(February-March 2016)


Télécole is a platform designed for outdated cell phones that provides offline searching and offline access to twitter, with the intention of spreading education and information where needed.

Télécole is the outcome of a brief called ‘Data for Development’ given by Orange, a French telecommunications corporation. We were asked to design through using the data (provided by Orange) to facilitate Senegal in one of the following fields: Agriculture, Health, Education, National Statistics or Energy.



Dial (+441243689137) to accesses and explore Télécole for yourself.

Warning: in order for you to receive text massages, your number needs to be registered.

Telecole is a combination of two French words: Télé, short for telephone and école, which mean school. Our platform provides two types of services: Education and Information.


Diagram of Télécole Platform



The first part which is education, aims to teach reading and writing to the illiterate, who have no access to a school. We have used voice mail service to send pronunciation of words along with a text showing the letter and an ASCII image to provide visual language. We modeled a voice recognition service to provide spelling program, were people say the word they would like to write and receive a text with the spelling of that word. Our call service also proved stories for people to listen to make learning easier through repetition.




Diagram of the Alphabet Program


Usage Manual for the Alphabet Program



As old phones do not support images we used ASCII Art, which we drew using only four lines (height) and 13 number (width) to be able to t the image in the first page only.



Offline Searching

The second part of the platform is of offline searching to provide information. Our of offline search system is made out of two main parts. One of which is a category of different topics in different fields. When one contacts Télécole, an automated voice call system will lead them to choose the category of their interest (E.g. Health, Agriculture, Market Prices). The system will then automatically send the list of topics available in that field (E.g. health: giving birth 101, malaria 102). When the person finds the topic of interest, they then dial back and enter the code of that topic into the search and receive a text massage about that topic (e.g. Malaria).


The of offline searching of categories could become very handy, yet it remains limited to what we anticipate the people of Senegal would like to know about. So we began to develop a system that could be directly based on the interest of Senegalese people. This would be the second part of our of offline search system. It’s an of offline question answering-focused web engine.


Offline Social networking


The system allows people to ask questions to a global platform via twitter. Here they could ask anything that they would like to know about. The system we developed uses ITTT that is currently acting as our server. When someone text us a question they have, their question will then get posted on twitter automatically, where their thoughts are communicated to the rest of the world. If then someone answer his or her question on twitter. The server will recognize it and then send a text massage to the person who has asked the question, with the answer and the username of the person answering. 

The answers provided through the second part would not be valid however, which is the reason we decided to connect the two parts together to improve the system. Using PHP for twitter search we can flag up the topic of the questions. The analysis of the questions asked allows us to find the topics of the interest of the Senegalese people, which helps us to fill-in the gaps4 of our category system and provide facts where information is needed. 

Cultural research & building empathy


Connecting with Senegalese people. Eating Senegalese food in the traditional way, drinking Senegalese tea, jamming with Senegalese people, trying Senegalese wrestling

Php coding




Due to UNESCO in 2012, 85.7% of the population of Senegal owned a mobile phone, 42.3% of which were illiterate. Illiteracy is still an issue in Senegal. Putting two together showed us an opportunity to use the power of mobile phones to teach and inform. We set out to design for the people who have no access to Internet or TV, and live in places where the right of education has not been delivered yet. Our platform was developed specially for out-dated mobile phones. We designed our platform with respect to 3 different types of users: the illiterate, semi-illiterate and the literate. This project aims to expose how mobile phones may be used to raise up against illiteracy and to provide necessary information.

The orange crue:

Miguel Correia, Rocco Giovanni and Jin Seung Jang

Photo on 08-02-2016 at 17.43.jpg