Guatemala- A Design Thinking Challenge

Over the last few months, I have been working with an organization called the Global Learning Exchange that has a mission to bring technology-infused reading experiences to the children of Guatemala and beyond. Over the past year, our group has developed relationships with an initial set of schools, and my journey this week took me into those schools to learn the logistics necessary to bring our programming to their space. We learned a lot, and we were intentional about using design thinking as part of our growth process this week. We didn't want to bring our solution to a space without considering the needs of those that we were serving. We talked about the needs of those that we were trying to serve throughout this process. This led us to building a problem statement that reads:

The young, eager learners that are beginning and emerging readers in Guatemala need to experience the best practices of reading instruction that maximize engagement so that they can progress into lifelong readers and learners.

In order to tackle this issue, we have spent time in the ideation phase looking at a variety of ways to bring a solution to the table. One idea has emerged at this point. We want to bring technology-infused reading experiences to students by coupling the compelling nature of the XO Android Tablet with a projector in after-school spaces in the schools that we serve. We tested this potential solution over the past week in country, and we have had solid results in the how it draws students into the learning.

We have recognized a set of logistics that emerge when we take this project from our one time test to bringing systems into schools that are sustainable over time that we need to overcome. This is where we need some assistance from the wisdom of the masses. We are in need of a mobile learning system that allows us to have the following conditions in place.

1. We would like a lockable box that can be secured with all of the technology in one space. We also need this box to be able to be locked to a wall for additional security.

2. We would like for the box to house a projector with the following conditions: allows the fan to function to avoid overheating, serves as a space from where the projector can project without removing it from the box, sits at a height that can project onto a wall for visibility in the classroom.

3. We would like a space in the lock box for a universal power supply that could be removed each night for charging by the teachers who live in the town below.

4. We would like spaces to store 3-5 XO Tablets in the box.

5. We would like a space to store some additional supplies (30 portable white boards, a laser pointer, HDMI cable, etc.)

6. We would like a space for a backpack to be hung or stored on the box. This is backpack that will be used to haul the battery down the mountain each evening for charging.

7. We would like a storage container that has wheels for easy movement between classrooms in a rural environment.

8. We would like for the container to handle the weather (high humidity and some precipitation) without being compromised.

9. We would like the container to cost between $200-300 and be replaceable quickly.

With these things as guiding thoughts, I turn things over to the children of the United States and beyond. We are open to new, innovative ideas on our process, product, and storage needs. We looking forward to thinking together with all of those working on this project. For more details, please reach out to me at: