Designing a Teacher Training Helpline

Project Brief

One World South Asia is an international non-profit working towards democratizing technology. The Lifeline for Education program being managed by One World, intends to provide academic support to teachers in rural schools in India using accessible communication mediums like mobile phones. The system uses simple communication protocols, such as the telephone, laid over an IT and internet-based system. Its design is guided by lessons learned from an existing project that addresses the knowledge needs of farmers.

Quicksand was brought in as the design research team to evaluate the unique aspects of Indian education, including constraints on rural schools, teachers, children, parents and infrastructure. The research in turn led to design recommendations on:

Suitable collaboration platforms between various stakeholders

Concepts for content delivery, interaction and system interfaces at each consumer touch point for phase one of program implementation

A future blueprint of the program with respect to new technology & human interventions

Internal & external communication necessary for system roll out

Tweak existing user interface making it relevant for the new context of education

Following are some design & research artifacts from the project.

The program was piloted at district Bardhman, four hours from Calcutta. A week long ethnographic research established some key personas, concerns and paradigms that would govern the design of the Education Helpline. The work consisted of observational studies, in-depth interviews, group discussions as well as photo and film documentation – all aimed at moving towards a richer understanding of the current context.

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