We may be lukewarm about them over here, but eReaders could revolutionise education in Africa.
A batch of Kindles has been shipped out to a school in Ghana as part of a test by Worldreader.org, a European charity that aims to use Western technology to boost literacy in tropical and third world countries.
When it comes to teaching classes in this Ghanian school, Kindles have big advantages.
1) Kindles are capable of holding up to 1500 digital books. Instead of buying several different text books per student, it can hold books for different subjects and different classes. More for less money.
2) Books can be kept up to date because of the digital download facility.
3) Textbooks can reach new audiences and books by local authors, often in local languages can be read and used. Paper publishing costs make that difficult.
4) Long battery life and negligble amount of electricity needed to charge mean it's a practical gadget
The founders of Worldreader.org believe that e-readers could follow the example of mobile phone which have leapfrogged landlines in developing countries.
Worldreader.org say: the initial Kindle e-readers for the trial phase have been donated by Amazon. However, in order to progress the project, worldreader.org believes that the critical price for the e-readers would need to be around $75 and the foundation is actively seeking corporate partners to help subsidise the cost of the early units.