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IREAD Progress Report: Student Training and Open Issues
In partnership with the Ghana Ministry of Education, Worldreader.org conducted an in-depth pilot study (iREAD) on the use of electronic readers (e-readers) in six Ghanaian schools during the 2010-11 school year. The study was conducted in three phases: teacher training, student training and ongoing use and evaluation. The goal of the study was to evaluate how increased access and choice of reading material affected students’ reading abilities and interests in reading, and to assess the impact of e-readers in reducing the cost of producing and distributing reading material.
The study looked specifically at the number of books read by participants, compared with prior-year levels and control groups; the change in reading levels through the school year versus control groups; and the cost of reading materials using e-books versus paper books in an educational setting. In addition, Worldreader collected qualitative data to explore how access to reading materials relates to literacy, and how to develop a custom e-reading system for the developing world. Worldreader plans to use study findings to refine a model for wider dissemination of e-reader technology throughout Ghana and the developing world.
The study tested individual e-reader use and a library model. In addition to teacher and student training, the study used community engagement and events, and school assemblies to gain acceptance of e-readers. Worldreader provides schools with e-readers with protective cases and lights, and encourage teachers to allow students to take e-readers home for after school, weekend and vacation reading. Outstanding issues after the pilot included digital rights management, content “pushes”, bandwidth, building an e-reader ecosystem, and models for ongoing use.
Read the full Worldreader IREAD Progress Report Dec-2010.