"He calls it the grandmother technique, and it goes like this: expose a
half dozen or so kids to a computer, and let them have at it. The only
supervision required is an adult to listen the kids brag about what they
learn. It’s the opposite, he says, of the disciplinary ways of many
parents—more like a kindly grandmother, who rewards curiosity with
acceptance and encouragement. And it is a challenge to the past century
and a half of formalized schooling.
Since this first experience in 1999, Mitra has been working to extend
the notion of self-organized learning to address the needs of poor
children, especially in developing countries,
who have little or no educational resources. He is convinced that
school children can teach themselves just about anything—that they can
achieve educational objectives without formal direction. For these kids,
formal education, at least as practiced in the U.K., where he is
professor of educational technology at Newcastle University, is of
I can see this as a supplemental way to learn, but not as the only way to learn.