Innovation and partnership are central to everything we do at Room to Read and crucial to our ability to scale with quality. With that in mind, our Girls’ Education team set about a new technology pilot in late 2012, partnering with Lenovo to investigate the potential use of laptop computers for our program’s field staff.
Students in India watch a video during a life skills session.Room to Read employs social mobilizers to support and track the progress of each girl we work with. Equal parts teacher, advocate and counselor, these women are tasked with delivering life skills curriculum, conducting home visits, monitoring attendance and a myriad of other duties that ensure each girl is thriving in school. Given the rural nature of many of our partner communities, most of this work has been done historically with pen and paper, or, on occasion, using a desktop computer shared with school administration. By working with Lenovo to provide laptops and training to our social mobilizers, the hope is that these activities can become more efficient.
Starting in December 2012, a select number of social mobilizers in Vietnam and India were chosen to participate in the trial, including staff in both rural and urban settings. Each received a brand new Lenovo laptop and training from our local IT staff, both on basic use and maintenance as well as specialized training on how to use the computers to conduct their program activities. In India, our friends at Intel were kind enough to provide assistance.
Throughout the course of the pilot, field staff have used their laptops to track attendance, archive useful documents for future use, report on monitoring visits, input financial information and incorporate multimedia content into life skills lessons. “It’s great to see our social mobilizers, who work directly with the girls on our program, have the tools to reach them in new and creative ways,” said John Wood.
Read more about our Girls' Education Program.