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Learning without a school?

“You can have places where you can’t build a school. And even more commonly you can have places where you have schools but good teachers don’t want to or can not go there. What do you do about that? Because there are children everywhere. And that’s what I’m trying to address.”

After his groundbreaking Hole in the Wall Project, Sugata Mitra, came up with another great idea providing education to those who used to be excluded or could be reached only with great difficulties. He uses Skype video chat and has recruited hundreds of grannies in Newcastle — the UK Granny Cloud — to go online and help children in India with their education, based on the grandmother method – stand behind, admire, act fascinated and praise.

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This a great example of how to bring together aging societies in developed countries with children in the devoloping world in need for quality education. A technology enabled win-win-situation. As Val Almond, a volunteer teacher in the project, puts it: “So many children in the world don’t have access to education. But through technology you can get through to the poorest of children.”

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Put more computers outside the classroom

Copyright: www.hole-in-the-wall.com

No, this is not an ATM. This is just a hole in the wall! And the Hole-in-the-Wall project offers a surprisingly fresh perspective on the learning process, breaking the traditional limits of teaching and learning in a school.

The initiative’s founder Sugata Mitra called its approach Minimally Invasive Education to describe how children learn in unsupervised environments. It was derived from a learning experiment he has done in 1999.

Hole-in-The-Wall takes the Learning Station to the playground, employs a unique collaborative learning approach and encourages children to explore, learn and just enjoy.

It can be seen as a ‘Shared Blackboard’ which children in underprivileged communities can collectively own and access, to learn and to explore together. The whole idea is based on the strong belief in the power of collaboration and the natural curiosity of children.

Until today Hole in the Wall Education Limited (HiWEL) set up some 300 ‘learning stations’, covering about 300,000 children in India and several African countries. I think, it is a great idea and I am convinced that it would work not only in developing countries but everywhere in the world. Just put more computers and learning stations outside the classroom!

In a video CNN’s Sara Sidner reports on the Hole-in-the-Wall project linking it to Danny Boyle’s award-winning film Slumdog millionaire. Have a look!

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