Sugata Mitra – how to make learning child driven

Hi to all, I haven’t posted for some time… not because I have gotten lazy 🙂 … but because I wanted to give you some time to catch up with a number of previous posts, and maybe have some more time to reflect.

I know that a number of you, if not all, are going through the exam fever these days. I do believe that assessment is one very important discussion point to raise. The video which I have posted here, goes to show where I would like to take my discussion towards. There are various ways of assessing learners… but how do you really assess learning? Ask yourselves… just because you will pass your exam, will this mean that you have learnt? Maybe it might mean that you have very good recall abilities. But will it really mean that you have achieved the objectives set?

And in comes this video… I found Sugata Mitra some time ago – through Twitter of course 🙂 and I realised what an incredible man he is- really – I mean he’s funny, and insightful, and possesses some great ideas and he’s been doing some really great work… two things which he said when he quoted Arthur C. Clark who he went to visit during one of his experiments and which have, amongst others, struck me, were: “A teacher who can be replaced by a machine…should be” and “If children have interest, then Education happens” – a very good quote from Arthur C. Clark, I would say.

So anyway what were these experiments all about? They were about letting children learn by themselves… but truly… no interference from anyone… and the results were amazing… I invite you to really listen to this talk because this might not only give you more ideas about the way you can do your teaching, but also how to best use the tools you have to drive your learners to have interest – and thus to learn. I also invite you to listen to this talk because if you don’t, then you are missing out. Do not assess a learner… try to assess the learning instead. I think it will make a whole lot of a difference.

Sugata Mitra on TED


63 thoughts on “Sugata Mitra – how to make learning child driven

  1. This video was truly impressionistic-never would have thought children were capable of learning such complexed things on their own, in such disadvantaged areas of the world. It shatters into pieces the outdated banking concept of education. Peer tutoring is truly a powerul device for learning. Will surely Keep Sugata Mitra’s words in mind, while planning my lessons will use much more peer learning during my lessons 🙂

    • This is true, in fact this video brought me back in mind one of my students I used to teach during teaching practice. She told me it is a waste of time coming to school when by pressing a button you can learn from the internet and can have a variety of explanations on the internet. This is true but what my student didn’t notice was that the teacher is there to help her find the suitable learning style for her to be able to achieve academic goals.

  2. Prof.Mitra made me reflect on how my education was. An education where sometimes I found lessons to be a source of information. I began to realize that I learned most when I went to search in library for books regarding the subject or when I browsed for information regarding the subject. Therefore, I really agree with the statement that education should be a self organising system.

    I think teachers should teach them the basic concepts of the subject and then leave their students by themselves to open more on the subject. One disadvantage that could be in this method of teaching is that; the information they find on the internet could be misleading. So I do not agree that the machine should replace the teacher because we need to monitor them on the information they find.

    Mitra’s ideas not only gave me a good insight on how my teaching should be but also gave a ray of light to children whom educational system do not exists because of their country’s condition, where “good teachers do not want to go to those places”.

  3. I think the ‘hole in the wall’ experiment was simply amazing. I would have expected the experiment to generate interest and curiosity amongst its new users but never would I have imagined the people to learn to do so much all by themselves. From this experiment, Sugata Mitra concluded that ”Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do” and that ”Children can learn to use the computer and the internet on their own irrispective of who or where they are”. I think that as teachers, we could learn a lot from his findings.

    Three important points can be gathered from Sugata Mitra’s talk. Photographic Recall, Peer learning and Self-learning. These points could be kept in mind during our teaching sessions as they have easily been proven to have positive learning outcomes. He also believes that ”education is a self-organising system where learning is an emergent phenomenon” and that learning is ”a question of attitude not technology”. Therefore as teachers, we must promote the right environment, attitude and material in order to captivate the student in a more self-learning environment. This would not only aid the student in carrying out his or her education at primary and secondary level but sustaining his or her ability to self-learn beyond their official education – also promoting the concept of life-long-learning. An interesting video i found on youtube is of a 5 year old girl, using the method of self-learning to learn to how play the paino! Its quite amazing.

  4. A truly impressive video. Sugata Mitra’s words are to be treasured “Children will to do what they want to do.” Irrespective everything, even the “circled area” from where trouble comes, children are able to learn on their own. The most striking thing was the fact that (if not mistaken a 7 year old) was teaching his “student” a six year old girl how to use in “computer in the wall”. This experiment generated interested and also one can denote peer learning – an essential tool for educators. Students might learn more from their peers than from their teachers especially if the teachers do not motivate students to learn or else do not provide the necessary attitude towards the students’ learning. Therefore the attitude needs to be positive, caring. Also Mitra mentioned those “circled areas” where good teachers will not go. It is irrelevant in which area you are situated – as long as you provide an environment which promotes and motivates students to learn – then those circles might start to fade away. With all these words in mind, one ought to put them into practice and really make an impact on students’ lives regardless of area or anything else.
    I found this clip on youtube where there is a project in Auburn whereby 5-year old students with the help of technology are “piloted” on a life-long learning education and how the students themselves through projects studied geography and other subjects. Simply amazing!

  5. Grazzi talli qsamt dan il-vidjow magħna. Huma tassew interessanti r-riżultati li qalilna bihom Sugata Mitra. Irridu nżommu f’moħħna li l-istudenti huma kreattivi u kapaċi jużaw moħħhom fl-edukazzjoni. M’għandniex għalfejn nagħtuhom kollox bl-imgħarfa iżda b’daqsxejn ta’ ħsieb u daqsxejn ta’ riċerka mill-internet huma jkunu jistgħu jaslu jagħmlu ħafna affarijiet. Ħu minn dawk l-istudenti tal-Cambodia, tal-India, jew tal-Afrika ta’ Fuq kemm kienu kapaċi jiskopru affarijiet ġodda permezz tal-internet li qatt ma kienu raw qabel u mingħajr ma ħadd qalilhom x’għandhom jagħmlu. Anki l-eżempju li ta mill-Italja wkoll qiegħed juri kemm l-istudenti jafu jużaw moħħhom biex jaslu jwieġbu mistoqsijiet li ma jkunux jafu. Illum, ir-risposta awtomatika għall-problema li jkollna jew biex nakkwistaw aktar informazzjoni fuq suġġetti varji, għandha tkun: “iktibha fuq google (kif għamlu l-istudenti ta’ 10 snin ukoll!), jew aħjar, iggugiljaha (?… għax kemm-il darba ngħiduha imma niddarsu niktbuha :P).

