Friday Fun Link – "The Hole in the Wall" – A Digital Divide Experiment in India

An Indian physicist puts a PC with a high speed internet connection in a wall in the slums and watches what happens.

he discovered was that the most avid users of the machine were ghetto
kids aged 6 to 12, most of whom have only the most rudimentary
education and little knowledge of English. Yet within days, the kids
had taught themselves to draw on the computer and to browse the Net.
Some of the other things they learned, Mitra says, astonished him.

Strong evidence in favour of the $100 laptop? I think so!

(via Reddit)

Comments 2

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    This was a really interesting one…I dunno about all the ethical implications to the research, but it says quite a bit about education, information literacy and the ability of the human mind to adapt and understand things. I mean if these kids could just intuitively learn the basic functions of a computer, why is it that we spend so much time & money teaching people things they could probably learn on their own?
    It also most certainly gives more credence to the need and possible benefits of the laptop program; give people access and they will do amazing things.

    Posted 28 Apr 2007 at 4:41 pm
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    It's the Good Will Hunting theory of education and training – do you really need to pay big bucks for a shiny MLIS degree or do most of us have the capability to teach ourselves, given enough time to experiment/read/use trial and error methods?
    It came up at the SLA conference last week – the role of the teacher is no longer to impart wisdom they have gained over the years, it's more to act as a filter for all of the stuff kids have access to (very similar to librarians changing role probably.)

    Posted 12 May 2007 at 4:16 pm

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