The two most recent blog posts on the Global Reading Network’s website address digital book production and the importance of nonfiction.
The post on digital book production is drawn from GRN’s May 10th webinar on e-materials. More than 100 attendees tuned in to hear representatives from three organizations describe their work and discuss how digital reading material is allowing for improved access to local language content for underserved populations. Zev Lowe, Senior Director of Global Insights for Worldreader, noted that while digital reading programs are often perceived as more expensive because device costs are front-loaded, in fact, when producers analyze the cost of the device as part of the overall production chain, the Cost per Book versus Student ratio drops dramatically over time.
Purvi Shah, who leads Digital Projects at Pratham Books, said that mobile reading is a boon for the creation of original stories for children, easily translatable and capable of scaling up as a child’s reading level grows. She noted that Pratham’s digital focus includes StoryWeaver, an open source digital repository of multilingual stories for children, and Donate-a-Book, a crowd-funding platform which pairs those who need books with those who have them to give. Melody Zavala, Director, Books for Asia, described the organization’s digital library—Let’s Read! She discussed the communal possibilities via the Let’s Read! platform and initiative, giving examples from Cambodia and Thailand.
Meanwhile, a post submitted by Emily Miksic, Technical Advisor, Literacy and Evaluation, FHI 360, discussed the importance of providing early grade readers with nonfiction materials. She noted that reading nonfiction can play an important role in supporting student comprehension, making school relevant, and empowering learners in developing country contexts. She cited seven specific reasons why nonfiction is important. She concluded by saying, “Working together, we can find new and better ways to tap into children’s innate curiosity, expose them to wonders of the world through reading and prepare them to participate in and benefit from the fast-paced information age.”
Access the full text of both blog posts at this page on the Global Reading Network’s website.