In recent months we have seen a flurry of new technologies being launched by the biggest global players.
Microsoft launches the Surface (reviews say it’s great for students but I’m guessing the price isn’t). Google launches the Nexus 10 tablet (highest resolution screen around; more so than the iPad so great for watching your favourite film). Amazon launches Kindle Fire in the UK (is this the strongest competitor to the iPad?). And now with 4G phones (super-fast downloads)…
Do you think they are trying to give Apple a run for their money? Should Apple be scared? Discuss 🙂
For a few years, Sugata Mitra has been working with children in India and England on his Hole In The Wall project, which is absolutely worth finding out about. There are lessons to be learned from it about self-propelled education and motivation that are truly enlightening for anybody in education, or who has kids.
The more recent One Laptop Per Child project – which Mitra is apparently also involved in – builds on the same principles. By air-dropping technology with even less guidance, to children in towns with even less access to technology, education or literacy, the OLPC project gathered even more startling results:
We left the boxes in the village. Closed. Taped shut. No instruction, no human being. I thought, the kids will play with the boxes! Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, but found the on/off switch. He’d never seen an on/off switch. He powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs [in English] in the village. And within five months, they had hacked Android. Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera! And they figured out it had a camera, and they hacked Android.
Nicholas Negroponte, OLPC founder
These projects illuminate some fascinating ideas about how children can learn, but might also point us toward an understanding of why adults find it harder to. You should definitely read more about it at the MIT Technology Review – click here.