Sugata Mitra: Can kids teach themselves?

Short answer: FUCK YES!

I’ve LONG known this to be true from my years of “teaching” kids English in Taiwan. What I learned (especially with the young ones) is that… They don’t really need me there. I mean, I can definitely help with facilitating things, but left to their own devices kids do awesome stuff. I think one of the better stories of this was a father’s SHOCK to discover his kid could actually speak English. This was after a almost 1-hour phone conversation I has with the kid about Robots, Dinosaurs, Cars, Video Games and other kick ass shit like that.

I was of course a key player in getting that English into his head BUT it stuck because it was HIS. The “kick ass” English was his English about shit he was into. Kids are really good at knowing what they’re into and not into. You just kind of have to probe a little bit until you find out what they’re into and then lay that in front of them. (Un)fortunately the shit they’re into usually isn’t English, Math, Science and Social Studies when they’re 4-12 years old (ESPECIALLY the way those subjects are usually presented).

Wow… I really didn’t mean to ramble that long. Anyhow, this video kick ASS!

If you’re not already convinced that the answer is yes, I think you might be after the video. I think this approach works for kids AND adults (at least cool ones like me. πŸ™‚ )

Here’s a little blurb about his talk from [this post:]

“Sugata Mitra heads research at an Indian software company, but he is known for the Hole in the Wall project which is about what he calls “outdoctrination”: self-organization in education.”


The title of my new blog about the adventures I’m going to have at the school and my adventures of ” “remote minimally invasive group education.” (<– I made some of my own additions to this quote ” “minimally invasive education.”) Since no one registered the domain yet, I did. πŸ˜€

And what do I mean by remote minimally invasive group education? I’m not totally sure just yet, but I think it’s beginning to happen with different things with the MilTownKlan. After watching the video I was thinking to myself. Man… The MilTownKlass idea could turn into something similar for large kids aka adults (by the way, I think I have a tag line for it: MilTownKlan – FUCK SCHOOL! lol)

Shortly after that I get a phone call about a video that was posted to Youtube. From my brotha from another motha [LaughingLeaf.]

This video is interesting on a number of levels for me. I lack the time to get into all of them, but what I would like to point out most is how much LaughingLeaf’s videos sucked when he first started posting them on Youtube (I’ll save him from the embarrassment of providing a link. πŸ˜‰ ) And the funny thing is, it isn’t like I helped his skill much. I gave pointers here and there and now his editing skill is better than mine. Why? Because of the collaborative learning nature of the internets. First he’s interested, then he starts making some, gets input, makes more, seeks more input, etc. til POOF! This latest video.

Anyhoo… That’s enough for today. I’m going to go grab a brew and watch a midnight showing of Willy Wonka. πŸ˜€

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5 Responses to Sugata Mitra: Can kids teach themselves?

  1. LaughingLeaf says:

    Now I understand why the video was well-timed πŸ˜€

    I really appreciate your thanks.
    What I like doing is going back to my videos (I know, “going back” sounds awkward because it really only is 3 months back) and viewing my older videos and just have a laugh about myself.

    “I could just take them off”. Thats what sometimes I tend to think, but then I realize that without those videos my channel wouldnt really have any kind of “history”. And If i look at miltownkid’s channel, it is FULL of “history”, and that is what makes it a complete youtube Channel involving his life. (Example: “The death of my xbox”)

    Hope to see you in your liveshow today mtk!

  2. miltownmom says:

    Very interesting. Thanks for the video on the hole in the wall. I’ll send that to some remote educators:)

  3. LaughingLeaf says:

    @ Miltownmom,

    may I ask if you are talking about the “Whole in the Wall Gang project”? The project which like collects money for disabled children?

    If you are, thats cool, because we have gathered a lot of money for that project at our school the past few years πŸ˜€

  4. miltownmom says:

    It was the project the video was about–the computer in a hole in the wall. Is that what your were talking about LaughingLeaf?

  5. LaughingLeaf says:

    Ah ok, I watched the video fully, I understand it now. No I dont think it has anything to do with what I was talkin about. But it sounded so familiar,”Whole in the wall”, that it reminded me of this project in school :-).

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