Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Turning Kids From India’s Slums Into Autodidacts | KurzweilAI

Turning Kids From India’s Slums Into Autodidacts

December 6, 2010

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Dec 4, 2010

Replacing the medieval habit of schooling — one teacher telling a bunch of children what to think — Sugata Mitra, an Indian physicist whose self-learning experiment inspired the film “Slumdog Millionaire”– is convinced that, with the Internet, kids can learn by themselves, so long as they are in small groups and have well-posed questions to answer.

Dr. Mitra asked a class of poor Tamil-speaking kids to use the Internet, which they had not yet encountered, to learn biotechnology, which they had never heard of, in English, which they did not speak. Two months later he was astounded at what they had taught themselves.

On their own, children can get about 30% of the knowledge required to pass exams. To go further, Dr. Mitra supplements SOLE with e-mediators, or the “granny cloud” as he calls it: amateur volunteers who use Skype to help kids learn online.

And now, Mitra’s Self-Organized Learning Environments (SOLE) are going global.

Posted via email from Academentia

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