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Using Audio Technology to Reduce Global Illiteracy, Poverty

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Published on Jan 11, 2008

Google Tech Talks
January, 8 2008

ABSTRACT

For more info, see http://literacybridge.org/

Knowledge is power; but most knowledge is tied up in text. So how do the 774 million illiterate adults in the world access knowledge crucial to preventing disease, creating economic opportunity, and defending their political and human rights?

Cliff spent six weeks in a remote region of Ghana to understand rural poverty and sustainable development. He saw many impressive local organizations sharing valuable information for development; but he also experienced the inefficiency of delivering all this information in person.

In response to this problem, Literacy Bridge was founded to empower children and adults with tools for scalable knowledge sharing and literacy learning. The Talking Book Project is Literacy Bridge's major program, developing new and affordable digital audio technology to provide vital, locally generated information and literacy training to people with limited access to either. Imagine a $5 iPod used to play locally generated podcasts, plus a decentralized, digital content distribution system that reaches villages without electricity but also enables global content sharing. Aside from the innovative use of technology, partnerships with local businesses, civic organizations, and government agencies play a pivotal role in the Talking Book Project.

During this talk, Cliff will share his observations from Ghana and discuss Literacy Bridge's Talking Book Project.

Speaker: Cliff Schmidt
Executive Director of Literacy Bridge

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