    L-istudenti għandhom jidraw ifittxu informazzjoni waħidhom meta jkunu waqt il-proċess tat-tagħlim. Min jaf forsi f’Malta fis-sekondarja nagħmlu tajjeb li nintroduċu laptops jew kompjuter fuq wara tal-klassi f’każ li niġu bżonn biex nagħmlu attività kollaborattiva jew f’każ li jkollna bżonn infittxu affarijiet għal dak il-ħin? Deher ċar f’esperiment minnhom li l-istudenti jiftakru aktar meta jkunu diġà raw l-affarijiet fuq il-kompjuter. Ma nafx. Tajjeb li naħsbu fuqha però u nżommu dawn il-kunċetti f’moħħna biex tal-anqas meta nerġgħu nibdew ngħallmu ma nfissdux daqstant l-istudenti iżda nagħtuhom aktar libertà li jfittxu huma! Fl-istess ħin indarruhom biex wara l-lezzjoni jużaw ir-riżorsa tal-internet biex ikomplu jfanndu l-għarfien tagħhom fuq dik il-lezzjoni.

  6. I think that at the moment assessments are just summative assessments, exams and tests to see what the students are learning, to have a grade, to achieve something etc. Schools are now slowly moving towards formative assessments too but in higher education, I personally think that it’s mostly about exams and tests. From my personal experience, I think that higher education has lost creativity and space to express and discuss ideas about the topic being discussed. It is true that we can create a discussion during certain classes (and through blogs for example) but the social, intrapersonal discussions are overall still low in amounts. I think that we need to instill a culture where it is ok to have an opinion which others disagree with, it is ok to make a mistake, to say something with which the majority do not agree with. I think that at times it is the fear of being ridiculed or say something which others would not accept which would prevent certain students to share their thoughts, discuss etc. So yes I do think that there are lots of ways of how one can assess learners in addition to exams and unfortunately more often than not education is stuck to exams and such like. I certainly do agree that we should assess the learning and not the learner, as it is more often than not.

  7. Sugata Mitra’s experiments are astonishing. Although Salman Khan’s and Mitra’s approaches are comparatively different, they both have one aim in common; to help students integrate themselves in the learning process.
    Mitra’s ‘hole in the wall’ approach is quite exceptional. He also said that ‘‘children will learn to do what they want to learn to do’’…some of which did not attend school but interested themselves when it came to the computers implemented in the wall. He also showed children that had seen a computer for the first time and after just four hours, they learned to operate it and even recorded themselves singing. He also pointed out that ‘‘groups of children can learn to use computers and the Internet on their own, irrespective of who or where they where’’.
    The two quotes given by Arthur C. Clark are worth reflecting on. The first quote refers to the fact that although there is the need of the help and support of a teacher, children really learn through the use of technology. It is seen as something fun and new unlike the traditional textbooks, especially if they are outdated, making them more oriented to the use of technology. The other quote highlights the importance of interest in our students; we must capture their interests and motivate them to gain knowledge. His experiments were implemented beyond India.

    Another remarkable result was of the experiment carried out in southern India that was set to see whether bio-technology in English was understood by the students. After two months, it was discovered that they did not only learn English, but also understood the content presented.
    Another impressive approach was the ‘method of the grandmother’ which shows that when students are explaining to others, they themselves are gaining a good grasp of the knowledge.

  8. Sugata Mitra, speech was very interesting in that his experiments clearly show that children are capable of becoming self-driected learners especially when using information technology. However as Jolene pointed out in the previous blog comment Sugata Mitra did say that children will learn to do what they want to learn to do. This important quote serves to highlight some of the advantages and disadvantages of this type of learning.

    So the technology gives us and the students an unprecedented access to new and exciting knowledge and means of converting and experimenting with that knowledge. As I stated earlier there are limitations to these new technologies. Sometimes the technology itself is just not good enough. The Microsoft speech-to-text engine mentioned in the video is famous for it’s high inaccuracy level (that is one reason it is given free with Windows), The Nuance equivalent is a much more accurate application, however there are still limitations.

    Sometimes there are human limitations, the fifteen year old South African boy showed that he could learn to use the computer and send emails and the children in India could learn to create music, only minutes after starting experimenting with the computer. The problem in my view may be to go beyond that and to have self-directed learners who are capable of going beyond their comfort zone and learn new material which may not necessarily interest the students or which might be challenging for them.

    If children will learn what they want to learn, then isn’t there any other learning which is truly worthwhile learning? In my use of the internet, I have often come across new learning which was in no way connected to my field of study and which I wanted to learn simply for sheer curiosity . Such new learning increases my general knowledge, however I am much older then the students in the video who might need guidance in their learning even if self-directed with the use of the internet. In other words, are we sure that our students actually want to LEARN and not simply make use of those part of the internet and computer technology which are appealing to them. The hole in the wall may open up a window but it is the students who must be prepared to see the whole picture.

    A simple idea may be to incentivize the students by making them active participants in lesson formation. Certain new concepts can be given to learn on their own and then create a lesson by elaborating on those self-learnt concepts. Sugata Mitra did mention that the students who learnt on their own and in groups using ICT could easily recall the same material through paper and pen tests maintaining the same average scores.

    • I agreed in almost every aspect Sugata Mitra explained and evaluated. However, I was quite impressed by Arthur C. Clark quote “A teacher who can be replaced by a machine should be”. I believe that in the future, more and more of us will learn from machines such as the computers we use continuously all day, especially kids learning pre-school skills and students of all ages studying a new language. This is just one of the scenarios sketched in a review essay that looks at a “new science of learning,” which brings together recent findings from the fields of psychology, neuroscience, machine learning and education. Machines are being used on an experimental basis already to teach various skills to preschool children, including the names of colours, new vocabulary words and simple songs. Still I believe that machines will only be used to teach certain skills, such as acquiring a foreign or new language, possibly in playgroups with children or to individual adults.

      In most cases machines are introduced to reduce teacher expenses, but machines can be cost-effective compared to the expense of paying a human teacher. I agree about the benefits of using machines as part of the educational process, still research at the University of Washington Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences shows that pupil learn best when they interact with a live human being in a social setting. Don’t take me wrong, I am extremely in favour of the technology revolution, yet I don’t believe that humans can be replaced in every aspect in this case replacing teachers. Machines are means of technology from which we can learn, if pupils are motivated and interested they can learn even alone. But if there are individuals able to guide us in the right way, we will have a better education.

  9. You have invited us to ask ourselves: just because I passed an exam, does it mean that I have learnt? I can assure you that in many cases, my answer would be a NO. From personal experience, I can tell you that unfortunately I did many exams (even university exams, mind you) where I have ‘studied’ and did a lot of effort just to remember and memorise the information for the examination, and then forget most of what I studied after a few days! Unluckily this is pat of our education system……. obtaining good marks and passing the exams. The good news is that the more recent national curriculum is stressing the importance of adopting the approach of assessment FOR learning and not only assessment OF learning. This approach helps learners become autonomous and take responsibility for their own learning. According to the 2011 document ‘the vision for science education in malta’, learning outcomes will help the teacher and student assess progress, and these include: investigations and problem solving activities, learning logs and portfolios, self assessment, peer assessment and formal exams. I like Sugata Mitra’s speculation that education is a self organising system where learning is an emergent phenomenon.

