Entertainment can be a more powerful driver than poverty.
I’m encouraging kids to use computers at their own pace to build aspirations.
The best schools tend to have the best teachers, not to mention parents who supervise homework, so there is less need for self-organised learning. But where a child comes from a less supportive home environment, where there are family tensions perhaps, their schoolwork can suffer. They need to be taught to think and study for themselves.
Too many pupils at schools in the U.K. want to have careers as footballers or TV hosts, or models, because that’s what they’re constantly exposed to as the heroes of our time.
In nine months, a group of children left alone with a computer – in any language – would reach the same standard as an office secretary in the West.
We need a pedagogy free from fear and focused on the magic of children’s innate quest for information and understanding.
My wish for humanity is to invent a way to communicate between us and whatever comes next. And in the end that we the creator of the sentient sapient and the created we have a symbiotic relationship.
It would be better, in a way, if any adults present were completely uneducated. There is nothing children like more than passing on information they have just discovered to people who may not already have it – an elderly grandmother, for instance.
I was inspired by the Hole in the Wall project, where a computer with an internet connection was put in a Delhi slum. When the slum was revisited after a month, the children of that slum had learned how to use the worldwide web.
Teachers say to me, ‘The internet is full of rubbish, wrong answers.’ But you would be surprised how just long it takes to find wrong information on Google, and where it’s not obvious that it’s wrong.