introduction to the
accessible to people living
Problem: Education in Rural Areas
Classrooms are overcrowded (some up to 100 students per room).
Not enough textbooks and learning materials
Teachers cannot give personal attention to each student.
Shortage of trained teachers.
Purchasing and maintaining computers is not financially practical.
Very low literacy levels for both adults and children
Children of illiterate parents have extra challenges in learning to read
Adult literacy classes offer limited options for practice in between infrequent classes.
Many students do not regularly attend school
Cannot afford uniforms or fees.
Required for farming or caring for sick relatives.
Easy to fall behind even when enrolled.
Girls have greater barriers and additional
Often no electricity in schools or local villages
No computers in schools.
Limited ability to study/practice after dark.
Solution: The Talking Book
Simple, durable, and portable audio computer
Priced from US $10-$60, depending on quantity
Powered by batteries or rechargeable
Record and play 70 hours of audio
Read along with audio books
Define vocabulary words
Take multiple-choice quizzes
Copy recordings between devices
Adjust the speed of playback
How Is the Talking Book Being Used?
For children with illiterate parents, the Talking Book mimics the experience of being read to—a vital part
of the learning process.
Parents rely on the Talking Book to develop the ability and confidence to read to their children.
With the Talking Book, students can:
Read along with a recording and easily jump to the next or previous page.
Engage in reading; prompt for vocabulary definitions and answer interspersed questions.
Create their own recordings in order to enhance learning and teach one another. Examples include
sharing family history or recording themselves reading.
Students practice for standardized exams (such as
reading comprehension and vocabulary).
Teachers check that students understand any lesson.
Outside the classroom
Teachers send lessons home for repetition.
of a lesson or for those who miss class.
Students are skipping recess for additional.
practice using the fun and interactive device.
Reaching those who do not attend school
A student brings home the daily curriculum to a sibling.
Communal village devices provide access to those not in school.
1. An organization has limited teaching resources (trained teachers and learning
materials) but wants to offer more learning opportunities for students, particularly in
rural formal and non-formal schools.
2. The organization purchases Talking Books.
3. The organization does either or both of the following to customize the devices:
Creates recordings. They record textbooks,
stories, or the alphabet and categorize
each type of lesson as they wish.
Creates custom interactive lessons. To do
this, they use the following functionality:
Embedded vocabulary and commentary
Multiple choice quizzes
4. The organization distributes the custom devices
to individual students or to communities for all
INPUTS ACTIVITIES OUTPUTS OUTCOMES
Recorded book Higher student
Record reading of literacy rates
Teachers Talking Books
Create interactive student literacy
Interactive lessons rates
Talking Books lessons and
and quizzes on
Higher test scores
Existing curriculum, Distribute the in taught subjects
textbooks, and Talking Books to Student practice
learning materials schools and time with Talking
Curriculum enrollment ratio
Train teachers Use of Talking
and curriculum Books by
developers on non-attending
using the device Greater
children / adults advancement rate
Who Creates the Content?
Governments and local organizations both play
important roles in this program.
The curriculum development office customizes Talking Books to accompany
national curriculum (textbooks, workbooks, and so on).
They use computers to easily create a set of interactive lessons on the
By complementing standard materials with Talking Books, they help ensure
children understand and retain the knowledge.
Local schools and NGOs
Teachers complement the national curriculum at the local level.
They create lessons and quizzes on a Talking Book and copy them to the
By creating recordings to complement a specific exercise, teachers are able
to best meet the needs of their students.
The Talking Book allows you to increase:
Reach more students with the same
budget (e.g. staff/curriculum costs).
Even touch those who do not attend
Allow students to learn more quickly both inside and outside the
Enable students to access a lesson repeatedly.
To learn more about how
Talking Books can increase
your impact, see
to learn more or email