Thursday, October 13, 2011

Child-Driven Learning Does it Again!

I have just had what you might call a mind-altering experience – a view I thought would stay the same has shifted. Let me explain. As you may know if you’ve read my earlier posts, I have been somewhat concerned about the time children today spend interacting with computers (rather than live people). I have been most concerned about the effect this appears to have on their development, in particular relationship skills and social intelligence. Amazingly, although not exactly allaying my concern, research I recently came across certainly gives me a wider perspective! The research in question has been done by education scientist Sugata Mitra, who found (after years of studies) that when children independently use computers and most specifically the internet, in groups – that is, without adult supervision and in combination with inter-personal interaction with their peers – not only does their learning capacity significantly increase but education itself is taken to a whole new level! Additional benefits that have emerged from Mitra’s studies - for communities and indeed for our ‘global wellness’ – are intriguing.  I am fascinated. If you haven’t come across it, check it out. It's a TED talk, so not too long and most entertaining.

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