More on Hole in the Wall project

by Jay Cross on December 11, 2007

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The website for Sugata Mitra’s Hole in the Wall Project.

Traditional Computer Based Learning (CBL) methods typically rely on one-way transmission of information. These methods are seen as extensions of classroom learning and thus viewed by children as restrictive. Consequently, results from such CBL initiatives have, at best, been mixed. In Contrast, Hole-in-the-wall Learning Stations seek to create a new paradigm in the learning process by providing unrestricted computer access to groups of children in an open playground setting. We believe that such an open setting will use child’s natural curiosity to stimulate learning.

Collaborative Learning – The learning station fosters collaborative learning among groups of children instead of following the usual school model of rote based learning (unidirectional). This allows children to explore, learn, share and learn even more as a result of this exchange of knowledge. This ‘multiplier effect’ of collaborative learning is utilized fully by HiWEL learning stations.

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Education, formal or informal, aims at imparting knowledge or skills. Formal educational settings are characterized by conventional and traditional institutionalized features, such as rigidity and fixed ways of planning, ordering and controlling, whereas, non-formal education refers to any organized educational activity outside the formal educational system.

The Minimally Invasive Education (MIE hereafter) occupies a distinctive and unique place in the educational learning system. MIE demonstrates a special case of the interplay of information technology (computers) and learning processes and emphasizes the role of self-directed and participatory learning. Establishing a new pedagogy, based upon continuous research, it indicates that it is adaptable and modifiable to both the formal and informal settings.

MIE, in the last few years has emerged as an educational method that is adaptable to demands of the situation and provides an alternative educational approach in contemporary times. It is likely to have far reaching results for developing nations, where achieving mass levels of literacy is of great concern.

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