  10. Interesting video i may say. What really made me reflect is that children have the capability to learn, they have the potential mechanism to learn and sometimes as seen in this video children learn on their own. Therefore it is very damaging for teachers to say ” this student isn’t capable” “he/she is not like the others students-he/she doesn’t stand a chance” “I don’t know that i can do with this child”. This means that the teacher is not looking harder, is not understanding each and every student. People learn differently, we all do, and therefore what makes us believe children learn in the same manner? teachers must explore each teaching method and tries to investigate which method the student can learn from. Collaborating learning is one way that seems to show positive results, we must understand our students, give them a voice in class cause we can learn a lot from them. we can learn to become better teachers, a teacher who cares for her students. This could be very beneficial for the students as it ensures a learning environment but also this method also helps students with challenging behaviour and learning difficulties

  11. Like Kathleen, I think that teachers often underestimate the potential of their students. They look at students as though they are empty vessels simply waiting to be filled with knowledge and little is left to their initiative. We need to understand that everybody is unique and everybody is capable of something. I really like the ‘hole in the wall’ experiment. This video portrays the true capabilities of children, they will learn what they want to learn. As seen here for instance, when given a computer they can easily teach themselves. We are moving towards promoting autonomous and self-directed learning and the teacher must give students space to explore and discover for themselves. Teachers are there to supervise and faciliate learning, guiding students through their learning experience. Students should be independent learners and not depend on their teachers to acquire knowledge. The aim should be to encourage and intrigue students to learn, motivating them to discover things for themselves. I believe that keeping them interested and intrigued is the foundation of learning because if they are not interested they won’t take much out of the class with them when they leave.

    With regards to the very first blog post, I don’t believe that tests reflect the learners’ capabilities. The word exam or test immediately instills anxiety in students and puts them under pressure. What if they are having a bad day? Or if they panic and blank out? What if they are actually extremely weak and only do really well because the only thing they studied happened to come out? I think the teacher should assess students on their progress and growth over the year. Personally, I cram everything I have learnt into a day or two of studying just to pass my exams -how does this help me? I can honestly say it has never made an impression on me and I leave the examination room forgetting most of what I had struggled to remember.

  12. This video is really amazing and helps one to keep an open mind on the education system. From the video I liked the quote “children will learn what they want to learn to do” and “if children have interest education happens”. In my opinion this video is all about motivation. If one is motivated; in this case the motivation was the computer in the wall( something new and interesting) children will learn. I think as new teachers we have a lot to learn from this video and we should act by presenting the content in a more interesting way, even so by using technology. For example HW does not always have to be the traditional way, we can have them play an educational game for HW and then put down what they have learnt in a group task. I found this site which I plan to use for my teaching practice. It has some easy games in it which will help the students to get to know their basics.
    I do not think that teachers should be substituted to technology as sometimes this video highlights. I think that still educators are needed to scaffold the learning and direct the students in the right direction and furthermore help to achieve deep understanding by making connections of the bits and pieces the children learn every day.

  13. I had heard of this experiment! How do people come up with such great ideas!

    I think the role of teachers is changing and changing fast, and although at first it might seem daunting to leave a comfort zone, eventually we will come to realise that this change in role is a very interesting one. Teachers are no longer required to be the source of information, there is the Internet for that, as the video clearly shows. As mentioned in another blog, teachers should be a source of inspiration rather than information. We should inspire children to come to love learning – ‘if children have interest, then education happens’.

    I must admit, that it’s easier said than done. As I am writing this, I remember some teenagers from my last teaching practice who seemed totally void of interest. But what if this lack of interest is a result of uninteresting pedagogy?

    What particularly caught my attention was the emphasis on collaborative learning. It was not just about giving the children the technology. It was also about creating an environment where the children could learn together, another crucial role that teachers must take on.

    I am really looking forward to experimenting with autonomous learning!

  14. …if children have interest than education happens (Arthur C. Clarke).
    All we need to do is to make the children interested in what we will be saying. If we “tickle their fancies” and start their curiosity going then as Arthur C Clarke said, education happens. I was amazed by the students’ understanding of the bio-technology when they did not have a clue what it was before.

    Raising their curiosity means they will get internally challenged to overcome or win the particular challenge at hand which in turn makes them acquire knowledge.

    An example of this are books. I always like to read books just because the synopsis got me curious and then all I wanted was to get to the final page. Curiosity instils a passion into us to see what comes next and that what makes us learn. Without curiosity, there is no interest, and without interest there is no learning. Just antoher boring lesson.

  15. L-iktar frażi li laqtitni kienet li t-tfal kapaċi jitgħallmu dak kollu li jridu jitgħallmu. Dan ifisser li xi drabi ma nagħmlux ħażin jekk lill-istudenti nagħtuhom l-ispazji tagħhom fejn ikunu jistgħu jimirħu waħedhom fil-kreattivita` tagħhom mingħajr l-indħil żejjed tal-għalliema. Irridu nitgħallmu nagħrfu l-potenzjal fl-istudenti tagħna u rridu nafdaw aktar fihom. Kif uriena Sugata Mitra, t-tfal kapaċi jimmeraviljawk. Xi drabi jkun biżżejjed li aħna permezz tal-attivitajiet li nagħżlu u r-riżorsi li nużaw nistimulaw u ninteressaw lill-istudenti umbgħad inħallu lilhom ifanndu u jiżviluppaw l-argumenti. Dan jiena rajtu jseħħ waqt lezzjoni partikulari (tas-smigħ) li kelli fil-perjodu tat-taħriġ. Minn sempliċiment kanzunetta l-istudenti ħarġu b’ideat u diskussjoni strutturata mill-iktar inteliġenti u elaborata.

  16. Impressive video I must say. I think that the concept of summative assessment is still important nowadays. Students study or go to school with the concept of ‘exams’ always in mind. The concept of this type of assessment just impedes students from learning through better methods of which are mentioned in the video and as one can see, tends to be more effective. However, the presence of the teacher is still important and should be there to scaffold the learner to construct knowledge. This does not exclude that students can also learn from each other, also with the use of technology, and it is evident that each individual is capable to learn. I think that we underestimate our students and it is just a matter of choosing the right strategies to engage all types of students.

