I’ve always feared that screens work against reading. You know, more time with the iPad and Boom Beach means less time with good books. But a recent story called Mobile Power for Girl Power (gotta love that headline, right?) shows how technology can actually improve literacy in the poorest areas of the world.
- UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
- In February, UNESCO and UNWomen organized Mobile Learning Week, a venue for education and technology experts to come together to discuss how technology programs can eradicate educational discrepancies between genders in poor countries.
- The Matthew Effect: the theory that wealth endures and poverty repeats itself. In relation to literacy, this mean that those who read well become strong, voracious readers. Less successful readers face huge hurdles in education.
Why does there need to be a Mobile Learning Week? Check out these statistics:
- Two thirds of the world’s illiterate adults and youth are female
- 25% fewer women than men have Internet access in developing countries
- In poor countries, 300 million more men than women own mobile phones, and therefore have more access to technology to assist with education and business
UNESCO ran a program in Pakistan (in a partnership with Nokia) that gave women and girls access to mobile phones and learning apps. Girls who couldn’t read are now avidly reading and exchanging books. The people at Mobile Learning Week used their brilliant minds to come up with more programs like this one.
That makes this Word Nerd very happy. Don’t you love news stories that feature good news?
How have you seen technology used to encourage reading? Please share some more happy news.
And check out my post on Worldreader, a non-profit that gives e readers to people in poor countries.
Thanks for stopping by,