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ODiSI - FAQs

Q1. Is ODiSI an app or software? Who are the people that created ODiSI?

ODiSI is neither an app or just software. It is an open ended, integrated framework bringing together hardware, networking, software components as a technology tool for Education. It also brings in a financial operational model where cost is directly related to outcome instead of capital, operational investments.

ODiSI was created by the OSAAT team in consultation with other industry and education experts.

Q2. Anything significant with the name "ODiSI"?

ODiSI is an acronym for "OSAAT Digital School Infrastructure".

It is also inspired by the similar sounding dance form, since OSAAT volunteers and supporters have done many a fund raising activity using music and dance.

Phonetically, a variant of the name can mean 'make them learn' in Kannada.

Q3. Does ODiSI use volunteers? How can one volunteer for ODiSI?

You can certainly volunteer. However, we don't have a formally defined volunteer role for ODiSI specifically. You can volunteer for OSAAT in general and as the program develops, you can select a role like school contact, cluster contact, Subject expert, Marketing, Branding, communications etc.

Q4. Can other organizations collaborate with ODiSI program of OSAAT?

Most certainly. Both commercial operators (Education technology space) and Not-for-profits can collaborate with OSAAT as part of its ODiSI program

Q5. Why did OSAAT start ODiSI?

ODiSI was started primarily as COVID19 response, however it fills the greater need of bridging digital gap for rural communities while covering primary education.

When the first wave of pandemic started, there was panic everywhere, everyone was impacted. For urban children, there was partial recovery in some make-shift manner. For rural children, education came to a complete stop. It also started manifesting in many social evils like Girl child marriage, child labor etc. At OSAAT, we realized something had to be done beyond its brick and mortar project, something scalable, sustainable for the longer term. Hence OSAAT started ODiSI

Q6. Why ODiSI? Aren’t there other non-profits doing the same thing?

There are indeed many organizations involved in digital intervention programs. It is very much required as well. However, most digital intervention efforts are limited to device, hardware, app give away - with a hope and wish it will work. ODiSI is different in the way it is designed to be sustainable - with components for support, maintenance, finance, outcome measurement, continuous innovation, scalability, etc.

Q7. Is ODiSI only for schools in Karnataka?

Currently ODiSI has completed nearly 18 months of Proof of Concept in Karnataka Schools. For the academic year 2022-2023, the plan is to expand it to 100-500 schools in Karnataka. If we get suitable opportunities with other state education departements as well as other collaborators, OSAAT will consider expanding to other states. However, in coming years, the plan is to make ODiSI available as a open reference framework for any suitable implementation, anywhere in India and even anywhere else in the world.

Q8. How do I know the impact of my donation?

ODiSI has a well defined mechanism of tracking impact through both automation of data for analytics as well as manual baselining process. Donors who have adopted specific schools and clusters will have visibility through periodic reports on usage of ODiSI as well as learning outcomes.

Q9. Can you tell me what ODiSI is not?

ODiSI is not the following:

  • It is not a one time hardware give away program
  • It is not a app, installable software
  • It is not a commercial licensed utility or service for education

Q1. How do I donate specifically for ODiSI?

Both institutions and individuals can donate for ODiSI in the following ways:

  • Adopt an entire cluster of schools. You can fund the entire cluster of schools in a given Taluk, district from available choices. Typically a cluster is 10 or more schools, covering 1000 to 5000 students. Typical cost of a adopting a cluster will be about $ 150K (₹1 Cr) per year.
  • Adopt a specific school in a given cluster. When a cluster is being formed, there could be several schools which can be individually adopted. A typical school, with specific grades where ODiSI will be deployed, will have 100 to 300 students. Typical cost of adopting a single school will be about $15K (₹11 Lakh) per year.(
  • One time donation of any amount you like. Please mention in your donation that this is for ODiSI program

Q2. Can I get tax exemption for my donation?

Yes. In the USA, OSAAT is a registered non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation, tax Id: 20 2043649. You can claim tax exemption in accordance with the applicable IRS guidelines. Donors contributing $500 or more will receive an official thank you letter from us. In India, OSAAT Education charitable Trust is registered under IT Act 12AA and donations made are tax deductible under 80G. For more details, please contact india@osaat.org for details.

Q3. Can I donate money in installments through my bank account or credit card?

At the moment, we do not support such automatic withdrawals from bank accounts or credit cards. We will have that capability in the near future, and will incorporate it on our website.

Q4. What if a corporate entityhas a specific budget available through its CSR program?

