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Collaboration Between ESPOL and Villanova University on the Development and Delivery of a Digital Literacy Program for Youth on the Galapagos Islands

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 1

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Pritpal Singh Villanova University

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Dr. Pritpal Singh is Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Villanova University. He received a BSc in Physics from the University of Birmingham, UK in 1978, and Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Sciences/Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware in 1981 and 1984, respectively. Dr. Singh teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the areas of semiconductor microelectronics, renewable energy systems and power electronics. He has been working on thin film solar cell research since 1979 including a Sabbatical Leave at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in 1993. He has also worked on several photovoltaic system projects

Dr. Singh has also worked on electric vehicle research, working on battery monitoring and management systems funded primarily by federal agencies (over $3.5 million of funding).

Dr. Singh has consulted for several companies including Ford Motor Company and Epuron, LLC. He has also served as a reviewer for the US Department of Energy and National Science Foundation. Dr Singh has over 150 conference and journal publications and holds seven issued US patents.

Dr. Singh’s recent work is focused on battery state-of-charge/state-of-health algorithm development, microgrid simulation and humanitarian projects in under-served communities in the areas of renewable energy, wireless connectivity and education.

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Collaboration between ESPOL and Villanova University on the development and delivery of a Digital Literacy Program for Youth on the Galapagos Islands Pritpal Singh, Cesar Martin, Javier Urquizo, Nathaly Chen, and David Lansdale Abstract: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador faced major difficulties due to travel restrictions which affect tourism and education. The school year in the Galapagos Islands was supposed to start in early April 2020, but it was uncertain when the schools would re-open. Parents were very concerned about the education of their children during this challenging school year. The educational system in the Galapagos Islands is very limited because of lack of connectivity and resources, including qualified teachers and access to computers.

The project described here was a collaboration between faculty, students and alumni/ae of the top technical university in the Coastal region of Ecuador, Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral (ESPOL) and faculty and students from Villanova University. It was focused on improving the quality of education (UN Sustainable Development Goal 4) in the Galapagos Islands.

The goal of the project was to offer an online digital literacy program to a core group of about 25 technically savvy students who also showed leadership potential. This core group of students can help to teach additional students and community members in the future. Because of the limited bandwidth, a key aspect of this project was to develop short (5-10 minute) videos and digital literacy exercises to develop students’ skills in basic programming and digital applications based on the DQ Institute Digital Literacy standards.

The students were mentored through relevant topics developed by students and alumni/ae from ESPOL and Villanova through a 3-month program. A pre-program survey was administered to the students in advance of the start of the program as well as at the end of the program. The mentors were also asked to keep journals of their sessions with their mentees.

Details of the program content, results of the program, and the successes and challenges of this international education program will be shared in the paper.


Digital divide, digital literacy, international collaboration

Singh, P. (2021, July), Collaboration Between ESPOL and Villanova University on the Development and Delivery of a Digital Literacy Program for Youth on the Galapagos Islands Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36805

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