Hole in the wall project
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Professor Sugata Mitra

In 1999, Professor Sugata Mitra sunk a computer into the opening of a wall near an office in Kalkaji, New Delhi: in this TEDTalk he describes how after just a few hours neighbourhood children had taught themselves to surf the Web. The PC was left, available to everyone on the street, and within six months the children of the area had learnt all the mouse operations, could open and close programs, and were going online to download games, music and videos. Asked how they had learned all of these sophisticated maneuvers, the children told Mitra they had taught themselves.

Mitra’s team followed this up with extensive research in self-directed learning, in many places and through many cultures. Mitra argues that the children were able to develop deep learning by teaching themselves. He this method of instruction Minimally Invasive Education (MIE).

Using the MIE setup with a single PC, children can learn to do at least 12 basic computer tasks in approximately three months: loading and saving files; downloading and playing games; running educational software and other programs. Mitra argues that this study, along with further experiments into children’s learning, demonstrate that groups of children, irrespective of who or where they are, can learn to use computers and the Internet on their own.

Mita goes on to talk about the implications his research has for learning styles, learning devices, and new methods of learning.

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Professor Sugata Mitra

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With its focus on learning styles of pupils and their inherent ability to learn, this talk will make for interesting viewing for teachers and other educational professionals keen to examine the best ways pupils learn. 


Record ID:
R023 / 309
Link to research:
Hole in the wall project

Author(s) biog(s):
Professor Sugata Mitra

Beginner's guide to:
Professor Sugata Mitra

Associated coverage:
BBC, Guardian

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