Worldreader, a global nonprofit organization, has already made thousands of e-books available for free via mobile phones and e-readers to help promote global literacy. Now to make digital books even more accessible they are creating a browser-based app interface and have selected leading digital learning agency Bitville to build the technology.
740 million people around the world cannot read or write. 250 million children of primary school age lack basic reading and writing skills (UNESCO) and in places where people live on less than a dollar per day, books can be too expensive. Plus books are bulky, and can deteriorate quickly in hostile climates. E-books from Worldreader are free, portable and durable, making reading a possibility for many who might not have had access before.
Building browser access for the 15,084 books in the Worldreader e-book library will make them even more available, as they can then be easily accessed by a range of smartphones and feature phones. With an intuitive UI and customizable reading experiences, almost anyone with an Internet connection will be able to experience the joy of digital books. The web portal will be universal, and to optimize the user experience the first developmental focus will be on the user interface for Opera Mini (the most popular low-end web browser) and on the browser app in the Firefox OS. Bitville has completed the Opera Mini version, which Worldreader will demonstrate at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year.
Bitville is a natural fit for this project as for the last five years the company has been working on a similar initiative, delivering math content to phones for children in Africa. Over the years they’ve honed their skills in overcoming all kinds of barriers to consistently deliver viable solutions that work across a wide range of devices and technologies. Digital learning has been at the heart of Bitville’s approach since its inception almost 20 years ago.
And it couldn’t come at a better time. The benefits of literacy are many, including increases in financial independence, home ownership, democratic participation, social trust, and health (National Literacy Trust). Improving literacy rates is one of the keys to a better future for those less advantaged – and for us all.
Bitville, a leading digital learning agency from Finland, creates a wide variety of engaging products for customers worldwide interested in fast, excellent and effective change management, training and e-learning solutions. Learn more at www.bitville.fi.
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