  17. Simply amazing! I had come across a reading about the computer in a hole, but it’s one thing reading about it and it’s another thing to be able to watch it all happen. So is the little girl learning how to play the piano impressive. With regards to exams, I simply do not like them and do not agree with them. However, coming across these facts helps us reflect on how important it is for us teachers not to ever give up on students. We need to be constantly searching for what might motivate students to participate and learn.

  18. Thank you for sharing this innovation project that should be implemented in schools. First of all I totally agree with collaborative learning and its effectiveness in classrooms, Students get to work on well together and most of all when giving IT tasks. I adopted It resources during two lessons during my first Maltese teaching practice, such as presenting a power point presentation about ‘a place I’d like to visit.’ The students were asked to research information about their places of interest by means of internet. They had the chance to read information, translate it into the Maltese language, and worked in groups of three to finally present their work on a power point presentation, During the activity I facilitated the groups. The interaction of the teacher together with his/her students has to be vital in the classroom. These students once they grow up and finish their school years, they have to face the persons outside their school, therefore it is vital to keep the interactions between individuals of different ages. As shown by Sugata Mitra, teachers need to keep in mind the capacities of their students. It is important to have peer relationships, buddy relationships aswell, Students must interact together in the classroom to produce a great product of task, and be sure that inclusion is affected.

    Moreover the concept of ‘transfer of learning’ is crucial. Our learning should be transferred into the students in a way that they keep it for their own lives, To learn extrinsically is not enough. I will be very pleased if state schools start to have access to students-teachers blogs, where the teacher posts exercises, videos, comments, whereas the all students have the opportunity to revise the lesson, correct their exercises, discuss topics, brainstorm title compositions and so on,

    During our course we were taught to teach students through a motivated way. Starting from a stimulating introduction and keep the student along the whole lesson. To stimulate nowadys students we have to adapt according to their lifestyle, how? We know students have access to facebook, msn, skype, google, youtube, then we should adapt our lessons by using examples such as articles about these social networks, teach them to use them accordingly and creating school blogs to keep the learning of the students ALIVE 🙂

  19. A child driven learning experience tackles the proper needs of the learner him/her self.
    I think that the main points which are raised within this video in Sugata Mitra’s speech, all form together a promotion for going beyond the teacher indicating and ruling the whole process of learning and teaching. LET ALONG THE CREATIVITY OF THE STUDENTS….he/she is the protagonist of the process.

    I wanted to link this quote with this video of Sugata Mitra, its the engagement process which determines a type of learning to be autonomous or not. Are we giving the opportunity to our students, to truly involve themselves and engage into this process, in which they are the real protagonists?

    Let us embrace this idea, by learning modern methods of teaching we should keep in mind to be innovative, to let our students appreciate that we plan for them and our role here is to guide them to reach a good level of maturity so as to believe in themselves that in reality they can teach themselves.

    What they need is the opportunity to experience it !!!!!!

  20. truly exceptional! He really struck me when he said “If there is stuff on Google why would you need to stuff it into your head?” It is something I ask myself whenever I find myself studying by heart for an exam. Also students frequently complain that “… you study and then you forget everything…”

    I think we should really keep this in mind for many reasons:
    1. Studying for exams is usually temporary while learning is for life
    2. We are in charge of helping students shift from “study for exams” mentality to “learn for life”
    3. keeping this in mind can help us decide on the right things to assess and the best way to assess them

    Let us not forget that studying for exams is boring and motivated only by extrinsic rewards such as grades, while learning and exploring is fun, engaging and intrinsically motivates students to get to know more and more!
    So let us help students understand that love for learning is something that one cannot do without 🙂

  21. Truly an inspiring video. Thanks for sharing!!! What struck me most was when he said that “children will learn to do what they want to do.” I totally agree with his statement. As human beings we want to learn something if we really feel the need to know it, it depends in what situation we’re in and what are its outcomes . That’s why, as educators we should teach in a way that will motivate students to want to know more, even if the start is difficult.

  22. “If students have interest then, education happens”. This phrase really struck me. It all depends on the intrinsic motivation the student has. If the student likes doing something, in this case learning through a “hole in the wall”, automatically he/she will increase his/her level of achievement. This also applies not only to education as in school subjects, but to education in general. It is when one embraces his/her interests that those interests can happen.
    “The grandmother method.” Hahaha, such a lovely name for this methodology!! It’s really affective on students. When a teacher stimulates the passion, energy, need, potential of the students, the students feel comfortable in trying and exploring new things. It is through mistakes and experiments that one learns more.
    Students do learn by themselves and even more through technology. Let’s not underestimate our students and let’s be ready to learn from them too. Let’s listen to their SHOUT FOR LEARNING!!

  23. This video is really fascinating. It may look like Mr. Mitra tried very simple experiments but the outcome was very powerful. I agree that if students do experiment on their own, they do actually gain knowledge instead of stuffing “everything” in their head – “for the purpose of exams” – as some might see it.

    Watching this video is going to be very easy for me to remember to give time for students to think when I ask questions, because unfortunately I have this tendency to answer the question in myself in fraction of a second after I ask it. This time I am planning to ask questions which actually require time to think, sometimes even do research on their own and then discuss in groups. This video is a proof that this really works.

    I also really loved the idea of asking that girl to just sit behind them and without knowing passes comments which actually motivates and encourages the other students, it was really remarkable.

  24. Well some truly inspiring stuff. It’s just amazing to watch those deprived kids learning everything on their own. I think that what essentially is triggering such learning is the medium. Indeed quoting Prof.Mitra “if students are interested education happens”. That is basically the formula. Children, even adult learners I might say, need new and alternative mediums to learn. Arousing interest and a sense of excitement is the key to create a healthy learning environment. Mediums are evolving and our teaching methods should evolve in the same way. In our case it is the Interactive White Board which certainly can be such a useful tool.
    Another thing which I feel it should be addressed is to instil in the students that education is not something which is purely associated with the school but it is much broader than that. If you believe, you can learn. You just need the right medium.

  25. In the video it could be seen that the children in New Delhi managed to learn how to use the computer in a short span of time. Why had this happened? Because computers were something innovative to them and therefore computers captured children’s attention and interest. This reflects the importance of planning lessons that are interesting and innovative to students. Teachers should make use of various modalities and strategies in the classroom in order to enhance students’ motivation, engagement and participation. As depicted in the video, by using collaborative learning and peer tutoring, teachers not only enhance students’ interest but also create a context that is student-centred which enables students to improve their performance and achievement. As a result it is felt that such “modes of teaching” should be used more by teachers in our classrooms.

  26. I was really impressed by this video. Prof. Sugata Mitra’s findings are really extraordinary. I was really fascinated by his ‘Hole in the Wall’ experiment, conducted first in 1999, were a computer was placed in a kiosk within a wall in a slum at Kalkaji, Delhi and were slum children, with no prior experience whatsoever, were allowed to use it freely. This experiment proved that kids, when provided with the right equipment, motivating content and some guidance to set them off, can teach themselves to learn without any formal learning provided by the teacher.

