Skilled Volunteers Recommend Data Solutions for Learners in Rural India

Over the past 3 months, Team4Tech connected a team of 15 skilled volunteers from Adobe’s EMEA offices to collaborate with staff from Reach To Teach (RTT), a nonprofit in India whose mission is to make learning more joyful. The assembled project team co-designed technology solutions addressing critical constraints to access and connectivity in Arunachal Pradesh, India. 

Limited Digital Access Hinders Informed Decision-Making in Arunachal Pradesh

Map of India, highlighting the following states: Haryana, Gujarat, and Arunachal Pradesh

RTT works in partnership with state governments to strengthen the quality of teaching and learning outcomes in government schools in the states of Haryana, Gujarat, and Arunachal Pradesh. Much of this project was focused on RTT’s work in Arunachal Pradesh, where the organization serves more than 17,000 teachers and more than 24,500 students.

In Arunachal Pradesh, 43% of students and 90% of schools have limited access to digital devices and internet connectivity (India, NAS 2021). Lack of digital access impedes teacher productivity and weakens student learning. With little real-time data at hand, government officials struggle to make informed decisions and improve schools accordingly.

Leveraging human-centered design, skilled volunteers from Adobe have been working to tackle core organizational challenges around data enhancement and collection, data management, and teacher support.

Skilled Volunteers Suggest Solutions for Data Collection and Storage

Interior scene of classroom in a government school in India. Teacher wearing a sari is reading aloud to young children sitting on the floor.

One of the key limitations in Arunachal Pradesh is that the state does not have well-defined data collection, storing, and management practices for information from government schools. Lack of clear practices delays data requests and key decision-making, ultimately impacting learner outcomes. 

To expedite the data collection process and improve internal efficiencies, Adobe volunteers recommended an AI-enabled OCR (optical character recognition) solution that converts handwritten data into digital data. This solution is also highly replicable across other education organizations that track large amounts of student and teacher data.

As we met with Reach to Teach, it was really good insight into the processes that they already have in place and the tools that they’re using. We saw our role as helping them to create a more reliable process and use some more reliable tools.”

— Sandeep Johal, Adobe Volunteer

Adobe volunteers also proposed data storage and reporting solutions using Microsoft Azure, Microsoft OneDrive, and Microsoft Power BI. The proposed processes will give government officials a clear way to store raw data files, validate and process data in a consistent format, store outputs, and view data with digestible visualizations. The volunteer team provided the necessary code, created a playbook with written instructions, and recorded demos to simplify implementation.

With more efficient data collection, organized storage solutions, and visualized reporting, RTT and the government officials they partner with will be better prepared to make data-driven decisions that benefit learners in Arunachal Pradesh.

Better Digital Communication to Support Teachers

RTT plans to pilot a new curriculum in the coming year and expects teachers to need support with both understanding the content and implementing it in the classroom. The Adobe volunteer team prototyped a solution to streamline the RTT’s teacher helpline process, with features including an automated greeting message, a resource catalog, and a front-end user interface. The team designed a cost-effective and customizable system using WhatsApp, Google Forms, and Google Sheets that will make receiving and responding to teacher requests more seamless. 

We extend our sincere gratitude to the entire team for their outstanding efforts in developing the prototype for the Teacher Helpline solution. Your collective expertise, creativity, and collaborative spirit have been instrumental in bringing this project to fruition. The prototype not only highlights your technical proficiency but also underscores your generosity in contributing to the broader welfare of society. Your dedication and innovative approach have established a robust foundation for the success of this initiative. Thank you for your invaluable contributions to our mission of supporting educators through the Teacher Helpline.”

— Aasheesh Barvey, Associate Director of Data Analytics, Reach to Teach India

An Impactful Start to an Energizing Partnership

This is Team4Tech’s first pro bono project with RTT, providing the foundation for our ongoing 3-5-year partnership.

Team4Tech’s virtual facilitation connecting Adobe skilled volunteers and Reach to Teach staff

As part of the corporate volunteering with Adobe volunteers which was initiated in October 2023, we have been able to develop prototypes for infusing proficiency and data-driven decision-making in our programmes. Some of these prototypes that have been developed for an internal dashboard, establishing a teachers helpline for on-site and off-site support, and for designing an OCR Solution, have the potential for scale and replication along our other project geographies. This will help us to integrate better use of technology in our education interventions.”

— Reach To Teach Staff

With Team4Tech’s support, RTT ultimately aims to create a knowledge hub of digital resources, identify appropriate technology solutions, and explore systemic data to generate insights that will bring accountability and transparency to RTT’s work. 

This volunteering project is just one example of Team4Tech’s global contributions to education. Our organization continues to accelerate the impact of education-focused NGOs globally.