Can Kids Teach Themselves?

23 Oct

I watchedSugata Mitra: Can Kids Teach Themselves

This was the man who set up the hole in the wall experiment, and it was really cool how he tested his ideas. Its about how children can learn on their own, and especially in groups. When they are taching themself they work in groups, and cooperatively they come to a final understanding together. Mitra put a computer just in a hole in a wall in india and within 8 minutes a thirteen year old boy had taught himself how to browse and use the internet, and at the end of the day something like 70 children had an understanding of how to use the computer. He also said that it isnt just a hands on thing, but more of a cooperative thing, because there is only one child who can be working the computer, but three or four kids would be around them and learn exactly the same amounts and the same concepts, and then you could have a whole group of kids around just watching and they could learn the same things. Once one kid would learn it they would continue to teach it to another, so it was a kind of chain effect.

Mitra did this experiment over lots of different places, and in one of them he left the computer for three months and the students had taught themself somewhere around two hundred english words in a place where no one spoke english. They were using the words in the right context in everyday language and told him that he needed to get them a faster processor and better mouse.

It was a really cool video because it makes you think about the way different students learn and made me think of how i can have different approaches in a classroom so that students can all learn in their own way. On the comments someone asked if the same thing would work for adults, and I wonder the same question, so that would be something cool to test out.

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One Response to “Can Kids Teach Themselves?”

  1. jocelynskogberg October 23, 2008 at 9:59 pm #

    I really like that video too about the hole in the wall. I too agree that kids have great imaginations and they are constantly trying to figure things out around them. I think that by stepping back as teachers and allowing our students to explore they would probably come up with the right answers but understand things better because they came up with the theories on their own. I think it would be interesting to see if adults would react the same way as children. I think that would be a very kool experiment to see.

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