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UN Study: Cellphones Can Help Fight Illiteracy

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 10:58am
Ben Munson

A UN report found that in countries with scarce access to printed materials, large amounts of people are reading using mobile devices.

The study compiled over 4,000 surveys and interviews from Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda and Zimbabwe and found that one-third of study participants use mobile devices to read to children.

According to the report, the study also found that females read on mobile devices almost six times as much as males. The report also found that both men and women read more cumulatively when they start reading on a mobile device, and that lots of neo- and semi-literate people search using mobile devices for text that is appropriate to their reading ability.

In light of the study, the report recommended improving the diversity of mobile reading content, ramping up outreach and trainings to promote mobile devices as reading tools, and lowering costs and technology barriers.

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