Google Launches Literacy Project

    October 6, 2006

Hooked on Phonics just became obsolete – all anyone needs is Google.

The search engine company launched a new effort, called “The Literacy Project,” at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The Literacy Project was described as “a resource for teachers, literacy organisations and anyone interested in reading promotion and education.”

Google’s partners in this venture include the Frankfurt Book Fair literacy campaign (LitCam), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO’s) Institute for Lifelong Learning. These groups made sure that the Literacy Project got off to a strong start.

“From Bollywood-inspired e-learning tools and book clubs, to classic children’s books and scholarly articles about phonological awareness – users can find books, videos, articles, blogs, and groups about literacy, as well as share all of their own ideas and projects,” the press release stated.

Some of those categories seem a little bit odd for a literacy project, but they do actually relate.

The video section, for example, allows users to “see what literacy organisations, schools, and educators around the world are doing – or share your wisdom with the world.”

There’s also a map that will help people “find literacy organizations around the world.

The literacy-related sections within Google Groups had a head start. Six recommended searches (on things like “favorite authors” and “teaching writing”) all give results in the tens of thousands.

Searching for “book club” yielded well over a million results. A number of people were duly impressed and excited by The Literacy Project’s accomplishments.

Lord Andrew Adonis, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools, was one of the individuals quoted in the press release. “The Literacy Project has great potential to improve literacy and promote reading for pleasure and I welcome this exciting new initiative,” he said.

Representatives from LitCam and UNESCO also spoke. “Litcam is excited to have partnered with Google on this site,” said Karin Pltz, LitCam’s Director of Education for the Future. “A global problem deserves a global solution, and we believe that cooperation and the sharing of best practices is key in the fight against illiteracy.”

“Literacy and Basic Education give individuals chances to succeed, open a world of limitless opportunities, contribute to equality, improve health and economic self-sufficiency,” added Adama Ouane, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning.

“The aim of this site reflects one of the key missions of UNESCO, and in particular of its Institute for Lifelong Learning: to encourage the promotion of literacy around the world to build capacity and to enhance access to information about the issue,” he continued.

The Literacy Project’s homepage is available here.


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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.