Computer skills development by children using 'hole in the wall' facilities in rural India
AbstractEarlier work often referred to as the "hole in the wall" experiments has shown that groups of children can learn to use public computers on their own. This paper presents the method and results of an experiment conducted to investigate whether such unsupervised group learning in shared public spaces can improve children's performance in school examinations. The experiment was conducted with "hole in the wall" (minimally invasive education, or MIE) kiosks in the rural Sindhudurg District of Maharashtra State, India. 103 children of the Grade 8 level, across 3 villages, were administered the curricular examination for 'Computer Science' for that grade.
The results show that children who had learned at MIE kiosks were able to complete this curricular examination without being taught the subject. They scored only marginally lower than children who had been taught the 'Computers' curriculum in school throughout the school year. The results of this study throw new light on pedagogy for bridging the digital divide. It poses the question that similar learning may well be observed in whole or part in other subjects of the school curriculum.
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