“A hole in the wall:” A case study of computers helping children learn

CNN reports on the research of UK learning scientist Sugata Mitra:

The Hole in the Wall experiments, known as HiW, were first implemented in 1999, when a computer with an internet connection was embedded into a wall for children to discover and use unsupervised.The wall adjoined a slum in India. Only a month later, it was evident that the children had taught themselves to use the computer and also picked up some skills in English and mathematics. This kind of design was then set up in more and more remote areas across the nation with almost identical results. These were computers embedded in walls or kiosks in easily accessible and highly visible public spaces, facilitating peer interaction, discovery and learning in groups of children.

We concluded that groups of children from disadvantaged and remote settings can learn to use computers and access internet resources, on their own, if given appropriate free, public and unsupervised access.

Learn more about Sugata Mitra’s research by watching this 2007 presentation to the LIFT 2007 Conference in Geneva.

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