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Can Kids Teach Themselves?

(4 Posts)
onwardandupward Sat 30-Aug-08 21:07:00

Title of a TED talk by Sugata Mitra, famous for the hole-in-the-wall experiments in slum and rural settings in India.

Talk is here

It really gets going at 8 minutes in -that's when he starts describing the experiment.

His conclusion: that, given access to a computer monitor, touch pad and the internet, groups of uneducated children with zero adult intervention were on "a learning curve almost exactly the same as you would find in a school" (that quote is from around 15 mins into the talk).

Discuss. grin

milou2 Mon 01-Sep-08 14:13:37

I loved the bit where he explained about the arrangement of one person at the track pad, a group of 4 close by giving accurate instructions, and all the others further out making less accurate suggestions!

And all those children had picked up the essentials when they tested them. Actually they had picked up the info anyway, just the adults knew for sure when they saw the tests.

Why the testing and need to know in the adults????

onwardandupward Mon 01-Sep-08 15:05:01

I think the adult testing and need to know because Sugatra Mitra is an educational researcher and wanted to have results to publish!

The thing I liked almost most about the research was the way he was talking about how India was the ideal place to be testing the theory, because they have hot, cold, dry, wet, humid... all climates. So a hole-in-the-wall computer that will work anywhere in India will work anywhere in the world. And then all it needs is some kind of power source (generator?) and either sufficient interesting software loaded on, or satellite internet, and that's it, kaboom, the whole world connected to the internetz. Such potential for knowledge creation! grin

onwardandupward Thu 11-Sep-08 10:12:10

[[http://www.openeducation.net/2008/09/08/sugata-mitra-and-minimally-invasive-education-confirmation -for-homeschool-and-unschooling-proponents/ here] is a blogpost summarising Mitra's findings and their relevance for both formal and informal learning contexts

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