A new partnership between mobile book publisher GoSpoken and Blackberry is researching how technology can be used to develop literacy levels in schools.
The companies have team up with The Reading Agency and actress & author Michelle Gayle for a study involving pupils from three secondary schools in Halton, Southampton & Crawley.
Pupils were given BlackBerry handsets allowing them to read, write & share stories on the devices. Led by Gayle, who is the author of Pride & Premiership – a mobile novel, students engaged with the creative writing workshop – discussing & contributing their own ideas using the smartphones.
The aim of the workshops is to research the adoption of reading digital books on mobile phones, and the interaction of users with digitally created content – as authors or contributors – in an innovative and modern way.
Gayle said; “The pupils seemed to take to reading on the BlackBerry’s immediately and when they began to write their own stories on them a teacher remarked that they seemed to focus more than they do in the classroom”.
The project is part of the Research & Development strategy from GoSpoken’s parent company Mobcast which is investigating the impact of mobile technology & distance learning.
The company says the goal is to encourage user engagement with authors & content, and to create a mobile platform for users to contribute to a story, or contribute as an author. Similar concepts such as Keitai books in Asia have proved very successful in Japan where books written on mobile-for-mobile became physical bestsellers.