FW: [CONet] How some "slum kids" are learning computers on their own

From: Sean Kenny (sean@irvken.free-online.co.uk)
Date: Thu Jun 22 2000 - 17:15:44 MDT

I thought some list members might like this story I picked up on a work
mailing list

According to The Straits Times of Singapore, NIIT, an information
technology (IT) training institute in New Delhi, resides a few yards away
from a slum. As an experiment, NIIT's cognitive engineering researchers last
year made
a hole in their office wall facing the slum and installed a powerful
connected permanently to the Internet. The computer was available for anyone
use. It's just sitting there, apparently out in the open, on the street.

The result was extraordinary. The slum children, many of whom had had no
primary school education, went over to check out the computer. There was
no instructor on call; they were left to themselves. Within hours they were
successfully finding websites on the Internet (Disney, Hindi films,
cricket trivia) and learning other computing skills as well (not just
Internet related).

 Since nobody taught them "correct" computer terminology, they made up
their own language. For instance, they call websites "channels," and the
"needle" because of its "sharp" pointer.To date, the children have created
than 1,000 folders and used the computer for everything from games to
helping their parents.

The article also provides some analysis of the implications for poverty
stricken children, worldwide.

Here is the link to the full story

I hope you check it out.

Best regards,

Loretta Weiss-Morris

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