Children's learning processes using unsupervised "hole in the wall" computers in shared public spaces

Ritu Dangwal, Preeti Kapur


Earlier research by Mitra and colleagues on the use of computers by young children revealed that children are able to learn basic computing skills irrespective of their social, cultural, intellectual and religious backgrounds (Mitra & Rana, 2001). The present paper is an attempt to identify the varied aspects of a learning environment that impact upon the learning process enabled by "hole in the wall" computers. The study covers 250 children in the age group 8 to 14 years using qualitative and anecdotal evidence given by children and research consultants in the field. The evidence indicates that the environment in which the child learns is of importance for it brings together a host of different yet interrelated aspects of learning. The findings suggest a pedagogic tool for alternative methods to teaching in school settings, and strengthen the view that students should be engaged in a thinking curriculum, wherein everyone learns from everyone else, and no student is deprived of the opportunity for making contributions and appreciating the contributions of others.

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