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Sustainability News

ASU Now | July 13, 2020

Fijian students pose with ASU faculty and studentsA new strategic partnership agreement will advance a shared interest in meeting the needs of learners in remote, offline communities globally by leveraging ASU’s innovative technology, SolarSPELL, a tool to build information literacy and to advance high-quality education. SolarSPELL is directed by ASU Sustainability Scientist Laura Hosman, Associate Professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society.

The Peace Corps and ASU have been working together since 2015 to pair SolarSPELL’s digital library with locally-based trainers, Peace Corps Volunteers and their resident teacher counterparts. ASU provides the tools and the training that empowers volunteers and local teachers to utilize SolarSPELL libraries in their schools and communities.

Through this new agreement, Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) will advise on content specific to the locations of their postings. The PCVs are ideal liaisons because they spend two years at a posting, often in small, remote villages. The library content is hyper-localized, so having advocates embedded in the field can help determine the kind of information that is most helpful.

Currently, SolarSPELL has 365 digital libraries in 8 countries across the Pacific Islands and East Africa. Through this partnership, SolarSPELL will equip hundreds, and eventually thousands, more Peace Corps volunteers with localized, offline, digital libraries filled with 20,000+ educational resources. PCVs will use the technology to build capacities of rural, remote communities around the world.