USABILITY/STATUS: In Use
INNOVATOR: SIL International
GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS: Global
SOLUTION TYPE: E-book app
Bloom Reader allows users to read books anytime on any device via a convenient Android-based app that can be used online or offline and shared with or without cellular data.
- Operating system: Android
- Hardware: Tablet, smartphone
- Connectivity: Online/offline
- Accessibility features: Automatic leveling and decodability, sign language video, audio, magnification, content filtering/distraction reduction, text-to-speech, and reading comprehension questions; for a full list of accessibility features, see the Features Matrix
- Accessories needed for use: Charger, HDMI connector cable, speakers
- How it supports learning: Bloom Reader is a free Android app that is easily shareable and allows audio and embedded sign language videos. In one project, a digital library consisted of leveled stories from open-source libraries and the National Department of Education in English (82 stories) and translations in Tok Pisin (69 stories), Melanesian Sign Language (69), and 31 vernacular languages. Stories mirrored the physical book banks the project distributed in communities. Trained Community Literacy Volunteers shared the app among parents and caregivers as one of a number of community literacy activities targeting elementary students and their parents.
- Costs: Free to use; free general training available via the training videos
- Other cost consideration: Devices to access Bloom Reader, Internet and SD cards required to use the app and/or view/share books; staff time to prepare content, mobile optimization, training, device procurement, management, support, and maintenance
- Settings: School, home, informal learning spaces, community
- Target Populations: Teachers, parents, children, project implementers
- Current Language(s): 500+
- Geography (locations): Global
- A pilot found a statistically significant impact on children’s reading skills among students who read from the app at home. Children who read from the Bloom Reader app had better literacy scores even after controlling for covariates such as socioeconomic status or parental literacy. On average, these children’s literacy scores were 7.76 percentage points higher at midline (November 2018) and 9.14 percentage points at endline (November 2019). There were no gender differences. The project had modest success in distributing the app in communities. The key constraint was limited smartphone penetration in communities. The report is not available online.