Get out of the way and let them learn

In the hours and days after dropping a connected computer in an Indian village, children had figured out how to record music and play games. In further experiments, newly connected students were given series of questions, challenged to work together to find answers. They did. The astonishing outcomes (see video!) where augmented by light encouragement and facilitation.

Reflecting on these experiments, the researcher, Sugata Mitra has come to frame education as a self-organizing where learning is an emergent behaviour. I don’t think that this means that we stop designing education and training. However, it does suggest a new model of instruction: provide learners with interesting challenges,  access to (unbelievably powerful) information technology and then get out of the way to let the learning emerge.