ALL Perspectives

When technology brings the smiles back

August 5, 2020 | BY Pooja Prabhukhot

When technology brings the smiles back

Cyclone Nisarga struck the coastal belt of Konkan disrupting life in ways no one in the region had experienced before. The Arabian Sea does not have a history of regular cyclones and one doesn’t remember when was the last time the west coast was subjected to disruptions on such a scale. The impact was the loss of power, loss of connectivity, and damage to infrastructure across the coastal belt.

The tranquil village of Mangaon on this coastal belt was on the path of this cyclonic storm and it too faced similar disruptions. A lot of infrastructure was damaged and immediate recovery wasn’t in sight.

Amidst these infrastructural challenges, Sudhakar Narayan Shipurkar School decided to take matters in their own hands to ensure minimal disruption to the children’s education and to resume it as soon as possible.

Bitwise - Online learning setup

Finding an alternative method to continue classes without adding new infrastructure was the only way of solving this problem. So, they initiated a reach-out in their social circle to overcome the situation and that is where Bitwise Foundation got involved. 

A simple, elegant, and cost-free solution was right there in front of them and all they needed was someone to help set it up for them. Bitwise helped them set up virtual classrooms using widely available video conferencing solutions, ensuring all reservations of the teachers were addressed. The solution was self-sufficient and took care of the aspects required to conduct a virtual classroom like scheduling classroom sessions, recording, creating assignments and enabling submissions, storing and sharing recordings, and more such features.

One more step was needed to make it a full success. While the solution was all set up, the teachers needed to learn how to operate the solution. With lack of connectivity in the village, we invited them to our Pune office for a training session. Bitwisers volunteered to get into the office right in the middle of the lockdown and spent quality time with the teachers for setting them up and training them on the specifics of using the solution.

Owing to the school’s determination and efforts, the fully-equipped virtual classroom for the school was launched on July 7, right on time for the beginning of the school year. The students didn’t have to face any delay. Also, the prospect of learning through a Virtual Classroom has provided them with a fun way of learning and has made them excited about their schoolwork.  What this school taught us too that, however big the challenge, the indomitable spirit always conquers it, and sometimes it doesn’t necessarily have to be a struggle but quick learning to move forward.

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