Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Ted talk: Sugata Mitra on how kids taught themselves to use a computer

Last year I had the honour of hearing Sugata Mitra speak in the Online Educa Berlin conference, I wrote a blogpost about his keynote speech and also on his debate on learning with Andrew Keen in which Sugata Mitra clearly argumented in favour of informal learning.

But now TED.com has posted Sugata Mitra talking about the "Hole in the Wall" project -- where kids in an Indian neighborhood figured out (on their own) how to use a PC and mouse, and then taught their friends. We've all seen kids do things like this, figuring out a new toy or the universal remote, but Mitra asks the next logical question: How can traditional schools harness the immense power of children to teach one another?
The speech is amazing, because it shows very clearly how quickly children learn and how they can learn the most difficult of topics by an informal approach and just putting material out there. Really motivating.

If you do not know TED.com movies yet, surf straight to it. It is a collection of speeches given by inspiring people.

In the meanwhile I am preparing my first module of the Distance Education program at Athabasca University. The topic is Program Evaluation, which fits my knowledge needs for the moment, but which is also quite intens reading material (no graphics! can you imagine :-)