Monday, 4 June 2012

How it All Began

Jan 30th, 2012. The day Laura Turkington from Vodafone Foundation reached out to Pratham to talk about a new project she had in mind. And that initial phone call has transformed to an exciting 3-year partnership between Pratham and the Vodafone Foundation.

The idea she had was to introduce technology in classrooms to improve learning outcomes.  The technology here is not for children, as many ICT initiatives tend to be, but for teachers.

The technology is called a WebBox. Created by Vodafone Solutions (Emerging Markets) team, the WebBox:

    • Is essentially a Smartphone, with an Android based OS, repackaged to look like a Keyboard
    • Has RGB cables that can be connected to either a TV or projector
    • Has a 2G SIM card for data connection so the teacher can browse the internet
    • Can be used by the teachers to show videos, images, etc. in class to make the learning process more interesting for the children
    • Has stored content that is directly aligned to the state curriculum

    In addition to the WebBox, the schools will be given a TV or a projector.

    The objective of the project is to get the teachers to use the WebBox in class while teaching. The WebBox is not meant to replace the teacher but rather supplement the existing teaching materials and support the teacher.

    The project aims to reach 1000 schools and impact over 50,000 children over 3 years. The schools can either be government, low-income private schools, other NGO schools, etc.

    With that in our hands, we agreed to embark on a 3 year partnership. And this blog is intended to share our journey from a concept to implementation. We plan to share everything: the successes, the failures, the challenges, stories from the ground, progress of the project, etc.

    We hope you find this informative. And please do reach out to us for any comments and feedback.

    Let the journey begin...!