Computer In a Wall

Sugata Mitra installed a computer in a concrete wall, facing an alley that local children used as a bathroom. In short time, these mostly illiterate children became computer-literate — downloading MP3s, drawing with MS Paint, and playing games on disney.com.

The children create their own metaphors to do this. To give you an idea of what I mean, a journalist came up to one of these kids and asked him, “How do you know so much about computers?” The answer seemed very strange to her because the kid said, “What’s a computer?” The terminology is not as important as the metaphor. If they’ve got the idea of how a mouse works and that the Internet is [like a wall they can paint on], who cares if they know that a computer is called a computer and a mouse is called a mouse? In most of our classes here at NIIT, we spend time teaching people the terminology and such. That seems irrelevant to me with these children.

Continue reading →