OSAAT can identify a suitable school which matches the proposed contribution through CSR budget. However, unless a new cluster is formed or a new school within existing cluster is identified, OSAAT cannot start the project for such identified schools.

Q5. Can I donate in-kind gifts like used laptop, smartphone, tab?

If you are a corporate donor and would like to donate used computer equipment in bulk, OSAAT can accept it after reviewing and finding a match for its utilization for a given project/school. We cannot accept single units of in-kind gifts due to overheads of refurbishment cost, standardization issues while using singleton hardware units.

Q6. What is the basis of ODiSI cost?

The per child per year cost is about $65 (₹4000). This cost works when ODiSI is implemented at scale in a clustered approach. Currently the price is based on un-optimized rack rates of hardware and service delivery expense. With higher volumes, more standardization, OSAAT expects to bring down the cost further in coming years.

Q7. How much is the administration overhead of OSAAT, what happens when there are cost overruns or underruns?

There is no administration/management overhead component in the cost. All funds collected towards ODiSI is spent for ODiSI program. Typically, 97% of the funds are spent on direct project expenses (capital and service delivery). Remaining 3% is estimated to be with communication, marketing, promotional cost for ODiSI

With Cost overrun/underrun, the number of students who benefit in subsequent cycles could be impacted (can be more or less) based on fund utilization and expenditure in previous cycles, along with new funds available.

Q8. Do the parents of children or schools need to pay anything?

There is no cost/expense to the school or parents other than electricity used to charge devices. The entire cost of the program comes from donor/program funding.

Q1. What is the technology stack behind ODiSI?

ODiSI uses off the shelf standard components in its implementation. In a way, ODiSI is technology agnostic but intends to deliver certain minimum functionality and outcome by judicious use of technology components. Typical components from current implementation use cases:

  1. Laptops for teachers, either with Ubuntu or MS Windows
  2. Android tabs for students. If affordable, and a use case justifies a given use case, laptops can be provided for students as well.
  3. Smart TVs for classroom usage
  4. Required apps (e.g: DIKSHA from Ministry of Human Resource development) are pre-configured, app locked on devices
  5. A light weight LMS like Google Classroom which can integrate with Google Cloud Platform for data analysis and measurement
  6. 4G/ Internet data connectivity and service.

Q2. Can Children use their own Smart phones?

ODiSI enables children to use their own devices at home. At School programs do not require BYOD. However, the framework allows extension to use personal devices when available.

Q3. Who provides Technology support to ODiSI?

OSAAT delivers ODiSI through 'System Integrators'. Typically, a SI is a Education Technology commercial operator, who is an expert in Education domain, but has sufficient exposure to technology. SI is tasked with installation, training, support and maintenance of ODiSI, including technology as well as pedagogy aspects, as per a well defined Playbook.

Q4. Who provides the content? How about 3rd party content?

ODiSI is primarily a infrastructure framework. Any content, approved by the education department will be accomodated. Corresponding apps (e.g: DIKSHA, Google classroom) will be pre-installed and supported. Teachers are allowed to bring in their own content (YouTube videos, specially curated content, etc.). ODiSI enables Content sharing within the cluster as well. If there are specialized content interventions like English speaking, Mathematics gaming, etc., and if they are approved by the education department, they can be hosted on ODiSI.

Q1. How do you select a school for ODiSI? Should it be a OSAAT construction school?

  1. It must be a rural school
  2. It need not be a OSAAT constructed school.
  3. Sufficient students and adequate staff (100+ students, proportional teachers)
  4. School should be part of a cluster in which ODiSI is planned
  5. Availability of other support infrastructure with reasonable stability: Building, Electricity, Internet service
  6. Staff, community, students show reasonable eagerness to use ODiSI

Q2. What happens when a school fails in adopting ODiSI?

OSAAT hopes that is a rare case. In such a situation, even with multiple intervention, consultation, support a school fails in showing improvement and unwilling to use ODiSI, OSAAT will work with education department in re-allocating investments in a different school where chances of success are higher

Q3. Can ODiSI be implemented in all schools?

Yes. However, in the current phase, OSAAT intends to implement it in rural government schools of India. In principle, the framework can be used and replicated by anyone else in the entire world, for their own school.

Q4. What does it take a school (teacher/student) in terms of learning curve?

When ODiSI is implemented in a cluster, 2 day training workshops are conducted for both teachers and students to enable a quick start for the school. Typically, schools have been productive and have started using ODiSI within 1-2 weeks of training. In addition, regular bi-weekly reviews are conducted to address issues, gaps in understanding, specific challenges school face either with technology or pedagogical application.


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