Teach For All shows how small businesses can thrive internationally with Zoom
Working with educational professionals, teachers, and organizations, Teach For All coordinates efforts to develop the collective leadership required to build education systems that enable all children to fulfill their potential.
Location: London, New York, Washington D.C., Doha, Hong Kong
Challenges: Support the daily work of teachers and more than 60 partners across the world.
Solutions: Zoom Phone, Zoom Meetings, Zoom Rooms, Zoom Webinars
Business benefits: Easier setup and access, even in remote locations, support for live translation breaks down language barriers.
There’s no way we would be here without a system and a platform like Zoom.
Pablo Millanes DulínGlobal Head of Corporate Partnerships at Teach For All
Teach For All leads a network of educational partners in sixty countries around the world and has been supported by Zoom since 2015. Working with educational professionals, teachers, and organizations, Teach For All coordinates efforts to develop the collective leadership required to build education systems that enable all children to fulfill their potential.
By recruiting some of the most promising future leaders, Teach For All organizes fellowships in some of the most marginalized classrooms and communities around the world, and build the long-term leadership to address the root causes of the inequities in educational ecosystems that prevent many children from having access to the opportunities, education, and support they need to thrive.
Pablo Millanes Dulín, Global Head of Corporate Partnerships at Teach For All, sat down with us to discuss how Zoom continues to play an integral role in their international growth and how it can help others do the same.
Today, many children across the world are at risk of being left behind educationally. This is due to low societal expectations surrounding those living in poverty and under-investment in what is needed to overcome the additional barriers these children face in their educational journeys. Especially when schools close, many young people do not have the resources or access to continue their studies remotely. This makes Teach For All’s mission even more vital.
The organization rose to the challenge to provide children with the tools they needed, doubling its network of partners in the last six years. Pablo attributes much of this growth to their existing relationship with Zoom, which they’ve been using since 2015. With Pablo being based in Madrid and with team members around the world in more than 20 countries, including Mexico, Hong Kong, USA, and the UK, Teach For All is a ‘digital organization’.
Zoom’s ease of use and digital ecosystem have helped Pablo and his team stay agile, reactive, and able to keep working at an accelerated rate. It’s no small part of their global success.
“Last week I was in a cab with my cell phone. I had Zoom Team Chat open, I was chatting with my team and I was able to jump on a call with all of them. They were able to follow up on Zoom Team Chat with documents so I could then dive into the notes. That made the hour I was in a car useful, and allowed my team to continue working on the project we were discussing. That’s a game changer”, Pablo said.
How do you support the daily work of teachers and more than 60 partners across the world while leading global strategy at the same time? It’s not enough to keep everyone connected, Teach For All need a digital solution to ensure that they keep “sharing innovations all around the world and exchanging solutions across borders”. This means that communication needs to be seamless, reliable, and easily adaptable across countries and cultures.
Part of Teach For All’s global expansion is their ability to take lessons from teachers across the world and enable those from other cultures to learn from and apply them. Innovative solutions happening in Malaysia might work just as well for London classrooms. According to Pablo, the ability to give teachers in different countries and cultures the ability to do this quickly, reliably, and affordably is ‘golden’. This shows the power of being able to communicate on one platform, while easily switching between Zoom Phone, Zoom Team Chat, and the Zoom video conferencing solutions. “The adaptive connectivity helps tremendously to have smooth conversations, which were not even possible on the phone at times.”
One of the ways that the lessons learned from Teach For All’s expansion apply to other businesses is in its adaptability to more or less bandwidth. Teachers in rural or less accessible locations remain connected to the global network and can continue to expand alongside their colleagues in large cities. Zoom’s adaptable connectivity means they can seamlessly stay online, even if data connections are strained.
“The flexibility to organize and manage projects in a quick and affordable way across different time zones would cost literally thousands of dollars with traditional solutions in the past”, Pablo commented.
In the past, supporting the set-up of partners in a new country would mean physically going there for months at a time, setting up offices, navigating visa regulations and local labor laws and continuous visitation for the first few years. Now, with the ability and ease to work remotely or with a minimal office footprint with Zoom – it’s no longer a consideration, let alone an expense!
Removing language barriers and driving inclusivity
When an organization expands across the world, especially at the rate that Teach For All did, language barriers can mean an increased risk of some people being left out of the conversation. Zoom’s support for live translation has helped Teach For All to mitigate that.
Pablo cites an example of meetings with colleagues from Southeast Asia. Translators would be present during these sessions to allow for sometimes tedious back and forth like a traditional meeting. Pre-Zoom, that meant meetings had to be allotted twice the time for half the content. Zoom’s simultaneous translation functionality means that if either side wishes to bring a translator, the feed from the translator replaces that of the original speaker in real-time. This allows for a seamless, natural conversation at a pace that means everyone can say what needs to be said, without over-simplifying or waiting for a new translation. For Teach For All, the translation’s functionality also represents inclusivity, an important value of the Teach For All culture.
Building on top of that, the organization utilizes Zoom’s AI-translated closed captioning. This has proved extremely useful for quicker, 1-to-1 meetings with colleagues on the ground in Ukraine as educational partners have to act reactively to changing pressures brought on by conflict.
Keeping it simple for sustainable growth
Pablo insists one of the main reasons why Zoom was so quickly adopted across the organization, along with its influence in helping them grow, is its simplicity as a one-stop-shop ecosystem.
“I don’t want to sound like I’ve been paid to promote this but honestly… it’s the ‘one Zoom’ factor. It’s the ecosystem; it’s not just one feature, it’s the product in its own right. I can feel it as a customer that you’re constantly improving the platform.”
The team at Teach For All pride themselves on being relatively early adopters of Zoom after their tech procurement process looked at all the alternatives and saw that they could get everything they needed in one place. Once implemented, the network jumped into it pretty quickly and it’s been the standard since then.
“There are lots of solutions out there but Zoom is the one that integrates these solutions in the best possible way.”