How much training do children need?

The traditional view is that children need a formal training process to be able to use technology successfully, but an ad hoc experiment by an Indian physicist might suggest otherwise. Dr Sugata Mitra believes that even poor, illiterate children can teach themselves the basics of computer literacy with the barest minimum of assistance. He describes this as ‘minimally invasive education’, and credits the children’s natural curiosity with allowing them to teach themselves.

Dr Mitra installed a PC with an internet connection in a ‘hole in the wall’, adjacent to one of New Delhi’s poorest slums, and allowed anyone who passed by to play with it. He quickly found that the most frequent users were children aged between 6 and 12, who had only the most basic education and no knowledge of English. Within days, they had taught themselves how to draw and browse the net.

For more information on Dr Mitra’s work, click here.

alanarthurHow much training do children need?
read more

What is ‘the digital divide’?

Wikipedia defines the digital divide as ‘an economic and social inequality with regard to access to, use of, or impact of information and communication technologies (ICT)’. At Tech 2 Kids, we see it more simply as the gap between kids that have access to technology and kids that don’t. Internet access is beginning to be considered a human right, in the same vein as clean water, electricity and safe housing. Children that don’t have regular, unfettered access to technology and the services that it supports tend to be those that are already disadvantaged, and this further disadvantage can make a significant difference.

alanarthurWhat is ‘the digital divide’?
read more