E-Reader Revolution?

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article yesterday (Saturday, June 16, 2012) about the emerging use of e-reading devices in Africa. I’m a proponent of e-readers. Print in any way, shape, or form, works for me. Having said that, I never considered the value of using e-readers in areas of the word where access to print is difficult. Not that access to electricity and the cost of the e-reader aren’t barriers, but several organizations are working to overcome that. The article by Geoffrey Fowler and Nicholas Bariyo titled “An E-Reader Revolution for Africa?” mentions the work of Worldreader and One Laptop Per Child.

As I weed outdated books from a school library collection, many well meaning people ask if the books can be sent to places like Africa. Shipping costs are often prohibitive and there’s the debate about the quality and currency of information that all children deserve. (After all, the book is being replaced with a new one that has updated information.) With e-readers though, there seem to be distinct advantages including the depth of the collection, instant availability, and access to local authors. As for the impact? “Primary school students who got Kindles increased their performance on standardized reading tests from about 13% to 16%.”

Read more at:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303768104577462683090312766.html?KEYWORDS=e-reader+revolution
Worldreader: http://www.worldreader.org/
One Laptop Per Child: http://one.laptop.org/

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