New UNESCO Report: Reading in the Mobile Era

In countries where physical books are hard to come by and illiteracy rates are high, mobile technology is being used to facilitate reading and improve literacy, says UNESCO.

Yet the report – the first ever study of mobile readers in developing countries – cites data showing that where books are scarce, mobile technology is increasingly common, even in areas of extreme poverty.unesco

Also, females read far more on mobile devices than males (almost six times as much according to the study); both men and women read more cumulatively when they start reading on a mobile device; and many neo- and semi-literate people use their mobile phones to search for text that is appropriate to their reading ability.

“This report calls attention to what is currently an underutilized potential – this is a cost-effective vehicle to improve education,” said Mark West, Section for Teacher Development and Education Policies at UNESCO and one of the authors of the report.