While the Kindle may have been dealt a big blow with the recent release of the iPad, the device is making big waves in schooling in Third World countries. A new initiative by Barcelona-based charity Worldreader.org has shipped a batch of Kindle e-reader devices to a school in Ghana.
The use of e-readers in Third World education has obvious benefits:
1. With each Kindle housing as many as 1,500 ebooks, space and money can be saved, with each device holding different books for different students, subjects and classes.
2. Long battery life means access to electrical supplies is less of an issue for e-readers compared to some electronics.
3. Digital distribution cuts down costs on hard copies, and makes it easier to gain access to books in local languages.
Worldreader.org believes the trial will allow e-reader companies such as Amazon and digital content providers to test the suitability of their products and business models in new and more challenging markets and environments.
Co-founder Colin McElwee said: “The long term potential for this scheme is truly enormous. However to make it work requires the development of a complete eco-system that takes into account the demands and desires of the education authorities, the schools, students, e-reader companies and the content providers. We need them all on board and hopefully the trials will be the catalyst that brings the elements together”.
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