This paper reports on a mixed-methods study of the Total Reading Approach for Children Plus (TRAC+) program, with a particular focus on its mobile learning element, where tablets and an app called Aan Khmer (Read Khmer) were introduced into Cambodian schools to assist ‘struggling students’ in Grades 1 to 3 learn early reading. This paper focuses primarily on survey and interview data collected in 2017 from relevant staff members, namely school directors, literacy coaches, teachers and librarians, about this intervention program. 73 school directors participated in the survey and following this, 68 staff members were interviewed, including 15 of the school directors surveyed. Findings indicate that staff members were positive about the program, including the app, and observed improvements in the children’s reading. However, several implementation challenges were noted, which echo challenges reported in the literature on carrying out technology-based interventions. This paper offers insights into the importance of alignment between program design and user readiness, which may inform other technology-based programs intended to raise literacy standards in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.