The final 2 weeks of my high school are finally here. All my classes were AP courses, and the test dates for those were the weeks before, so in class we have been playing board games. The school Administration did not like this apparently and so now teachers were forced to give us projects to keep us busy from here on. In my AP English class today, our teacher Mrs. Layton decided to show us a TED video of Dr. Sugata Mitra.
Dr. Sugata Mitra is an Educational Researcher, and is the winner of the 2013 TED Prize. His wish is that we can join globally to change our old "victorian" ways of schooling and moving on to a more progressive one with the help of technology, specifically the internet. The internet is a very powerful tool. It is a mean of communication, where we are able to teach each other, learn from each other and even change the world.
Dr. Mitra's wish implements the internet and deals with young children's curiosity to learn. Dr. Mitra is best known for his "Hole in the wall" experiment.
I was intrigued by the Dr. Mitra's experiment. The experiment dealt with leaving a computer with internet capabilities in little towns around India, where children have never been exposed to technology such as the internet. Dr. Mitra would arrive at different towns, set up a computer in a "hole in a wall", and would leave to come back about 3 months later. The results were outstanding! By the time Dr. Mitra would return, the children knew their way around the internet, some even learning the english language as they browsed. All without the guidance of a teacher. Dr. Mitra's experiments are proof that children do not need to be forced to learn new things. Learning is a part of being human, the curiosity to learn is as natural to us as eating or drinking. Dr. Mitra hopes to start a new way of learning where kids tech themselves, and teach each other, with nothing but encouragement by their elders.
I really like Dr. Mitra's idea. I can personally say that the curiosity to learn is within us by nature. Most of the things i know about computers I learned my way through. I remember at around age 7 I would head straight to the unoccupied computer whenever i would visit my dad at his office. I loved using Windows' Paint. From there i got the hang of using the internet for games. From the games on the internet I started asking for actual computer games. Whenever I got a new game, I would teach myself to play it. This is still true for me, for example, when i got my first Macbook, I knew nothing about Apple and their Macbooks, and neither did my parents. I learned through trial and error and the ambition to learn. If you look at younger kids now a days, they usually have some sort of electronic device with them, be it a 3DS a PS Vita, or a smartphone.My little cousins know how to mess with the iPhone than my parents or my aunts and uncles do. Children are very curious, they don't need to be forced to learn new things, they do not need that guidance, all they need is encouragement.
I think Dr. Mitra's idea is genius. Students in middle school, and high school, are quickly losing interest in their education. Why? Because our education system is obsolete. We now have tools we had not had before, where you had to read your way through textbooks, and go to the library for research projects. We must move on and take on a new approach to teaching. Education at the moment is all about numbers, getting the highest numbers for your work that is based off of a curriculum that millions of other students and teachers have to follow. This system creates clones, everyone is forced to learn the same thing weather or not you are interested in that topic or will need it in your future career. It is time to change, move on to the era of technology, we are wasting the use of the internet, it is undermined. The whole world of knowledge literally at our finger tips, yet we are stuck in school learning the same material as the generations before us have.
Here is the link to Dr. Mitra's TED talk. Check it out: