Friday, April 19, 2013

E-books for Everyone

This is an article about David Risher, a former executive of Amazon, and his dream of providing every child on the planet with e-books and the progress he's made so far. While volunteering at an orphanage in Ecuador, David came across a library that was locked while the kids had no books. When he asked the orphanage leader why the library was locked she said because the key was lost, the books were out dated and the kids had no interest in reading. This event is what began his journey    of making e-books more accessible to people around the world. Having always loved reading and being and executive for Amazon this the perfect way to put his passion for reading to good use. Although 50 percent of schools in sub-Saharan Africa have little or no books, most families do have access to a mobile phone. So as a solution to the problem, David and his non profit, world reader, launched a free mobile app that will help make e-books easily accessible on lower end mobile devices. All the data processes for the app happens in the cloud rather than on the phone so people don't have the high charges of data usage. World reader mobile is already on 5 million phones across the world. Publishing, printing and shipping books can be expensive. But David says beaming a book into a child's hand over a cell network should be easy. This app is significant because it works with the technology people already have rather than distributing new devices to read from.

I think this is an awesome step in making books available for everyone, especially when many kids and adults around the world don't usually have the opportunity to read books. And this is a revolutionary step for education in developing nations as well. While books for the schools can be expensive, having the ability to obtain the cheaper, more updated and accessible e-books for schools can make a world of difference. Not to mention more interesting and engaging for kids of the 21st century.

Sarah Middleton

No comments: