Nicolas Negroponte, founder of the One Laptop Per Child project, has long been an advocate of simply giving children tools and letting them teach themselves. He recently started testing that idea with a new pilot program.
According to IT Pro Portal, Negroponte got the chance to try his plan in a small rural African village. This village was so isolated that not only could no one read; there wasn’t even anything to read. “You won’t even see printed labels or words on bottles, these people have never even seen words” said Negroponte.
But the kids still managed to figure out how to use the tablets:
Negroponte’s team left boxed tablets in a village and within three hours the children had opened the boxes and worked out how to turn the tablets on. After just a couple of weeks of unassisted use, the children were seen competing with each when reciting the alphabet, which they learned from one of the many pre-installed apps.
But as great as that might be, one could also argue that the tablets would be used much more effectively with a properly trained teacher. Unfortunately, it would be rather hard to stick one of those in a box.