After doing our sector presentation on education this week, I thought it might be interesting to further investigate some of the things we had been talking. I found this article about the Worldreader program.
Worldreader is currently two years old, and has distributed 1,100 kindle e-readers. Along with this, they have also distributed 180,000 e-books. This program currently runs at about $5 a book, in comparison with Room to Read, which can print and deliver one of their books to a school in Africa for about $1 per book. So Worldreader is still significantly more expensive. Having said that, these readers have huge potential. They can last for weeks on a single charger, and allow many books to be transported without the burden of carrying them.
Worldreader has also undergone it’s first study by the U.S. Agency for International Development, which found that standardized test scores for children with e-readers typically improved 13%-16%.
I’ll be interested to see if this project scales well, because at this point the results seem very positive.