Stories by David Risher

Power to the people

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Worldreader is conducting a small trial at our US Test Facility (OK, my back yard.)  In June, Jon McCormack took a charger to Kenya to see how it would hold up in the field. It worked well, and will work even better once we address some practical questions about whether to charge directly or load up … Continue Reading →

Penguin says yes!

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Worldreader is working so every child in the developing world can have any book he or she wants, using e-readers. When you step way back, you realize that there are at least three groups you need to get on-board to make that dream happen: e-reader manufacturers, book publishers, and kids. Today’s hero is the Penguin … Continue Reading →

Building the Awesome

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My old boss Jeff talks passionately about how profoundly satisfying it is to build something important, and every day I understand that more.  At Worldreader we’re creating something new– a new culture of reading in the world’s poorest countries.  Soon we’ll write about what we’re learning: how Worldreader students spend up to 50% more time … Continue Reading →

On Reading and Revolutions

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It’s anyone’s guess if the events leading to Mubarak’s resignation would have happened without Facebook and Twitter.  Having visited Egypt myself last year, I can say that there’s been a tremendous amount of frustration and anger building up for years against the President and his policies.  And as many have noted, if the Egyptian people hadn’t … Continue Reading →

What about theft? The Worldreader pledge

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One question friends often ask us is: what happens if the students lose their e-reader, or they get stolen? Of course, it’s a real issue, and we have several strategies we use to deal with this.  (We won’t talk about all of them here.) But so far, we haven’t found it to be a problem. … Continue Reading →

Teachers using E-Readers: Two stories

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Last week’s introduction of the iREAD e-reader pilot rolled out in four major phases over three days in each of the six schools: The community introduction and pledge (Worldreader led) Day 1 of E-Reader distribution and instruction (Worldreader and teacher partnership) Day 2: E-Reader “deepening” (Teacher led; Worldreader absent) Day 3: E-readers integrated into class … Continue Reading →

Worldreader ♥ the US Government: USAID says yes!

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Trashing a government agency is an easy sport.  Take your pick of insults: they’re hidebound, ineffective, isolated from the real world.  But our experience has been the opposite: twice in the past few weeks we’ve received great news from Washington.  We’ve already written about the first, but this one is even bigger: official approval from … Continue Reading →

Magic Tree House comes to Worldreader

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We’re absolutely tickled to pass along the news  that the world’s largest trade publisher, Random House, Inc., has agreed to donate thousands of books for use in our upcoming iREAD pilot.  This is a huge deal for us: thanks to Random House’s generosity, we can provide some of the world’s best-known literature to hundreds of children in … Continue Reading →

A Wonderful Letter from the IRS

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There’s a headline I never thought I’d write. Yesterday we received notice from the US Internal Revenue Service that we’ve been approved as a 501(c)(3).  This confirms that all contributions made since our date of incorporation (March 23, 2010) are tax-deductible.  But just as importantly, it serves as a “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” for … Continue Reading →

Bang for the Book

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We’ve read some illuminating research about the power of books recently.  David Brooks’ column in the NewYorkTimes called “The Medium Is the Medium” succinctly makes the case for the power of access to books.  In particular, he points out that when researchers “gave 852 disadvantaged students 12 books of their own choosing over three successive years, their … Continue Reading →