    This work, as Prof Mitra himself highlighted, demonstrates that groups of children, irrespective of who or where they are, can learn to use computers and the Internet on their own even without any knowledge of English, as the experiment carried out in southern India shows. In this experiment, the results showed that after two months reading the stuff left for them on the computer, the Tamil speaking students had not only learnt English, but had also understood the content they were presented with. It is important to note that the content was not easy, but something as complicated as bio-technology.

  27. Really amazing talk! Mitra really struck me in two or three occasion when he said – he set up an experiment and concluded with “…. and then I went away”. Unfortunately in Malta, there still exist a lot of teachers who spoon feed their students; solve their problems; allow no time for them to think creatively, inquire and explore ways how to work towards a solution.

    The “Hole in the Wall” project demonstrates that, an environment that stimulates curiosity can cause learning. Furthermore when children independently use technology in groups and interact with their peers – they learn a lot.

    I also agree with some of the comments above, that a teacher should not be replaced by a machine. I must say however that the role of the teacher has changed. The teacher nowadays must motivate and inspire learning through using the right resources and pedagogy.

  28. As seen in this video, the study shows that students throughout the world learned to use a computer as well as used it to learn more on their own. As stated by Hage et al, 2007), “Schools have not only and educational role buy a transformative one, helping to direct young people’s development towards healthier trajectories”.

  29. Although I think that Information Technology is an important factor to incentive children to learn, teachers need to use such technology and exploit it to improve the learning process. Teachers are needed to identify the learning style of their pupils on an individual level.

  30. There are three learning styles which teachers should identify to achieve their pupils attention. These are visual, auditory, tactile/ kinesthetic learning styles. This is why technology cannot just replace a teacher but should be used in conjunction with traditional teaching methods.

  31. If I had to describe this video in two words I would say it is: Impeccably inspiring. The arguments raised by Professor Mitra are indeed concepts on which we really need to reflect.

    The ‘hole in the wall’ experiment , the ‘biotechnology’ experiment and the language experiment conducted with 10 year old Italian children are all clear examples that as sir Arthur C.Clarke very well claims : ‘if children have interest, then education happens’.

    Then, as future educators, what is the first thing we must do for effective learning to take place?

    As Galileo Galilei, put it:
    ”You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover it within himself”
    The question which we need to reflect upon is this: Is our educational system providing the right opportunities for the students to feel motivated and interested to learn? Is it allowing for our students to be responsible for their own learning? Are we assessing students in the right way?

    From my experience, I can still recall the unpleasant feeling of nervousness before each math exam. I remember that in primary education, I used to get very high marks in mathematics but things changed drastically as I made my transition to secondary education – All the interest I had for mathematics was gone. I used to dread the fact that I had to sit for math exams and the only reason why I sat for the G.C.S.E in maths was because it was an entry requirement for post secondary education.

    But what if I had an interest to learn maths ? What if I used to learn math because I was intrinsically motivated to learn it rather than to pass an exam?

    The point that I am trying to get across is that as educators, we need to stop spoon feeding our students and start motivating them to learn by presenting material and situations which are relevant to their lives.

    The successful experiments in this video prove the importance of giving students the opportunity to learn through discovery and eradicate the idea that learning is simply the memorizing of facts, theories and concepts. Educators, should never underestimate the students’ potential to learn.

    This quote by Socrates, among many others, is worth reflecting upon :

    ‘’I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think ‘’

  32. Really cool video by Sugata Mitra! I was particularly struck by the phrase ‘If children have interest, than education happens’. This is food for thought as a prospective teacher, as it made me reflect on the importance of utilizing various strategies in order to keep the students motivated during lessons!The classroom environment is crucial in determining the students’ learning outcomes – the use of information technology enhances their learning experience through the collaboration between peers in the classroom while connecting them to the world beyond the classroom. Effective learning outcomes happen best when the students are exposed to various learning styles in the classroom and are given opportunities to reach their potential.

  33. This video is really inspiring! The way he used technology to arouse interest and curiosity among students is really great. I was also impressed by a particular phrase he said: “if children have interest then education happens”. This shows that even when direct input from a teacher is absent, an environment which stimulates curiosity can still lead to learning; through self-instruction and peer tutoring.

  34. I really liked this video especially the part when he question the need of studying several things by heart when one can easily Google it and came up with the answer. Looking back at my experience whilst I was still a student at secondary level, I did loads of exams which I managed to pass with a great mark however today I remember nothing such as history or geography. This is a clear example that what I learned relied only on learning by heart for the sake of the exam.

  35. The speech by Sugata Mitra confirms that no teaching occurs unless the students are engaged in the learning process. Having seen this speech I may conclude that one of the challenges of the teacher is to identify the potential of the students and facilitate to emerge it fruitfully. It is not any more that the teacher is “Mr / Mrs Know It All” employed to teach the stupid kids. My concern is how are we facilitating our teaching to enhance students’ learning potential.

    Having said this, we should keep in mind that we should let go the traditional “assessment of learning” being simply summative and enhancing competition amongst our students; and we should strive for “assessment for learning” being a formative way to assess not only the product of learning but also to assess during the process of learning for the benefit of our students.

  36. A very interesting clip indeed. This clip shows that students can learn by themselves, however they also learn from each other. All experiments that were carried out were with more than 2 children. Therefore there was communication and peer learning.

    Technology has facilitated research in a way that a person can research anything and within a few minutes, he or she has all the information needed. This is a great tool for learning and this should be used more frequently in schools especially the use of the internet.

    Regarding the experiment Sugata Mitra carried out in India where he left computers only taking voice command in English (spoken in the British accent), one must mention that the computer created an ‘artificial’ environment in which the children could listen to English daily and this enabled them to learn the British accent.

    This video clip also means that a machine can actually help children to learn by themselves but that does not mean that the role of the teacher is not needed anymore. The teacher’s role should be of an observer of the learning process and t encourage the students to learn. Another point I wish to add is that where there is intrinsic motivation, students will learn and our role as teachers should be to encourage education through the use of technology.

    I have found this link related to the research Sugata Mitra has been carrying out:

  37. Yes, I think that we, as Teachers should not assess the Learner but assess the Learning. Thus, we should transfer our view of Assessment from an assessment of learning to an assessment for learning where teachers decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there. To sustain this idea, we should teach students meta-cognitive skills in order to learn how to learn by themselves.

