Ed Tech Ideas

Tech Integration for Busy Teachers

The Child-Driven Education in Practice

A couple of months ago, I posted a TED Talk video called, The Child-Driven Education, by Sugata Mitra. The premise of Mitra’s study is that given access to “hole in the wall learning stations“, students will use their natural problem solving abilities and use the tools to learn independently.

The acquisition of basic computing skills by any set of children can be achieved through incidental learning provided the learners are given access to a suitable computing facility, with entertaining and motivating content and some minimal (human) guidance.

One of the 5th grade teachers I work with saw that video and was inspired to “re-create” it with his students.  See for yourself what happens:


9 responses to “The Child-Driven Education in Practice

  1. Carl Anderson November 9, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Interesting how the in the American version the teacher presents the activity as a “contest” to students. I didn’t see the collaborative learning in Sugata Mitra’s video as competitive. Kudos for giving this a try. Is the teacher still using this strategy?

    • Keith November 9, 2010 at 11:59 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Carl. I wouldn’t call it the “American version.” It was simply this individual teacher’s approach to take a great learning activity and twist it to match his teaching style. He uses this, and countless other strategies to inspire his students to be passionate about learning.

  2. kherbert November 1, 2010 at 2:47 am

    I’ve added this idea to my lessons for tomorrow. We are going to do a minilesson about questions you answer by finding the answer in the text and questions you answer by using information in the text and adding ideas.

  3. David Warr October 28, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Hi Keith, I love the Hole in the Wall video, and can see how your colleague was inspired to do this lesson. Really nice to watch! Sharing knowledge in the classroom is so much better than protecting it. Recently, at a primary school in the UK I was visiting, one girl opened up a big book to put around her notebook to hide the story she was writing. She didn’t want others stelaing her ideas. Everyone else then decided they had something worth hiding. The table, 5 or 6 children, spent the next 5 minutes making sure no-one was copying anyone else. Impossible. None of them had anything to copy. But their defences were as secure as Fort Knox!

    • Keith November 3, 2010 at 6:29 am

      Hi David,
      Glad you enjoyed our activity and I completely agree with what you say about sharing knowledge. That is pretty much our primary role as educators, and hopefully, we are passing that virtue along to our students.

  4. John October 27, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Very nice, Keith. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. Eric Holshoe October 27, 2010 at 4:59 am

    Very cool! That’s the kind of learning I wish my child was doing in school. Love the 1 to 1 laptops.

    • Keith October 27, 2010 at 5:51 am

      Thanks Eric! Although we’re not 1 to 1 in the Intermediate School (yet). We have a couple of class sets of COWs (Computers on Wheels) that teachers check out for various projects. Amazing learning is happening, and with more and more teachers seeing the benefits of 1 to 1, there is now momentum to make it happen school-wide.

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