In today’s era of globalization, the need for developed cross-cultural educational initiatives is more pronounced than ever. Historically isolated regions, in particular, are seeing enhanced educational horizons due to an emerging industrial and nonprofit sector. One such region – coffee-growing Nicaragua – has been the beneficiary of work with the Seeds for Progress Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization focusing on improving access to quality education and healthcare in Nicaragua.
The foundation’s flagship program, Digital Seeds is a holistic educational model designed to improve reading, writing and math skills; innovate processes and methods of teaching and learning; and integrate technology into the educational environment through intensive professional development and individual accompaniment of teachers. However, this initiative is currently limited by the technological sophistication of its operation. There is a demonstrated need for a software that will facilitate more efficient, reliable, and robust collection, processing, analysis, and visualization of key educational efficacy metrics.
This project aims to improve the quality of educational systems in rural Nicaragua by building an end-to-end software solution that will optimize the data collection and evaluation process, including testing metrics and resource utilization. Already underway, the project is currently in the pilot phase, with a functional prototype expected by December 2016. Feedback will then be gathered from end users, which, combined with stakeholder needs, will be used to refine the prototype into a product ready for handoff in Spring 2017. Extended applications of this technology will be explored during this same time frame. It is expected that the software will be broadened to include capabilities in similar educational econometrics across a wide range of countries and initiatives. Ultimately, the future potential of this project equates to a “one-stop-shop” educational tool within the education space on a global scale.