Hole In The Wall.
We love this story and initiative!
Hole In The Wall is an innovative learning methodology conceived by Dr. Sugata Mitra with the question that if children were given free and unsupervised access to a computer, what would they do?
In 1999, Dr. Mitra placed a freely accessible computer, without any instructions, inside a "hole-in-the-wall” in a slum in Kalkaji, New Delhi. What his team found was amazing! Slum children were instantly exploring and discovering the computer and without prior experience, were able to learn to acquire basic computer skills and even play games and songs on it!
The Hole In The Wall computer in Kalkaji (http://www.hole-in-the-wall.com/Beginnings.html)
A New Learning Method: Minimally Invasive Education:
The Hole In The Wall experiment created a setting for children’s natural curiosity to stimulate learning. The collaborative learning helped children exchange knowledge and teach each other. With exploratory learning, children were found to not be afraid of trial and error in figuring out how to use the computer. They had great memories in remembering the entire sequence of steps they needed to take, like opening a paint program and their saved pictures, and were able to repeat these actions. Even with their knowledge of the English language being poor, they were still able to match letters, words and patterns to actions and events on the computer. They used their imagination to come up with names like "sui” which means needle in Hindi, for the cursor.
This incredible experiment shows that computer literacy is no longer only for the educated or privileged, but accessible by anyone and everyone. Children from all backgrounds are curious and giving them new skills could tremendously increase their potential to achieve more than they would otherwise.
As children learn to use such educational tools, they develop analytical thinking and problem solving skills that help their long-term ability to learn. We are excited to see the future impact of this teaching methodology and educational tools for children everywhere.
For more on Hole In The Wall, check out http://www.hole-in-the-wall.com/index.html
Dr. Deepti Suchindran
Founder&CEO Robotix USA. Neuroscience Ph.D. Boston, USA