Odilo joins OverDrive in the African digital library arena as digitisation of Africa’s publishing industry accelerates

The digital library service Odilo is no stranger to working with governments, and already has partnered with the education departments of Spain, Chile and Colombia and the national library of the Netherlands.

But in what seems to be its first foray into Africa Odilo has now launched an app in partnership with the Zimbabwe Ministry of Primary & Secondary Education (MoPSE).

For readers the access is free and parents are able to supervise their child’s reading choices and progress. Content can be downloaded and then accessed offline.

Back in June Odilo was offering an Ambassador Training webinair for the Zimbabwe Ministry of Education, so the only surprise with this launch is that there appears to be no local-publisher engagement, but that could change as there is a portal for Zimbabwe publishers to send digital books to the platform.

Per the app download site on Google Play,

This platform will enable you to access all the functionalities of the digital library and e-resources of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education of Zimbabwe. It gives you the facility to access and download digital resources, such as electronic books, allowing you to read / reproduce them without the need for an Internet connection. In addition, it provides access to the e-learning platform which develops personalized reading & writing programs to improve learners’ literacy levels.

However, a few teething problems may need sorting, with initial reviews suggesting that the instructions accompanying the app download are in Spanish (Odilo is based in Spain). No doubt the Odilo team will rectify that quickly.

Odilo operates in 43 countries reaching 146 million readers.

UPDATE: Odilo have just provided me with the official press release, as follows:

Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Partners with ODILO to democratise access to educational content for all public schools in Zimbabwe

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education continues to work tirelessly to avail equitable access to quality education to all learners in its public schools. In line with this mandate, the Ministry has partnered with ODILO, a Spanish-based company that has become a global leader in educational technology, working with 43 countries and offering the best reading and learning experience to students, teachers, and families, serving more than 140 million users worldwide.

The personalized applications will give learners access to multimedia content (ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, videos, courses and more) curated from more than 3 million titles supplied by over 5,300 international content providers including Britannica, Disney, Sesame Street, Penguin Random House, Scholastic, Wiley and Springer. Content recommendations will be intelligently curated for each user, and be comprehensive, covering topics for learners of all ages from ECD A to Upper 6. The ODILO solution also provides a secure way to upload and distribute the Ministry’s content, and that from local publishers, while protecting their copyrights and controlling access.

The intelligent solution is designed to reduce barriers to learning. Content can be safely accessed offline and the applications will work on any devices – computers, tablets and mobile phones, from school, home and anywhere else 24/7. Users will enjoy a fully inclusive and enriched reading experience supporting learners of different abilities. Parents will not only be able to support their children in their learning journey at home and on the go but also monitor their reading progress.

The web platform can be found here and the mobile apps can be downloaded in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Students will also have access to an extensive catalog of “enriched” titles and interactive learning plans designed for each level by the ODILO’s team of learning experts. Teachers will be able to save time, re-use and even customize these plans for their classes.

The Ministry and the ODILO team will also supply Curriculum Development & Technical Services experts both virtual and locally to support public school communities on this initiative.