When Indian researcher Sugata Mitra embedded a touch-screen computer in a wall separating his IT firm’s New Delhi offices from an adjacent slum, he discovered that street children quickly taught themselves how to surf the net, read the news, and download games in what he calls “a spiral of self-instruction.” What’s more, when one child stumbled upon a shortcut or a new function, he quickly taught it to several other children. In this inspiring program, Mitra tells the story of the electronic hole in the wall that enabled some of India’s poorest children to leap the digital divide and improve their future prospects, and Mitra to test his theory of minimally invasive education. Just how far will kids go if allowed to teach themselves? Mitra was awarded the prestigious TED prize in 2013 for continuing the educational innovations documented in this film. (59 minutes)
Education scientist Sugata Mitra tackles one of the greatest problems of education: the best teachers and schools don’t exist where they’re needed most. In a series of real-life experiments from New Delhi to South Africa to Italy, he gave kids self-supervised access to the Web and saw results that could revolutionize how we think about teaching.