This means that anyone with a phone (non smart phone), in South Africa, can now access books and stories through the World Reader app, on the cloud based mobile application platform BiNu. This enables phones such as Nokia, which are widely used across the continent of Africa, to be used as reading devices.
This is amazing news for literacy and for all who are working to make reading a possibility for everyone across the world.
Niall McNulty, digital publisher at CUP SA, described the development as ‘genius’.
‘A recent report by UNESCO, Reading in the mobile era: A study of mobile reading in developing countries, highlights the importance of using mobile devices to encourage a culture of reading by providing access to books to people who previously had none.’ African Branch of Cambridge University Press, 11.8.14
Last year, World Reader had 330,000 monthly active users, reading 650,000 books on mobile phones.
CUP has made 360 e-books available via the app, including titles from the Cambridge African Language Library which is a primary reading series.
SmithMartin Partnership are excited at this development and all that it may mean for future readers. We are working with World Reader in a smaller way, through our Books Go Walkabout project to support e-reading and literacy.
The way ahead for future readers!
Books Go Walkabout, Dolphin Booksellers,
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We had just met with Zev from the World Reader organisation at a World Literacy Foundation conference in Oxford. Some concepts just make sense form the start and this was our feelings for World Reader.
It works by loading a Kindle with over 300 books taking to Africa, direct to communities where the children have the chance to read! No more expensive lorry loads of slightly used books trying to find their way across the continent and then being stopped and refused entry.
This scheme actually works! You just need a small mind shift to know that children in Africa can access Kindles and benefit hugely from the supply of information at their fingertips.
The inquiring and smiling faces says it all. World Reader projects has some excellent photos. Read the stories of how empowering this project is for the whole family, Daniel and his grandmother are just one example.
We were invited to World Reader‘s new office celebrations and also to mark their ambition to get 1 million books into Africa. How amazing is that!
On St Jordi’s day in Barcelona the streets were full, the tradition is to mark the day of their patron saint by sharing gifts; the man to buy the woman a flower and the woman to buy the man a book.
At the SmithMartin Partnership we were delighted to celebrate with World Reader and look forward to being involved. It parallels and brings into one, our work with communities, children’s literature and modern technology solutions.
SmithMartin Partnership LLP Inspiring communities and Broadening Horizons
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