The Worldreader has developed two free reading solution applications (apps) for students, available on mobile phones and for young and primary-aged children.
The applications are BookSmart app and the Worldreader reading app.
The BookSmart app, which is for primary-aged children, gives parents, caregivers and primary pupils access to a library so they can continue learning while physical schools are out of session.
Capacity of the apps
The BookSmart starts with a free base collection of 75 and more great local and international books suitable for young readers and their parents available via the google play store or web browser.
For older students and young adults, Worldreader offers the free Worldreader reading app, available via the google play store or web browser.
It features hundreds of books for learning and pleasure in categories including health and career.
A statement signed and issued by the Chief Executive Officer of Worldreader Global, Mr David Risher, to announce the package said the BookSmart app optimised for all connection speeds, kept data costs low and books could be saved for offline reading for those with limited data.
The statement said the school closure could result in significant learning loss for students and “at Worldreader, we have seen the need to respond to this COVID-19 situation that has schools around the world on lockdown”.
Large-scale distance learning
“As part of our strategy, we are making the application we designed for schools free for every home so that parents can engage their children with this specially curated content,” the statement said.
The statement explained that in response to the global health crisis, UNESCO was supporting the implementation of large-scale distance learning programmes and recommending open educational applications and platforms that schools and teachers could use to reach learners remotely.
As with BookSmart, books can be saved for later, limiting data use and saving cost. Over 100,000 people already read from it each month, with new readers joining each day.
“Digital solutions are key to keeping children reading while schools are out of session. With BookSmart and the Worldreader app, parents, primary pupils and youth can maintain reading skills, learn new subjects and alleviate stress during this pandemic,” the statement explained.
The statement said for pre-primary learners, continuity in literacy acquisition was especially important, while “for the primary students, the availability of books is essential as reading is a foundational skill that supports acquisition of knowledge across all other subject areas”.
Reading with children
“For young children, reading stories together can provide a chance for bonding with parents or caregivers. And the right books can also provide context for what children are feeling, providing opportunities to process stressful circumstances. Older children will appreciate the opportunity to visit worlds beyond their own while their own worlds are limited by social distancing.
“For youth, reading can also support literacy skills, 21st century skills, work preparedness, self-help and health education,” the statement said, adding that even in low-resource communities, basic phones could provide access to books.