While in Vanuatu, the SolarSPELL team had the opportunity to visit the sites of two Peace Corps volunteers, who attended the SolarSPELL training workshop last year. These volunteers have each had a SolarSPELL for roughly a year and a half.
Charlie serves as an education volunteer and oversees his school’s library. He worked tirelessly to sort through books that had extensive water damage from cyclone season and to begin categorizing and organizing the remaining books in the library.
Within this library, Charlie also set up a computer lab with three desktop computers. All three of these computers are not connected to the Internet, but are set up to connect directly to the Raspberry Pi provided with the SolarSPELL digital library. As a result, the computers have access to the thousands of resources provided on the Pacific Islands version of the SolarSPELL library, and students are given the opportunity to learn with digital resources to supplement the physical books.
We were excited to hear Charlie share that the students’ favorite resources are about Vanuatu, located in the Local Topics section of the library. Our project is committed to localizing content to ensure the materials are regionally-relevant and engaging for students; this feedback further highlighted the importance of doing so!
In addition to establishing the computer lab and connecting the computers to the SolarSPELL server, Charlie also found innovative ways to encourage use of the digital library. For example, students who completed their work early in class were given the opportunity to go to the library and use the computers for research and exploration. Charlie also hosted two SolarSPELL training workshops with teachers at this school, which increases the likelihood of teachers remaining confident about their ability to use SolarSPELL once Charlie completes his service.