    A Practical Example

    For example, the subject which I teach, Business Studies, involves Project Work. As a Transformative Educator who really values Qualitative Learning, I am going to act as a Guide to students in order to direct them and give them proper feedback and evaluation. I am going to work like this. First, I am going to provide students with the topics to choose. Then, I will discuss with students on an individual basis to tell me what is the rationale and reasoning behind their choices and we start working from there. What I will do is that once a week I will dedicate one of the lessons for discussing Project Work with all the students on an individual basis. For sure, it will be one of the most beneficial lessons for students during the week. During this session, I will provide students with resources, research sources, relevant links from where it is ideal to choose from and then, I will leave it for the discretion of the students to find additional sources and media from where to get useful information. However, I make sure to provide each student basic important resources to start up with. Then, what happens during the sessions is that I will meet with each individual student and discuss and evaluate with him/her the part of the work which I have assigned to the student in the previous meeting. So, the project will be built bit by bit by the student. The most important thing is that the project is done by the student. He/She should come up with the ideas, research, make the write-up, express his/her arguments and opinions. My role will be that of supporting the student by correcting mistakes, enhancing his/her ideas by giving clues and opinions about how to elaborate more and help the student to include new ideas. Additionally, I will correct the formulation and correction of their arguments and guide students on how to express their arguments more clearly and nicer. During my one to one meeting with the student, I will let the student think, reflect on his/her ideas, question the ideas, see if they really make sense and ask for other student views. In particular, I will ask the student to provide me with alternative solutions to the problems faced in the project.

    Basically, my role as a Transformative Educator will be to let students THINK and THINK, SOLVE PROBLEMS THEMSELVES and make them REFLECT on their actions. My duty will be to direct students through questioning techniques about their actions and how they could improve and make rich arguments in their writings. However, I will not give the answer directly to students but rather help them think in a more meaningful manner by the way I pose questions to them and I continually guide them, support them even emotionally( because that is another student need that should be satisfied) and give them encouraging feedback which does not only provide students with the output of their performance but emphasise to them their strengths, weaknesses and how they should work on them in order to improve and continue develop pertinent skills which they need for LIFE. I want students to learn how to learn, study, do projects, assignments and so on. I want to transfer to students skills and values and not only content. However, students should be trained enough to do such thinking and do their work in this way and they should be trained from a tender age. That is what I am going to do in practice when I start Teaching because I believe very much in such form of Learning. You should believe in something prior to implement it and that is very important. In this way, I, as a responsible teacher will promote Autonomous Learning among students and make them independent in being self-directed learners. Consequently, students will transform themselves as Active Citizens in the future and make healthy and valuable contributions to their country. We, as Novice Teachers should be AGENTS for CHANGE!!!

    Additionally, I believe that the teacher should have a caring relationship with students where they feel a sense of belonging and they also feel themselves secure and safe in their learning environment. Then, after that condition is satisfied, Learning will really take place among students because Care for the student is the platform for an effective learning experience. Obviously, a Caring Relationship should be complemented with a Supportive Relationship and we should not be the ‘Social Worker’ style of Teaching but students should be intellectually engaged during lessons in order to really make a change in education because otherwise, we would not be giving students what they need but emphatising with them ONLY at the expense of other crucial skills that students should acquire for their life.

    From this, I conclude that Assessment should be based on Assessment for Learning rather than Assessment of Learning and it should be Formative in order to really show the progress and development of the child and what he or she has learnt, on a continuous basis. Learning is demonstrated more effectively through Formative Assessment. Moreover, one should base the student’s learning and achievement by comparing the acquisition of knowledge and skills at a particular point in time with the last time the student has been assessed. This means that Comparison in Achievement MUST be relied on the person himself and not comparing the student with other students. This is because students cannot be compared against one another since every student has different abilities, interests, learning styles, learning profiles, readiness levels, appetites, different conditions in life, social, mental and behavioural problems and so on. Therefore, students are strictly NOT COMPARABLE!!!!!!!!!!

    This leads me to say that Differentiated Teaching and Assessment provide the best solution to cater for different students’ intelligences, as referred to by Howard Gardner.

  38. I think that these experiments are amazing and I was flabbergasted by the results. I know that children can be very surprising with their answers and actions but I would have never imagined that the students in the experiment would understand the DNA molecule experiment which proves what Prof. Mitra’s said – “Children will learn to do what they want to learn to do”. Therefore, if they are willing and there is a level of readiness, they will learn, and “if children have interest then education happens”.

    Through out this video clip, the fact that children can learn on their own was very prominent – “A teacher that can be replaced by a machine should be.” Generally, I think in reality, if students stay at home and read books, use technology and try experiments, they will be able to learn… as was proven in these experiments by Prof. Mitra… don’t think that this will actually happen though! Nonetheless, what took students two months to learn can take them a few days to learn if facilitated by a teacher. Therefore, even though students can “achieve educational objectives on their own”, teachers can make it easier for them to learn. The message I took from this video, is that children are capable of learning, it is my job to make it interesting and educational for them to learn effectively. This is link to a funny but very interesting video of a 2 year old baby using technology on is own,

  39. I think this is a very inspiring video and I am glad you are introducing us to these resources. The web indeed is a goldmine where we can find endless opportunities for our learners to develop autonomously. Sugata Mitra’s first statement worries me at the local level, where he says that we can pinpoint certain areas where good teachers will not go. Although later on he says that through technology students can learn on their own, he also emphasises the human component, the teacher or mentor who encourages students. Now, what literally scares me is disillusioned teachers. We have the technology, we have the learner, but are we willing to motivate and encourage our students to become autonomous learners? Or do we wish to retain our ‘power’ in the classroom? We all know we survived the traditional instructive method as we are now still striving to learn, but essentially, aside from this module, the whole course is tailored traditionally. So I wonder how many teachers can make the change needed to become post-modern teachers I would say. Sugata Mitra incites us to test the limits of the system and transform impossible targets to possible one, however I still have my reservations. Personally, that is a move I want to make, I want to see students in my classroom interested and even delighted to participate in class. I think that requires methods which are not strictly orthodox and that then might pose problems in the management culture schools have acquired. Be that as it may, it really is a question of attitude and I am hopeful that both teacher and learner attitudes will change in Malta. Especially in particular areas which have long been labelled as non-achieving and ‘lost causes’.

  40. This is really incredible! Funnily enough, this brought to mind my computer lessons from secondary school and acting lessons of a small work shop that I am attending now. In secondary school the teacher used to pair us up into groups of two and we would get the work done together. The work would follow a brief explanation. However the bulk of what I learnt was not through the explanation at all. Even now, I feel I learn best when I navigate on my own and ask questions when I am stuck. I did this back then and I ended up asking more questions to my computer buddy or to the groups sitting around us than I did to the teacher. In a way we helped the teacher do his job (as the person who classically provides answers to the questions).

