Fri, April 19, 2002

Kids can learn anything

In a fascinating experiment, slum kids in India teach themselves to surf the web and use paint software but ask “What’s a computer?” I’m not sure what I find more interesting, the kiosk and hardware setup (including video cameras and screen recording software) or the fact that kids taught themselves to do this. Use of a touch pad probably contributed to the ease of learning. (A touch screen might be even better.) I originally saw this story on slashdot and can’t stop thinking about it.

Why should we talk about being computer-literate but not bicycle-literate? If you can use something should you need to know all the names for its parts? If you do, I suspect a majority of the population isn’t car-literate. This reminds me of a friend who said he encouraged his mom to call the CPU of her computer a “box”.

Out of toilet paper?     You’re a luser if you can’t use this