolarSPELL is unique
The SolarSPELL provides rural, under-resourced communities with access to educational and health resources that are unavailable to them otherwise. Solar power makes it functional anywhere on earth. The library's content is localized for its users, with a team of university librarians, education faculty, and university students helping build the libraries as well as curate and create its content. We carry out training on the library, in a train-the-trainers model, and ensure that there is long-term support for teachers, health-care workers, or others who are using the library. We also carry out impact evaluation to know the effect our innovation is having in the lives of its users, and use this information to constantly improve every aspect of the initiative, library, and organization.
Read our Annual Impact Report to discover SolarSPELL's impact on communities around the world.