Literacy Bridge Uses Talking Books to Spread the Word in Ghana

Friday, August 9, 2013

On a warm spring evening in 2006, software consultant Cliff Schmidt decided to take a walk near the hotel where he was staying for a conference in Atlanta, not yet knowing that what he would stumble upon would alter his life’s path.

Schmidt, who had previously worked at Microsoft and served in the Navy as a nuclear engineer, wandered into an unfamiliar neighborhood. He found himself at the national historic site where Martin Luther King Jr. is buried.

Schmidt paused before Coretta King’s grave and then stepped in front of Dr. King’s. “That was the moment. It was BAM!” recounted Schmidt. “In an instant, I had this feeling that if he could speak to me he would say, ’You should be doing something more with your life.’ I walked way and had no idea what I would do next, but I had no doubt it would be different.”

Cliff returned to his home in Seattle and began to read everything he could about global poverty. With a background in technology, he was drawn to the international nonprofit One Laptop Per Child which provides rugged, low-cost laptops to children in low-income countries. But he soon started to wonder whether there might be a need for even more low-cost, low-tech devices to spread knowledge in poor areas of the world.

Source: PBS (link opens in a new window)

Education, Impact Assessment, Technology