Worldreader, a group of people busy bringing Kindles into loads of schools in Africa have just released this rather charming video of a bunch of kids learning to read using their Kindles.
You may be saying “so what? Just a bunch of kids reading out loud in their classroom.” But the point of this video is not to show you how good at reading aloud these kids are, but the happy fact that each kid has an ereader in front of them, and those ereaders are effectively owned by those kids. This in a part of the world where it is more normal for a school to have only a small handful of battered books for kids to read from.
What Worldreader is doing, and doing very successfully, is to place a Kindle into the hands of as many school kids as they can in a number of African countries. Concentrating on poorer rural schools rather than well funded urban schools in these countries. Since they set out on this crusade a couple of years ago, they have distributed thousands of Kindles and tens of thousands of ebooks to these lucky kids, and so far the whole project is meeting with nothing but success. On the educational level, this project is being closely monitored by independent experts, and is showing a high degree of success on that front. Further, they have encouraged African writers and publishers to produce ebooks that are obviously much more relevant to African kids than western ebooks will be. And as the last benefit, they effectively give the Kindles to the kids (not in all schools, but in most of them) which brings a further benefit, the greater community also get to read using these Kindles…
As one who has seen poor rural African schools (and similar in the far east and Central Asia) I am overwhelmed by this project. To bring all these kids the wonderful benefit of being able to read as much and as often as they wish, Worldreader has given them a priceless gift, one which will certainly change many lives, and give so many of these kids a real chance in life… A very good and useful project… Which deserves all our support.
Link to Worldreader: http://www.worldreader.org