Posted to Diigo 06/21/2012

    • In an article in Creativity Research Journal, Jessica Dillon and Sandra Russ report that:

      “children’s use of imagination in play and their overall comfort and engagement with play activities actually increased over time. In addition, the results suggested that children today expressed less negative feelings in play. Finally, their capacity to express a wide range of positive emotions, to tell stories and to organize thoughts stayed consistent.”

      In addition, they find “that children who exhibit good play skills with imaginative and emotional play situations have shown better skills at coping, creativity and problem solving,” and “even with the lack of time to play, children, like some other forms of higher mammals, have a drive to play and always will find ways to do it.”

      The truth of these observations is one to which any parent of a pre-schooler can attest. Play is what children do, regardless of parental preferences. It is also a truth that is useful to remember whenever you find yourself amongst adults indulging in bemoaning sessions regarding the negative influence of videogames and other crimes of modernity on their children’s play.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-02-07

The “Hole in the wall” project

“In 1999, Sugata Mitra and his colleagues dug a hole in the wall bordering an urban slum in New Delhi, installed an Internet-connected PC, and left it there (with a hidden camera filming the area). What
they saw was kids from the slum playing around with the computer and in the process learning how to use it and how to go online, and then teaching each other”.

From the profile page on Dr. Mitra from TED.com

Hole in the wall projects have since expanded to many other countries and continue to “light the spark of learning” among children.  Using a teaching pedagogy known as “minimally invasive education“, Hold in the wall projects seek to provide sufficient stimulation to motivate children to learn in groups without any teacher supervision.

This is just another way that makes me realise my role is less a source of knowledge (how can I compete with the Internet) and more a facilitator of learning. Rather than telling students how it is, doesn’t it make more sense to tell them where it is and what to do with it?

“Education-as-usual assumes that kids are empty vessels who need to be sat down in a room and filled with curricular content. Dr. Mitra’s experiments prove that wrong.”

Linux Journal

Link to the Hole in the wall project homepage:
http://www.hole-in-the-wall.com/

Link to the presentation Dr. Mitra gave at the LIFT Conference in 2007:
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/sugata_mitra_shows_how_kids_teach_themselves.html

Link to an essay on the hole in the wall project:
http://www.ncl.ac.uk/egwest/holeinthewall.html