TED : Ideas worth spreading

Review: Kids can teach themselves

Speaker: Sugata Mitra
LIFT 2007
Date: February 2007
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Description from TED website:
Editor’s note: This video is a TED “Best of the Web” pick, featuring a remarkable idea freely available on the internet.

Speaking at LIFT 2007, Sugata Mitra talks about his Hole in the Wall project. Young kids in this project figured out how to use a PC on their own — and then taught other kids. He asks, what else can children teach themselves?

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My Review / Notes / Thoughts

This is a bit longer talk than most, and not quite in a TED Talk format, but he still shares a good bit of interesting research and information. The primary ‘chunk’ of the talk is the history and process of the research he conducted, it is only later in the talk where he gets to the material that I’m pointing out for you.

The question he leaves the audience with is “Can technology alter the acquisition of values?” This is certainly a question that could be answered through a lot of research, however, it is also a good question for student group discussion. Or it might be an interesting topic for a theoretical paper where students must back up their views with material from other sources.

The four statements that he ends up presenting in this talk (at 18:57 in the video) are

  1. Remoteness affects the quality of education.
  2. Educational technology should be introduced into remote areas first.
  3. Values are acquired; doctrine and dogma are imposed.
  4. Learning is most likely a self-organizing system.

These statements could also be used to spur research questions or ideas for our students, it could also be good discussion and or paper projects.

There is just so much content in this talk that I believe you could pull many ideas for student engagement out of it. What do you think? What types of projects do you think you could develop for your students based on this video?

Until next time … live long, life-learner!