Peace Corps Classrooms
A communications platform for connecting Volunteers in the field with educators in the U.S. in order to share experiences with students globally.
Project Lead • Researcher • Visual & Product Design
Sketching • HTML/CSS Prototyping • Service Design • Iteration • Contextual Inquiry • User Experience
Notepad + pen, HTML/CSS, Sketch, Post-its
Modern Pen Pals
Technology across the world has come a long way, and there are now many ways of communication available to both teachers and Peace Corps Volunteers—dependent on everything from bandwidth, personal preferences, workload of the Volunteer, and school policies.
This project began as a way to envision how to modernize and growth opportunities for connecting to the mission of Peace Corps.
Peace Corps’ Office of The Third Goal and Returned Volunteer Services (Peace Corps’ Third Goal is to spread lessons and experiences of Volunteers during their service back home to an American audience) was looking for a way to modernize and update their lagging World Wise Schools program—the effort to connect educators in the U.S. with Volunteers in the field, traditionally through a pen-pal program.
Through research, user interviews, and contextual inquiry, we found that best opportunities for connecting existed when the Volunteer and teacher could set their own capabilities (and limits) to the kinds of connections they would be open to, and that they can update as their circumstances allow.
Sketches and wireframes by hand are my key tools throughout any project. I was able to quickly play around with information ar- chitecture and how to structure components of the site.
User interviews and research suggested that even in remote environments, Volunteers had access to a range of channels, particularly in certain seasons and times of day. (dry versus rainy season illustrated.)
Snail mail was still popular, but both Volunteers and Educators wanted to take advantage of multiple channels of communication