Learning without Teachers
I came across a YouTube video recently that showed how technology is transforming education in ways that were unimaginable only a few years ago. The One Laptop per Child organization took footage of Ethiopian villages where they had dropped off some tablet computers pre-loaded with educational apps to see what would happen.
Ethiopia has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world. And in the village of Wonchi where 20 of the laptops were placed, no one knew how to read or write. Amazingly, the young children without any teachers or help from anyone taught themselves the alphabet and several words in a matter of days. Within minutes one boy had found the on/off switch by himself.
You can watch the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJR0-j7axhs
I found this a very moving and hopeful report of how the entire planet might be transformed. The old paradigm of learning is being disrupted. Instead of sitting in classroom afraid of making a mistake, kids will interact with computers and make as many mistakes as they need until they achieve mastery.
Whether the One Laptop per Child objective will be achieved remains in doubt for various reasons, but the idea of how education can be transformed is clear.