Mrs. Joan Mwachi
As Director Worldreader East Africa, Joan is responsible for the strategic objectives and policies in the region. She is an experienced educator, having started her career in the classroom setting and progressing on to designing and implementing training programs and capacity-building initiatives around non-formal school systems in impoverished communities. She has expertise in designing programs and tools for start-up organizations. Prior to joining Worldreader, Joan was the Regional Support Manager, Operations, at a Nairobi-based organization that builds a network of ultra-low cost private primary schools.
Joan received a Bachelor of Education degree and a Master in Education Administration degree, both from Kenyatta University.
Joan will speak on: Reading Into The Future – The Mobile Era
Of the seven billion people on earth, six billion have access to a mobile phone. Only 4.5 billion have access to a toilet, and there are more mobile phones than toothbrushes in the world. Cellular networks reach over 95% of the world’s population (UNESCO 2014). In rural India alone, there are 40 million mobile Internet users (IAMAI 2014). There are 38 million users in Kenya. This represents 80% plus of Kenya populationWorldreader Mobile (WRM) gives people access to an enormous free digital library via the mobile phones they already own. WRM (biNu /Java based, HTML /web-based, Windows Mobile, Android App) have reached 3.2 million active readers—and that only scratches the surface for mobile readership worldwide.
The potential to use mobile devices in learning environments is huge. Mobile reading programmes compliment e-reading. E-reading programmes reach over 127,865 families and patrons in Worldreader’s 337 school and library programmes in Kenya and 13 other African countries. Information on health, agriculture, education, other subjects, reading for pleasure, reaches as far as mobile phones can go. Since 2010, Worldreader has reached 20 million people on the mobile phone App. Through research with UNESCO and the ability to communicate directly with readers using an in-app survey tool, Worldreader has learnt about user demographics, habits, motivations and values. In a series of surveys completed by over 25,000 mobile phone readers across eight markets (India, Pakistan, and 5 Sub-Saharan African countries), Worldreader learnt that readers are primarily between the ages of 16 and 34 (90%), male (82%), single (81%) and students (41%). Although the overall user base is skewed male, data shows that most of the power users are female (70%). All of this helps inform the contents of the digital library.
Worldreader is currently implementing a mobile device based STEM project designed to increase access to STEM content on devices people already own.WRM is being used in meaningful ways. One-third of mobile readers use their phones to read stories to children, and people read more cumulatively when they begin reading on a mobile phone (UNESCO 2014).