World Reader

Here is an organization that I think is taking a great leap forward in the development of students. I often hear as I talk about ebooks people saying, "what about the students who don't have ereaders or computers at home?" In this they are saying shouldn't we wait till everyone has a device before starting. To that I usually reply with something like, "if someone shows up to class without a pencil does that mean that no one writes?" This organization though wants to "put a library of books in the hands of families worldwide, using e-reader technology." This process reminds me of the ways that cellphones took over land lines. As a child I lived in Italy and then there was a five year waiting list to get a phone line added, we instead had to use common/shared phones. When we came back the the US there was no problem getting a phone, so that is what we did. But that backlog and problems of getting a phone line actually helped jump-start cell phone use and systems in Europe, and now their cell systems are in advance of ours. I am familiar with the issues of getting sufficient printed books to schools in need in other countries, and it could be that this use of an ebook for students, like these in Ghana, will jump-start their reading use just as cellphones did in the previous generation. Read on.