    Similarly, even during my acting workshops I realize our coach gives us a small explanation, answers our questions briefly and insists on seeing what we have to perform for him. He is all about his students ‘owning’ their work and learning, and making it theirs. I feel this way he is not enforcing a style of acting OR a style learning on us. Why is this important? Because teachers change! It can’t be a situation in which one ONLY learns from HIM and in ONLY one particular manner.

    Upon reflection of what I have just shared I feel that through these experiences I find it very easily to really believe Mr. Mitra’s extraordinary results and understand the ‘secret’ behind it all.

    • It is truly impressive to see students learn to fast, students who have never seen a computer in their life before. This further reinforces the importance of the use of technology in today’s classroom. However the more salient point would be that of the use of peer tutoring in today’s classroom. This like many other changes will definitely be met with several challenges but the older generation of teachers.

  41. I personally think assessment is a very important part of education as it lets you know what your students have achieve and also allows you to give proper feedback to students and also allows you to adapt out teaching styles depending on the students level of learning. Although traditional assessment is seen as an exam I do not think that this should be the only form of assessment as as you have mentioned one could have a very good memeory so this does not show any form of educational achievement but just memory. I feel the teacher should take notes whole observing a class, ask individual on the spot questions, for assignments and also ask the students to keep a portfolio of their work which will show their performance and achievements of the whole year! All these should form part of the final assessment grade. . . Well at least this is what I think is best!

  42. This talk really impressed me! In Malta , there is still the mentality that we have to spoon feed students , in fact that was a problem when I was doing my teaching practise because students weren’t ready to search information for themselves , they are used to be given full explanation and notes by the teacher and they just sit there and listen. We have to move away from this system because if students find information they will learn more. By this way, students will be given more room to improve their creativity and they will be able to remember more the work they searched, which will help them in their studying for the exams. Although on the other hand ,there is still the need for the teacher , because if a student have a problem in the topic the teacher has to be present in class to explain better in a way that the student understands.

  43. Thank you for sharing such video, very interesting and also helpful. Teachers should keep in mind that the students are creative human beings. We do not need to spoon feed them everything, they are capable to construct their own knowledge, however to do so the knowledge has to be of an interest to them, not abstract knowledge that has no relevance to the life.

    Therefore lessons could be created within a context, for example in Social Studies, we have the topic of Democracy, by creating a classroom environment, the teacher is creating an environment in which the student can experiment with, explore, and reseach new knowledge related to democracy. Also the concept of peer tutoring could be introduced, where students who are good in one thing can help other students to learn about it.

    Furthermore as regards assessment, in my opinion it should be done in a formative way, where it helps the student to know where s/he has to improve, rather than assessing at the end of the course to know what the student has learnt. In my opinion this is limiting since low grades in this case may not imply low ability, maybe some students, didn’t want to spend their hours studying. They preferred spending their time doing other things that interested them more. Also such type of assessment in my opinion and experience from when I was younger where I used to study for the exam, and therefore resulting in not gaining did any new knowledge, skills and attitudes, therefore this type of assessment is restrictive and not motivating for the students.

  44. Very impressive video, thank you for sharing! I mostly agree with what’s being said especially with some reflections my fellow course mates have already posted here. The quote by Arthur C. Clark “A teacher who can be replaced by a machine. should be”, is a true eye-opener. The teacher has the role and duty to help the students learn – it is not what we’re giving the students but how we’re giving it to them.

    During my teaching practice, especially with my Form 1 classes (due to them being of mixed ability), I had to adapt parts of my lesson plans to different kinds of students. Notably, I didn’t do this immediately but after a couple of lessons with one particular class, I knew I couldn’t adopt the one size fits all approach and had to adapt my lessons accordingly.

    Thank you for sharing!

  45. The speech of Sugata Mitra is really interesting. What struck me most was the phrase that ‘children will learn to do what they want to learn to do’. It is all a question of students’ interest. As prospective teachers we cannot pretend that students show so much enthusiasm to learn each and every subject they have to, but we as teachers can try to facilitate this process by making use of several innovative tools in order to increase interest, attention and effective learning.

    I found this short clip which shows the use of computers at school and the various applications that students explore by themselves. Today’s students are quite familiar with technology, (most of them more than their teachers, if the teachers do not keep on learning on such innovative tools), so basically entering a class with a laptop or making use of the interactive whiteboard won’t surprise them. However, showing to the students that we are ready to make use of new technological means and also encouraging their participation though web based projects or online blogs will help them in their learning process.

  46. I was really impressed seeing how students managed to use the computer in such a short time in countries where children are not used to technology and where some of them don’t even study English. One of the statements I liked from Sugata Mitra is “If there is stuff in Google why do we need to stuff it in the head”. I remember when I was in secondary school I used to learn a lot of things by heart especially in subjects like History where we used to learn a lot of dates but I can’t say that I learnt from it infect I forgot everything. I think that students learn more when they experiment and construct their own knowledge. I think that as teacher we should focus more on how much student have learned instead of how they did in the final assessment. We should focus more on assessment for learning instead of assessment of learning.

  47. I think this is simply amazing. Indeed, through the use of technology students can develop deep learning on any subject, even if they are not so interested about the subject. Number of activities and websites can motivate students to learn and make subjects more striking for students. This has also been pointed out in another post of Sal Khan, where through the use of number of videos, students were more inspired to learn Maths. Sal Khan developed number of videos where students can search on any subject they want which might have been previously mentioned by the teacher. This applies also to other subjects, those students who might not understand something during the lesson can then go and google it and loads of information are present on the web.

    Although I agree on self-organized learning environment, I have number of doubts about autonomous learning. In my opinion, students need also to develop communicative skills, and to be able to communicate both with their teachers and also with their peers. This helps them in their future life as with jobs etc. Thus, my point is that although students need to adopt self-learning they need also to be part of collaborative learning.

    What I found very interesting in this video is the aspect of collaborative learning, where students were engaged working together answering the GCSE questions while using the internet as an information resource. As had been pointed out in the video, collaborative learning develops deep-learning of the subject and thus students would learn more. I believe that when students work together they can share their own opinions and learn from each other, while they can also express their difficulties with their peers and help each other where possible. In fact, it is imperative for teachers to allow students of mixed abilities to work together.

    This might be of an interest too.

  48. The ‘Hole in the Wall’ project really impressed me. I never thought that those children were going to undergo through such radical change! For me, it is a very emotional video, seeing those children that don’t have the same resources of others and lack certain educational knowledge, can and will achieve the same as others! This is a clear message of why teachers should not underestimate the capabilities of their students. I see a connection between what these children were doing and what children do in a discovery learning!.

