Can You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Square? Check Your Mobile Phone
September 16, 2013 By Perisa Raznatovic
Imagine yourself encircled by 50 kids all eager to read, tugging your arms and shouting for a turn to read from your mobile phone, shouting “Mastera! Bros! Uoga! Give it to me, give it to me!”
That’s what the scene looked like a few days ago in Abuja, Nigeria during the launch celebration of the third season of Sesame Square, the local adaption of the world renowned children’s educational show Sesame Street. Here’s what the U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria said about the kick-off event.
Cool, right? But wait! Get this: Through a partnership with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind the series, Sesame Square educational content is now accessible through Worldreader’s mobile phone book app for the first time ever!
As we’ve noted before, mobile phones are an ubiquitous way of communication, and they are seen as a lifeline, a way of staying touch with people. But, today’s mobile phones are much more than communication devices. For many people globally, they represent the only window to the world–the only way they get access to news, maps, notes, emails and even their books.
Now they are quickly becoming educational tools, too, fueling the mobile learning and innovation trends popping up around Africa.
Once the phones were loaded with Sesame Square’s characters and their off-screen adventures started making their way through the crowd during last week’s launch, there seemed no end to the commotion. Worldreader‘s Joseph Botwey was on the ground showing kids how to access and use the Sesame Square content.
“Have you read anything on Elmo?” asked Joseph. Getting a hesitant nod from one of the children, he added, “Come and see what I have on my phone.”
The children’s excitement drove home what one of the event’s speakers, Abigail Bucuvalas, assistant director of global education at New York-based Sesame Workshop, called “A learning opportunity anytime and anywhere.”
We hope the new partnership between Sesame Workshop and Worldreader Mobile carries the same exhilarated tone to other publishers, educators and content providers everywhere looking for ways to distribute valuable learning materials in practical and engaging ways to both readers whose access to traditional print media is limited and those bent towards utilizing a device they already have in their pockets.
On that note, Bucuvalas added that the new platform would pave the way for the “future sustainability of Sesame Square in Nigeria” and recommended it as a bold way of doubling down on the potential value of mobile access to reading material.
So, when someone asks whether you’ve read anything on Elmo, have you?