Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Use of Computer and Internet Access to help children teach themselves in India.

Here's some great work by Sugata Mitra from the past ten years. I worked with a certain Dr. J. Harriss at SFU on a large paper analyzing Mitra's "Minimally Invasive Education". His argument that Education technology should be introduced to the poorest and remote areas of the world is very true. Children can't teach themselves more difficult subjects, but where education is extremely low-quality, or non-existent, they can pick up quite a lot of the basic math, science and literacy skills.

In the context of 3D printing in the third world, this sort of work meshes quite nicely. If 3D printing released the barriers to manufacturing the developing world, then MIE would release the creativity of its teeming masses. For poorer people who have the ability to craft 3D models that may serve a business they are in (and often self-employed) or a problem they may have (a broken part), then the shackles of the West's monopoly on technical solutions is broken.

Of course, designing complex parts is not easy. But often its a simple fix to a complicated machine they may have invested in. With the advent of reliable scanning it becomes easy to scan a broken part and then print it off. All it requires is some essential familiarity with computers, forums to answer questions and some patience.

Anyways, read my piece goddamn it. There are pictures of cute slum-urchins on computers. They're making LOL-Cats.

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