Cancel
Advanced Search
KEYWORDS
CATEGORY
AUTHOR
MONTH

Please click here to take a brief survey

Worldreader: Bringing Kindles to Ghana to Boost Literacy

One nonprofit hopes bypassing paper books in favor of the mobile version will boost literacy.

by Katie Leavitt


(via Worldreader)

In countries where it can take six months for a donated book to travel from point A to point B, providing children with e-readers seems like the most efficient way to battle low literacy levels. That's what Worldreader, a nonprofit co-founded by former Amazon.com vice president, David Risher, is determined to try.

“There’s a huge difference between being able to read from a selection of the 10 books that you happen to have — or that somebody donated — versus being able to get your hands on a book that you are really interested in,” Risher told The Wall Street Journal. “When you combine that with very very low distribution costs for additional books and falling technology prices, these are ingredients for doing something really special.”

Earlier this year Worldreader began testing in Ghana with Kindles donated by Amazon. They found that they work really well inside and outside the classroom. The organization likens the e-reader to the cell phone in terms of accelerating advancement in developing countries. They are accessible, hold a lot of information in one device and don't use as much energy as a computer.

“Computers play a great role, but e-readers really solve the reading problem [in a] much more direct and simple way,” said Risher. “Making books as easy to get as getting a phone call really does change they way that they think about reading.”

Worldreader is currently raising funds for another test this fall. Their mission is to not only raise literacy levels and in-school reading, but to make recreational reading an ingrained activity.

“It’s important that this be positioned not just as an educational aid, but as something that can be used for personal pleasure,” Risher said. “The long-term idea is that technology will ultimately help create a real culture of reading in parts of the world where that’s not been possible before.”


This post originally appeared on Tonic.

Editor's Note: For more information download a PDF of the "E-reader Trial Report, OrphanAid Africa School, Ayenyah, Ghana March, 2010."

Bookmark and Share


Comments

Consumerism + Language dominance + Sanctimony + Colonialism = WIN!


Posted by: Enoch Root on 9 Aug 10

Post A Comment

Please note that comments will remain open for only 14 days after the article is posted. While previous comments will remain visible, attempts to post new comments after this period will fail. This helps stop comment spam, so your forebearance is appreciated.

The Worldchanging comments are meant to be used for further exploration and evaluation of the ideas covered in our posts. Please note that, while constructive disagreement is fine, insults and abuse are not, and will result in the comment being deleted and a likely ban from commenting. We will also delete at will and without warning comments we believe are designed to disrupt a conversation rather than contribute to it. In short, we'll kill troll posts.

Finally, please note that comments which simply repost copyrighted works or commercial messages will be summarily deleted.

REMEMBER PERSONAL INFO?
Yes No

NAME


EMAIL ADDRESS


URL


COMMENTS



EMAIL THIS ENTRY TO:

YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS:


MESSAGE (optional):


Search Worldchanging

Worldchanging Newsletter Get good news for a change —
Click here to sign up!


Worldchanging2.0


Website Design by Eben Design | Logo Design by Egg Hosting | Hosted by Amazon AWS | Problems with the site? Send email to tech /at/ worldchanging.com
©2012
Architecture for Humanity - all rights reserved except where otherwise indicated.

Find_us_on_facebook_badge.gif twitter-logo.jpg