Digital Agility

Tech for Community Development

Literacy India has always believed that technology will be able to help take forward the mammoth task of making education accessible to underprivileged sections of society. The Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent phases of lockdown in the country have further highlighted the importance of technology.

Technology has always played a pivotal role in all our projects. Our unique offering – Gyantantra Udbhav (Digital Dost), a digital innovation, – is a standing example of how we have used technology to further our mission. Add to that the virtual classrooms and remedial education where we have successfully used the internet and related applications in capacity building. In our journey of 25 years, we have touched more than half a million lives — a task that was achievable due to digital intervention. We hope to build on this momentum in the days ahead.

‘Secure Borderless Workspaces’, an innovative model that is independent of the student’s location, has already been extended to West Bengal, Rajasthan, Pune, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and so on. The model involves the use of a standard service delivery environment, cloud-enabled governance processes, heavy use of digital collaboration tools, and an internal operations monitoring centre. Students and teachers are now accustomed to working in this environment, where the centres across regions are connected through Skype and Microsoft team meetings. Going forward, a cloud-enabled governance process will also be developed to ensure that the internal system is made stronger.When the schools suddenly closed on account of the pandemic, we were well placed to create a digital learning environment which was made accessible to LI’s beneficiaries. Parents and students who possess smartphones were made aware of its usages and were encouraged to be involved in virtual learning and virtual training classes.

A month’s groundwork was required to get the beneficiaries used to the virtual space. Teachers were trained to use the internet, Skype, Google classroom, Google Duo, Zoom and Gyantantra Udbhav. Literacy workshops were held, and students were also shown how information available on the internet, like YouTube videos, can be used as a learning tool. Collaboration with virtual classes like Khan Academy and Duolingo have also helped students improve in subjects like Mathematics and Science.

The process of making use of technology and online marketplaces for the Karigari artisans is work in progress. Artisan centres are being equipped with smart phones and artisans are being trained on how to operate WhatsApp, Google classroom, Google Duo and Zoom. Classes were held on these online platforms, on using information on the internet to enhance skills and to access and sell finished products on e-market places. We propose to forge ahead in this direction.
We understand that digital agility is non-negotiable and are working towards creating an environment where technology will give us width and depth and help us mainstream a million lives in the not-too-distant future.