Updated Apr 22, 2020

SolarSPELL: Solar Powered Educational Learning Library

http://www.solarspell.org

Laura Hosman

Send Message

We provide relevant, localized digital educational libraries, in an offline, ultra-portable, solar-powered package, to improve teaching and learning opportunities in resource-constrained locations around the world.

SolarSPELL is a Solar Powered Educational Learning Library: a ruggedized, portable solar-powered digital library over an off-line WiFi hotspot, designed to simulate an online experience. Making use of open educational and health resources and ever-smaller and more efficient technology, SolarSPELL provides an all-in-one, self-powered plug-and-play kit, ready to be deployed with minimal training ...
SEE ALL
SolarSPELL is a Solar Powered Educational Learning Library: a ruggedized, portable solar-powered digital library over an off-line WiFi hotspot, designed to simulate an online experience. Making use of open educational and health resources and ever-smaller and more efficient technology, SolarSPELL provides an all-in-one, self-powered plug-and-play kit, ready to be deployed with minimal training or maintenance required for start-up and continued operation. (http://www.solarspell.org)
SEE LESS

Stage 4: Transition to Scale

The SolarSPELL digital libraries initiative is housed at Arizona State University, engaging students, faculty, and staff. We have implemented over 365 offline solar digital libraries across eight (8) countries in the Pacific Islands and East Africa.
Registered in United Statesin United States

Focus Areas:

Digital Development, Digital Inclusion & Connectivity, Technology and 4 MoreSEE ALL

Digital Development, Digital Inclusion & Connectivity, Technology, Agriculture, Education, Health and YouthSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Micronesia, Vanuatu, Samoa and 5 MoreSEE ALL

Micronesia, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, Rwanda, South Sudan, Fiji and ComorosSEE LESS

8
Countries Implemented In
6
Employees

Problem

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.

}

Solution

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.

Target Beneficiaries

SolarSPELL serves students and teachers in low-resource locations. 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.

Mission and Vision

Our goal is to provide relevant, localized educational content to resource-constrained locations around the world. Our solar-powered digital library overcomes infrastructural and cost-prohibitive barriers, increasing opportunities for students around the world to receive a quality education. We want to contribute to a future where limited resources never limit an individual’s opportunity to learn and thrive!

Competitive Advantage

The SolarSPELL provides rural, underdeveloped 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 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.

Planned Goals and Milestones

In addition to our Pacific Island and East Africa libraries, we are creating train-the-trainer modules and lesson plans for enhanced incorporation of library materials into the pedagogy by teachers. We're also increasing the library's climate change-related content, STEM-focused resources, and entrepreneurship training courses. We're also working to create Spanish- and Arabic- language versions of the library, as well as an agriculture-focused library.
Funding Goal5,000,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted10,000,000
New Implemented CountriesMalawi, Kenya

The Team Behind the Innovation

SolarSPELL's co-founders bring decades of experience working in-field and learning from bringing information and communications technology to the hardest-to-reach locations. Laura Hosman comes from academia and involves her students in all aspects of this initiative. Bruce Baikie brings his vast experience with/in the telecom-sector, engineering, solar power, and running a non-profit to the organization. SolarSPELL's young staff brings a passion for improving educational opportunities globally.

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN

Milestone

Apr 2019
New Country Implemented In
South Sudan
Mar 2019
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
Sep 2018
New Country Implemented In
Comoros
Sep 2015
New Country Implemented In
Vanuatu
Aug 2015
New Country Implemented In
Micronesia
May 2015
Created

Supporting Materials

SolarSPELL-General-One-Pager-2019.pdf