talk: Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

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Posted by appa | Posted in education | Posted on 28-07-2009

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

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“Today for show and tell I ‘ve brought a tiny marvel of nature: a single snowflake. I think we might all learn a lesson from how this utterly unique and exquisite crystal.. ..turns into an ordinary boring molecule of water just like every other one when you bring it in the classroom. And now. While the analogy sinks in. I’ll be leaving you drips and going outside.”

– Calvin Hobbes comic strip 🙂

BBC: Delhi children make play of the net

The slum children figured out how to use the computer

In the slums of Delhi, an experiment has shown how illiterate street children can quickly teach themselves the rudiments of computers and the internet.

The aim of the experiment, funded by the Indian Government, local institutions and the World Bank was to see what role computers might play in educating India’s illiterate millions.

The results were startling, showing how much children with little or no English and no computer training at all could achieve.

Simple idea

The project was the brainchild of Sugata Mitra, who spearheads research and development at NIIT, a training and software company in Delhi.

His idea was simple. He installed a computer on the wall of his south Delhi office that was facing a slum and watched what happened.

“Very quickly, they discovered that the cursor changes to a hand shape when you bring it close to an underlined word and then accidentally discovered that you can change pages.

All this happened within minutes and so that by about the eighth minute they were actually surfing.”

One of the things they particularly liked was drawing, discovering how to use the MSpaint programme to create paintings.

The children then moved on to downloading games and playing them. They did not stop there.

By the second month they had discovered MP3 music files and they were downloading songs.

Children were surfing within minutes…

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