Hard Plastic Books That Talk

Last year at LinuxWorld Expo, I had the opportunity to speak with Cliff Schmidt, the Executive Director at Literacy Bridge. At that point, Cliff was showing off an audio recording device with the eventual plan of being able to distribute sub-$10 gadgets that would allow for education and collaboration in struggling third-world countries. The little device that was literally in pieces back at LinuxWorld now is being used in Ghana as part of a pilot program.

Although in many ways the less than $10 “Talking Books” lack features of the OLPC laptops, they also offer some advantages over their big brothers. The first is obviously in cost. Second, the audio-only interaction enables education where illiteracy often is a stumbling block. Paired with freely available audio recordings and the ability to record and share additional content, the Talking Books will be able to reach people that even the OLPC Project left behind.

Cliff Schmidt is the Executive Director of Literacy Bridge.

The Talking Books currently are being tested in Ghana.

Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing. You can contact Shawn via e-mail, ljeditor@linuxjournal.com.

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