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Out-doctrination: See Kids Self-Learn – With No Teachers!

Friday, September 17, 2010 0:54
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” My work with self organised learning by children shows that groups of children can learn to use computers and the Internet to answer almost any question. This happens everywhere and is independent of what language they speak, where they live and how rich or poor they are. All they need is free access and the liberty to work in unsupervised groups. The most effective group size seems to be 4-5 children. So, we really need one laptop for every 4 children…. “

- Professor Sugata Mitra, May 2010 Link

A revolution in education is heralded by Professor Sugata Mitra, of Newcastle University, UK. whose work partly inspired the movie “Slumdog Millionaire.”

His pioneering vision was to use education technology to allow students self-organize their own interaction with the internet as an educational experience. Amazingly, he found that children without teachers can self-teach themselves the most complex subject matter (in one case they learned biotechnology).

This video of Professor Sugata Mitra’s recent TED talk, will inform you about this educational revolution – and will inspire you with video clips of children naturally and spontaneously learning. Link

Why you should listen to him:

In 1999, Sugata Mitra and his colleagues dug a hole in a wall bordering an urban slum in New Delhi, installed an Internet-connected PC, and left it there (with a hidden camera filming the area). What they saw was kids from the slum playing around with the computer and in the process learning how to use it and how to go online, and then teaching each other.

In the following years they replicated the experiment in scores of other locations in India, urban and rural, with similar results, challenging some of the key assumptions of formal education. The “Hole in the Wall” project demonstrates that, even in the absence of any direct input from a teacher, an environment that stimulates curiosity can cause learning through self-instruction and peer-shared knowledge. Mitra, who’s now a professor of educational technology at Newcastle University (UK), calls it “minimally invasive education.”

“Education-as-usual assumes that kids are empty vessels who need to be sat down in a room and filled with curricular content. Dr. Mitra’s experiments prove that wrong.”- Linux Journal

Professor Sugata Mitra’s interests include Education, Remote Presence, Self-organising systems, Cognitive Systems, Physics and Consciousness.

For More See:

Slum Dog Inspiration

February 22, 2009 – CNN‘s Sara Sidner reports on the project in India
that inspired the book and movie “Slumdog Millionaire.” Link

See also Sugata Mitra’s earlier talk about his Hole in the Wall project.
Via TED Talks at LIFT 2007 Link


Self organising systems for mass computer literacy:
Findings from the ‘Hole in the Wall’ experiments
Dr. Sugata Mitra
International Journal of Development Issues, Vol. 4, No. 1 (2005) 71-81

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