At ALT-C 2010 Sugata Mitra from Newcastle University gave a keynote :”The hole in the wall: self organising systems in education”
He discussed how in 1999 he embedded a free to use computer kiosk in the wall of an Indian slum in Delhi.
Mitra had the idea that children are self motivated learners, and would teach themselves how to use the kiosk, without guidance, or intervention. He termed this the ” Minimally Invasive Education Environment” (MIEE).
The project was a resounding, startling success, and has since spread to some 27 kiosks, and been trialled in a number of different situations.
The WaP project at Pembrokeshire College has identified parallels in the emergence of new mobile technology and boldly proposes to investigate whether such a minimal intervention can lead to alternative pedagogic models better suited to our cash strapped economy.
The details of the project can be found on the JISC website, [http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning/swaniltig/paddle.aspx] and on the project blog [http://pembscollege.wordpress.com/progress/]
At the time of writing the project have just purchased the handsets, so things are about to proceed.
I’m quite excited.