• Kids learned to use e-readers quickly even though 43 percent of them had never used a computer before. Also, not surprisingly, they were quick to discover “the multimedia aspects of the e-reader, such as music and Internet features.”
  • Near-zero theft. Only two e-readers (out of 600) were lost in the whole study, partly because “community involvement was encouraged through e-reader pledges, community outreach programs, and support from community leaders.”
  • Kids got access to way more books. Before the study, primary-school students had access to an average of 3.6 books at home. Junior-high students had access to an average of 8.6 books at home and high-school students access to an average of 11 books. With the e-reader program, kids had access to an average of 107 book.
  • Primary school students’ test scores improved, but effects on older kids were less clear. The reading scores of primary-school students who received e-readers increased from 12.9 percent to 15.7 percent. But results for older kids were mixed.
  • Students sought out access to international news. “Amazon data revealed that students were downloading The New York Times, USA Today, and El País etc., demonstrating that students want to access a wide range of reading materials that were previously inaccessible.”
  • Kindles break too easily. Worldreader had not predicted how many Kindles would break: 243 out of 600, or 40.5 percent. 
  • The program appears cost-effective. Worldreader estimates that “for the years 2014-2018, using a calculation focused strictly on the provisioning of textbooks, the e-reader system would cost only $8.93-$11.40 more per student over a 4 year period [$0.19 to $0.24 per month] than the traditional paper book system.”