Remembering the literacy in information literacy, part one

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Photo used with permission of Worldreader.org

In our discussions of information literacy it is sometimes tempting to take the “literacy” part for granted.  For the next couple of posts I would like to highlight some remarkable literacy promotion efforts.

The nonprofit group WorldReader.org conducted a trial of Amazon.com Kindles with the Orphan Aid Africa School in Ayenyah, Ghana.  Despite the learning curve, a few technical glitches, and a lack of local content, the devices did seem to promote literacy among the children.

E-readers can hold a large number of books for relatively low cost.  In addition they put little strain on existing resources–technological or natural.  Furthermore such features as text-to-speech can help those who are reading a non-native language.  Thus these e-readers were not chosen simply because they were “cool.”  You can find out more at WorldReader’s FAQ page.

Though WorldReader’s co-founder David Risher is a former Amazon.com executive, he left the company before the invention of the Kindle.  WorldReader is also trying to promote and digitize books from Ghanaian authors.

Check out the full report of the trial.  Stay tuned for the trial’s next phase.