Computer teacher

Methods and means of supporting critical thinking in education
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Lance Kennedy
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Computer teacher

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:30 pm

Reference : New Scientist, 3 November 2018, page 42

The work of Sugata Mitra, now professor of educational technology at Newcastle University (UK).*

He installed a 'hole in the wall ' computer, linked to the internet, in a slum in India, and walked away. Groups of children, who had learned to read, played with the computer and taught themselves to use the internet. They learned at a horrendous rate, and without a teacher progressed to a point where they were several years ahead of their peers who went to school.

Mitra found that the best intervention he could do was to ask the odd question. The children took his questions well beyond the basic answer and learned a lot of stuff around the question, not just the answer. Mitra also found that this system worked best in groups, where a small number of children worked together on the one computer.

The business of crackpot web sites is still a problem, but Mitra found he could get a more skeptical approach by asking such questions as "How do we know that is true ?"

Perhaps the traditional education model should be scrapped and replaced with group computer learning, with teachers simply posing the questions ???

*You can also learn more of this approach on Mitras TED talk.

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Io
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Re: Computer teacher

Post by Io » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:58 pm

I've always thought that a better way to teach would be to tell the kids what the lesson is going to be about, let them find out about it themselves for an hour (or during the intervening time between lessons) and then discuss it in an open class. Instead of teaching and expecting kids to remember, get them to work it out and learn for themselves, and then have the teacher fill in the blanks.

Of course, you'd still get the same problem you get with all western schools - kids just want to play their brand new Nintendo Game & Watch or fiddle with their lenticular rulers or sniff their cola bottle scented erasers. Or something.

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TJrandom
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Re: Computer teacher

Post by TJrandom » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:23 am

So that is where the coke is hidden these days - in erasers?

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Io
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Re: Computer teacher

Post by Io » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:30 am

I might be thinking of the 80s.

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landrew
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Re: Computer teacher

Post by landrew » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:59 am

The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

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landrew
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Re: Computer teacher

Post by landrew » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:03 am

Io wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:58 pm
I've always thought that a better way to teach would be to tell the kids what the lesson is going to be about, let them find out about it themselves for an hour (or during the intervening time between lessons) and then discuss it in an open class. Instead of teaching and expecting kids to remember, get them to work it out and learn for themselves, and then have the teacher fill in the blanks.

Of course, you'd still get the same problem you get with all western schools - kids just want to play their brand new Nintendo Game & Watch or fiddle with their lenticular rulers or sniff their cola bottle scented erasers. Or something.
Education has been wrecked by rampant consumerism aimed at children. Children have a strong desire for learning stimulation, which is being exploited by marketers who supplant electronic games and popular media for useful learning experiences. The problem is that few seem to care, while the SAT scores drop lower and lower.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.