Empowering learners globally
SolarSPELL at Arizona State University is a global educational initiative that combines curated digital libraries, solar-powered, offline technology, and the training to build information literacy and internet-ready skills.
We believe that access to information and education are human rights and public goods, and that information literacy is the core skill for empowerment and equity in the 21st century.
The SolarSPELL initiative empowers learners globally by providing localized educational information and the training to build 21st century skills in offline environments. Student success is central to our mission, both around the world and at Arizona State University.
What is the SolarSPELL initiative?
The SolarSPELL (Solar Powered Educational Learning Library) initiative at ASU combines curated digital libraries, solar-powered, offline technology, and the training to build information literacy and internet-ready skills in offline environments, focusing on the half of the world that remains unconnected.
SolarSPELL’s solar-powered, offline technology is rugged and ultra-portable so that it can go anywhere and reach anyone, even the most remote. The SolarSPELL digital library mimics an online experience by generating its own offline WiFi hotspot to which any WiFi-capable device (smartphone, tablet, laptop) can connect and freely, and safely, surf the library’s thousands of open access resources that are carefully curated and continually improved to meet local information needs.
SolarSPELL’s digital library collections currently span primary and secondary education, health, agriculture, and the environment. Using a train-the-trainer model and working with in-field partners like Peace Corps and UNHCR, the SolarSPELL libraries are paired with locally based trainers for long-term support.
SolarSPELL’s work is simultaneously focused on improving educational opportunities for students around the world, as well as at Arizona State University. Our team includes ASU students, librarians, faculty, and staff.
Digital libraries in the field
SolarSPELL continues to grow and develop to meet the urgent needs of learners in remote, rural, offline communities globally. We are creating digital libraries to provide relevant information across regions and sectors, including library collections focused on primary/secondary education, health, agriculture and more.
SolarSPELL continues to expand implementations to new countries and regions, including new projects in Latin America, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Contribute to our efforts
Give today and join our community of SolarSPELL library patrons. With your one-time donation or ongoing financial support, your gift empowers learners globally by providing access to localized educational information paired with the training for long-term success.
SolarSPELL’s work would not be possible without multiple partnerships and collaborations with organizations such as Peace Corps, UNHCR, and Voice of America. Our partners span multiple focus areas, from in-field implementation to library content, and more, as well as include collaboration with government ministries.
Our largest in-field implementation partner to-date is Peace Corps, with whom ASU-SolarSPELL signed a Global Strategic Partnership in May 2020. This partnership facilitates collaboration with Peace Corps posts around the world to meet information needs across sectors. ASU-SolarSPELL’s partnership with Voice of America, enables SolarSPELL to bring high-quality English language learning content to learners globally.
SolarSPELL is always seeking new partnerships and opportunities for collaboration to sustainably implement localized digital libraries in the hardest-to-reach locations.