Last updated: May 10, 2012 - 8:23am
Nearly half of the e-readers sent to schools in sub-Saharan Africa end up broken. Given the right tools and instructions, could schoolkids learn to fix Kindles? Every day, we hear from kids who have used iFixit repair guides to fix their own electronics. I just got back from the USA Science and Engineering Festival where I watched hundreds of middle schoolers fixing iPods and DVD players. With good guides and the right tools, kids don't have any more trouble repairing electronics than they do putting together a Lego set. Why not ship the Worldreader devices with repair manuals? Why not give schools a supply of repair parts? Why not teach all children in the program how to fix their own e-readers? Fewer devices would break. Kids wouldn't go three months without access to their textbooks. They would learn valuable engineering skills. Worldreader, if you're reading, we'd love to help: if you develop a more repairable device, we'd be happy to write your repair manuals for free. Know anyone else starting an educational technology non-profit? Our offer is open to them, too. But please, factor repairability into the beginning of the planning process. Hardware can and will break--that's expected and normal. Building a plan for maintaining the hardware should be normal as well.
- What happens when you give Kindles to kids in Ghana?
- An E-Reader Revolution for Africa?
- Why is the State Department paying Amazon $16.5 million for 2,500 Kindles?
- Alec Ross on Technology for Diplomacy
- Bringing Up an E-Reader
- 64 Nations Can Watch the Olympics Free and Live on YouTube, and the U.S. Isn't One of Them
- Amazon At Nearly 50% of e-Reader Market
- Blindness groups, university settle suit over Amazon.com's Kindle
- How Apple Is Screwing Your iPhone
- Two-Thirds Worldwide Say Media Are Free in Their Countries
- The E-Reader Revolution: Over Just as It Has Begun?
- E-Reading: A Midterm Progress Report
- Local library loans out Kindles to ensure 'Lake Oswego Reads'
- E-Health Records Can Boost Care in Developing Countries, Study Finds
- Publishers Back African Literacy Effort With E-Books