In many rural areas today, digital connectivity and the internet as we know it are still widely inaccessible. This is the challenge we at E-MAGINE have set out to address.

To follow our efforts, visit us on facebook, tumblr, twitter or email at e-magine@umich.edu.

university of michigan logo painted on kenyan primary school wall

In 2012, Dr. Karambu Ringera of the International Peace Initiatives (IPI) shared her vision with the E-MAGINE & Michiken teams that one day, a "digital village" would be established in Kithoka, Meru. It would be one wherein members of her community would become empowered and exposed to information and resources from neighboring communities and others across the globe. One wherein telecommunications networks and access to the Internet was affordable, reliable, and widespread. In 2013, E-MAGINE partnered with IPI and Michiken to transform Dr. K's vision into a reality, by providing fast and reliable Internet connectivity to the Home. Since then, KACH has been able to access supplementary educational resources for their children and members of the community and engage in more connected learning for all. This year, 2015, we will be working alongside the Kiamani MVMT to spur entrepreneurial activities that will be able to not only leverage the use of the Internet at KACH but more importantly sustain it successfully for years to come.

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kenya primary school

Additionally, E-MAGINE is working with primary schools in the cities of Nairobi and Meru to provide them with solar power, educational resources and interactive teaching tools through the internet. The overlying goal of this particular project is to provide educators in these schools with a variety of resources that will increase their teaching potential and also decrease some of the obstacles they currently face. E-MAGINE is also embarking on a plan to work with students and faculty from the University of Michigan's School of Education to develop a unique software package for these schools.

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GPS satellites orbiting the world

Faculty from the University of Michigan AOSS department use GPS signals to take measurements of the ionosphere. Charged particles in the ionosphere interact with GPS signals in a way that, with multi-channel GPS, can be used to infer properties of the interacting medium such as total electron content along the signal path. By placing an automated network of GPS receivers across the globe, they will be able to map out the entire ionosphere. These ionospheric maps tie directly into solar activity, impact communications and satellite operations, and tie into climate modeling as an indicator of global climate change. However, in many of the locations that the researchers need receivers, like that of the proposed Zambia location, there is limited connectivity and no power. This is where E-MAGINE comes in. Their GPS receiver can be integrated into our system, which uploads the measurements to an online database. Our 3G system is capable of operating exclusively on solar power, requires virtually no maintenance and can provide internet access in areas that have very weak signal. All of these things make our system a perfect fit for their project.

satellite dishes

Information coming soon!

Brazil

In collaboration with the Pantanal Partnership and Pantanal Center for Education and Research (PCER), a custom system was developed to provide connectivity to a rural health clinic in the region allowing for its integration into the governments Telemedicine University Network (RUTE, Rede Universitaria de Telemedicina) and enabling rural residents to access medical technicians or doctors remotely.

Sierra Leone

Over the past year, E-MAGINE has been involved in the design and optimization of a custom solar powered system that will be pioneered on a remote island in the heart of Sierra Leone. The system was built to support and help facilitate the work of PI, Tucker Childs from Portland State University, in a global effort to video-document and revitalize the dying language 'Mani' in Sierra Leone. E-MAGINE's wifi field-station will be supplemented with a set of basic durable computers for local students; and not only will they become familiar with computers and the internet, but they will also be learning how to read and write their language using computer-assisted technology developed interactively in real time with colleagues and students at PSU.

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Documenting endangered languages around the world

In a collaborative effort, Voice of America (VOA) will be supporting the initiative by providing their resources and expertise to document the project every step of the way. The filmed documentation and use of the internet will serve as model for what can be done by other fieldworkers and also ensure that the urgency and practice of documenting endangered languages reaches a global audience. To learn more, feel free to read the one-page non-technical summary written by Professor Tucker G. Childs.

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Map of Africa