Research

Exploring opportunities in Kenya

January 13, 2011 By

I’m heading to Kenya at the end of this week to lay the groundwork to bring e-readers into classrooms in East Africa. I’ll be meeting Caren McCormack of The Kilgoris Project, which serves 435 students in five schools near the Maasai Mara. Caren’s husband, Jon, heads up software development for the Kindle, and Caren is a … Continue Reading →

Worldreader ♥ the US Government: USAID says yes!

November 21, 2010 By

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 →

Bang for the Book

July 12, 2010 By

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 →

Report of Findings in Ghana Trial

May 17, 2010 By

Worldreader conducted the first-ever trial using e-readers and digital books in a Sub-Saharan Africa classroom, at the OrphanAid Africa School in Ayenyah, Ghana.  Phase 1 of our trial is complete, and the full 39-page report of our findings is now available for download here: Worldreader E-Reader Trial Report Ghana. Our experience using e-readers in classrooms in … Continue Reading →

E-Readers Can Transform Lives

May 13, 2010 By

A guest blog post by Christianna Pierce While many people enjoy portable e-readers as a convenient luxury, I believe e-readers have the potential to transform lives on an unprecedented scale. Here’s why:   One of the greatest assets of the e-reader is the near-instant access it provides to thousands of books. Available topics range from … Continue Reading →

On Goals and Measuring Success

May 7, 2010 By

Worldreader.org’s social goal is pretty simple: we want to put a library’s worth of books into the hands of everyone in the developing world, so all can share in the world’s ideas. To achieve that goal, we’ll need to make it is as easy, inexpensive, and common to get a book anywhere in the developing … Continue Reading →

Challenges for the future

April 29, 2010 By

We just posted a new video in which we discuss the challenges that we face moving forward — specifically, the need for electricity, the durability of e-readers, creating a mechanism of paying for content (without credit cards), and the ever important human component of developing a culture of reading. Big thanks go to our videographer, … Continue Reading →

Some Good News from Ghana

April 23, 2010 By

A promising note from Ghana’s Ministry of Education.  This note permits us to expand our trials to more schools, in partnership with the government. Onward we go…. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * … Continue Reading →

Technology is not the bottleneck

April 21, 2010 By

A recent article in the New York Times mentions Kentaro Toyama, a research fellow at the University of California – Berkeley’s School of Information. Formerly of the Technology for Emerging Markets Group at Microsoft, Mr. Toyama speaks at U.S. universities about “technological utopianism” which lies on the myth that “technology is the bottleneck in developing … Continue Reading →

Donated paper books…. a good thing?

April 18, 2010 By

Donated paper books are fine. They are sent by well meaning people and received (after overcoming the logistical challenge of getting them there) with dignity and gratitude. They fill up bookshelves and give the impression of a well resourced educational institution. Schools in developing countries like them. Well…. actually not all schools like them. In … Continue Reading →

Literacy and Reading

March 1, 2010 By

In all the research we’ve done about literacy, one thing is clear: It doesn’t seem like anyone can agree on a definition. The classic Merriam-Webster definition is: able to read and write versed in literature and creative writing … having knowledge or competence, computer-literature, politically-literate But in today’s world, the word literacy takes on a … Continue Reading →

Notes from our Barcelona trial

March 1, 2010 By

One of the major parts of our strategy at Worldreader is to run extensive trials involving the use of e-readers in the classroom. We are currently running our first trial at theBenjamin Franklin International School in Barcelona, Spain. Simultaneously, we are preparing for our next batch of trials in Ghana, beginning in mid-March. We chose … Continue Reading →