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Worldreader: e-books and e-readers in Developing Countries

e-books and e-readers in Developing Countries

Presenter: Dr.  Jonathan D. Wareham, Worldreader - Spanish Foundation Board
Vice Dean & Professor ESADE - Ramon Llull University Barcelona, Spain.
(speaker bio: )

Chair: Michael Trucano, Senior ICT Policy Specialist, HDNED  
Date:  Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.  
Location: rooom MC2-850, The World Bank, Washington DC

DescriptionWorldreader —a market-oriented, not-for-profit NGO— seeks "to make digital books available to all in the developing world, enabling millions of people to improve their lives".  Founded by the person who started Amazon's Kindle division, Worldreader identifies schools, trains teachers, works with local communities, and partners with scores of publishers to bring millions of books to underserved children and families in the developing world, Worldreader works with local communities and partners with scores of publishers to bring millions of books to underserved children and families in the developing world.  Just as mobile phones leapfrogged landlines in developing countries, Worldreader believes that e-readers can deliver books instantly and for less: many e-books cost less than one-third the price of a printed book, saving trees and reaching more minds. It delivers subsidized e-readers to under-served communities, and works to drive down the cost of publishing local content. Worldreader measures its 'success' through increased reading rates, local content development, and business creation.

Despite the explosion of e-books and e-readers over the past few years, little research has been conducted about the effects of these products on reading, inside and outside of schools —especially in developing countries— and how local ecosystems need to be adapted and supported if local economies and school systems are to be able to take advantage of some the technological changes sweeping the educational publishing world.

You are invited to join an  fascinating informal discussion with Dr. Jonathan D. Wareham, a member of the Worldreader board collaborating on various research into the use of e-readers, to learn more about this initiative and gain a glimpse into what the future of e-readers in developing countries might look like. Mr. Wareham will provide a background introduction to Worldreader, and discuss their on-going activities and research.

For more information please visit the Worldreader web site to find links to results from their emerging research.

Worldreader presentation [pdf, 2mb]

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A short post was done on the World bank EduTech blog about this event:

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