    It will be healthy if teachers promote this type of learning, first of all because children will develop problem solving skills and critical thinking on their own. In other words, children are capable of learning on their own, especially when the teacher integrates these main ingredients in her teaching recipe: curiosity, exploration, discovery, motivation, interactive content and fun. Children don’t need only the basic education but also they need to know how to convey meaning and deal with the complex world in which we are living, even without the presence of any other person.

  49. While there is no doubt that it is a great idea and I agree perfectly with the statement that If children have interest, then Education happens”, still do not agree with the statement that a teacher should be replaced by a machine. I do not think that it is suitable for a child to learn only from a machine because he/she develops intelligence according to age. Maturity play a great role. Teachers also give a guide to students. Small children can’t distinguish what is good for them to learn at their age. Addition to this I think we all remember what an impact a particular teacher had made on us. Teacher changes life…a machine can’t do that.

  50. Wow, this is totally a great video to share. Thank you ! It’s simply amazing how children can learn if they are provided with a good learning environment. Mr. Mitra’s experiment shows that it doesn’t matter where learning takes place, even if it occurs in the world’s most under developed countries, as long as there is a good approach towards learning, nothing is impossible. I was totally amazed by the fact that in just few hours, children who have never seen a computer before started using it to do whatever interested them. This reminds me of the first time I started to use my first computer 🙂 Automatically without realizing that I was actually learning, in just few hours I was able to google information and paste it in order to hand in my first printed assigment. Mr. Mitra’s visit to Turin was also a part that I was particularly amazed with considering that they couldn’t understant what he was saying and still he managed to teach them something that they actually looked up themselves. I heard one of the boys saying that Pythagoras was a ‘matematico’ ! 🙂 Using this collaborative approach, Mr. Mitra proved that group work is much more efficient than the individual approach. Peer tutoring, as also seen in the video with a girl from India making herself as the teacher, is also an effective approach in order to acquire knowledge within a collaborative environment.

  51. Sa minn meta kont zghir minn dejjem inzertajt trabbejt f’ambjent li jpoggi l-quddiem din l-idea ta’ Mitra. Nemmen li l-kapacitajiet li ghandu il-bniedem huma mhux biss f’dak li ghandu x’jaqsam ma kif jassorbi u jevalwa id-dinja, izda wkoll ta’ xjista’ jikkontribwixxi fiha u lejha. Is-sensi taghna huma fost l-aktar affarijiet importanti li jghinu nesperjenzaw dak kollu li jigri madwarna, izda kultant nemmen li naghtuhom wisq importanza. L-outer senses qieghdin hemm biex jaghtuna l-esperjenza preciz kif inhi, izda huma l-inner senses li jaghmlu din l-esperjenza wahda personali. Personali fis-sens li ma jista jkollu hadd qatt identika bhalha u ghal daqs tant jidhol il-lok importanti ta’ l-intepretazzjoni. Issa taghmel kemm taghmel sistemi diversi ta’ taghlim, kulma tista tolqot b’mod dirett huma l-outer senses, u ghaldaqstant imbaghad hija l-kreattivita individwali li taghmel is-sens minn dak li tkun esperjenzajt u “tibdlu” f’knowledge li jghodd ghalik!

    L-impressjoni li niehu hija li sirna nghazznu ferm il-kreattivita u l-istint ta l-individwu… u ghaldaqstant mhux qieghdin natu lok li naslu ghal rizultati simili izda minn toroq diversi u differenti. Liema toroq jista japplikaw b’mod differenti ghal kull individwu. Jien nemmen li l-gwida ma ghandix tkun dik ta’ biex ser nispicca… izda dik tal-process fih innifsu li rridu nghaddu minnu sabiex nispiccaw dik l-attivita’… l-esperjenza li nghaddu minnha hija l-attivita fiha nfisha u l-mod ta’ kif nesperjenzawha huwa wiehed personali li hu determinat minn dak kollu li ghaddejt minnu u b’dak kollu li ghadek igorr minnu.

    Persuna li toghgobni ferm fejn jidhlu seminars dwar il-mod ta’ kif nikkoncepixxu l-muzika m’hija hadd ghajr Evelyn Glennie… kif wiehed jista’ jinduna f’dal vid ( dak li ghamilha differenti in d first place kien dak li finalment ghamilha il-personalita li hi llum. Li sabet min flok jghidilha kif taghmel l-affarijiet offrilha l-ghodda biex tiskopri hi x’ghandha taghmel kien dak l-indvidwu li bidlilha id-dinja taghha ta’ taht fuq ^^


  52. I totally agree with angelica buttigieg, summerizing the salient points from sugata mitra’s video: ie:
    photographic recall, peer learning and self learning. He clearly demonstrates this in his New Delhi experiment in 1999. I already noticed this initiative happening else where,and I commented on the same “argument” on the 26th January on the “Learning without frontiers” blog, referring to a Unicef initiative introducing a digital drum in a rural village in Uganda. The effect on the poor children of Uganda was exactly the same as those shown in the video.

    So this learning potential present within anybody any where in the world cannot be taken for-granted. I think we owe this success of self learning through ICT thanks to man/woman’s innate “curiosity”. We have to avail ourselves of curiosity by using curious methods that arouse interest.

  53. I really liked this video. Thanks so much for sharing. I really believe that technology in students can really make a difference. I liked the part when the autistic child’s parents said that now, their child started understanding mathematics. I believe that if the teachers believe in the strategies they use, and be more inclusive in their way of teaching, there would be better results for everyone.
    I very much agree with the statement that “when you learn you become a better person”.

  54. Taking on the lead from this eye-opening blog, I believe that one of the most dangerous fallacies in education is the belief that intelligent students are good thinkers. Implicit in education often enough is the notion that thinking is simply intelligence in action just as traffic is cars in motion. Rather I strongly back Edward De Bono’s notion from his handbook Thinking Skills (1992) that as educators we should be less interested in the measurement of intelligence or of thinking skills – if one lines up a number of people and asks them to race each other one ends up comparing their natural ability to run but if suitable roller skates are designed for all of them then they will all go further and faster than before. So educators ought to be more interested in the designing tailor-made learning tools, in acting as facilitators, than in measuring the students’ natural ability.

  55. Teachers should not only teach the students in the classroom but teach them how to teach themselves, that is, to learn on their own.

  56. It was interesting to find out that places with high crime rate/ poor areas, where places that, ironically, were not attractive to teachers. Yet it is in these places where teachers are most valued. It was an interesting idea to place a computer in the middle of the slums to see if children can really teach themselves without the aid from a teacher. It makes one realise that if one gives a person, regardless of culture, the opportunity to learn then the person will teach themselves something.

  57. Pingback: Time is short…connect the dots…(part of a speech given by Steve Jobs) #ocTEL | Seriously Virtual

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