Kindle Technology Helps the World Read

Worldreader.org can be compared to One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), an organization that created less expensive computers that was meant for children in developing countries. Worldreader.org has the same idea; however, they want to send eBook readers to these countries instead to encourage young people to develop a love for reading.

As of now, the organization has picked the ever popular Amazon Kindle as the eReader to send out. In fact, one of the co-founders of the organization is a former vice president of product and platform development for Amazon. Nice to know, but really this is a positive way to utilize electronic readers.

Here is Worldreader.org’s working hypotheses:

eReaders will increase access to books due to lower distribution costs and immediate visibility of millions of books available online.
This will result in a larger number and greater variety of books read, and increased excitement and exchange of ideas around these books.
The result will be a higher value placed on reading within the classroom, family, and community.
The results will be specific and measurable, and will, in the long term, increase literacy and opportunity for those involved.
Worldreader.org currently maintains partnerships with Amazon, Rassak Experience, and OrphanAid Africa. And speaking of Amazon, the Kindle was chosen because for one, it is so simple to use, and secondly, the Kindle store offers thousands of eBooks. This eBook reader also offers global wireless support. As the program evolves, the organization says that they may consider other gadgets depending on the needs of the developing communities.

Note however, that Worldreader.org doesn’t give the eReaders to the countries; they assist with subsidizing the devices, so the devices are affordable for the local governments to purchase. They do this through fundraising. A trial run started on March 15th in the village of Ayenyah, Ghana.

Worldreader.org hopes that they see results of improved reading frequency and a higher demand for books. Additionally, the organization hopes that it will create a “sustainable business ecosystem” in these communities

The organization is also working diligently to problem-solve power problems, solar cell, and satellite internet access. In some remote areas around the world, these facilities aren’t readily available. For example, in Ayenyah, Ghana, the trial school had unreliable power.

Once the students get their hands on the Kindle, they will find pre-loaded books. Worldreader.org lets the community pick the books based on their interests and needs.

As we get caught up in eBook prices wars thanks to the new agency model, competition stories between the Kindle and iPad, we sometimes really forget that eReader technology is awesome. Worldreader.org is using it to help the world change the way it reads.