VIDEO: The Ethiopian children learning how to use and learn from electronic tablets given to them with no instruction! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 11-09-2012, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A jaw-dropping little video about those Ethiopian children who explored and learned from the Motorola tablets given to them with no instruction!

From Fareed Zacharia:


"Ethiopia has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world, and the village of Wonchi is no exception. Nobody there can read or write. That’s why I was astonished when I saw what Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop per Child organization did there.

They dropped 20 Motorola tablets, preloaded with mostly literacy apps in the village with no instructions. Within four minutes, one boy had found the on/off switch – an unknown entity in these parts – and he then taught the others. In a few days, they were each using about 50 apps each.


Watch the video for the full Look."

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#2 of 10 Old 11-09-2012, 05:39 PM
 
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Interesting, but I did have to wonder why they weren't learning to read and write Amharic or a local tribal tongue.  I guess learningEnglish is more impressive somehow?


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#3 of 10 Old 11-09-2012, 05:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

Interesting, but I did have to wonder why they weren't learning to read and write Amharic or a local tribal tongue.  I guess learningEnglish is more impressive somehow?

I think they can probably do a lot more/go a lot further with a knowledge of English. 

 

I love this story! So impressive.


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#4 of 10 Old 11-10-2012, 12:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post


From Fareed Zacharia:


"Nobody there can read or write."

 

It is really disappointing they feel the need to exaggerate.  This statement is not true.  I also noticed that in the original article there was a mention of how people in this parts have never seen a written word.  Again NOT true at all.  Ugh.

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#5 of 10 Old 11-11-2012, 02:42 PM
 
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Actually I think it's a good point...it would have made more since if it wasn't in English and I have to say that if you're surrounded by people who speak Amharic, knowing some English is probably not going to help you get out of your country full of people who speak Amharic...not to mention the fact that perhaps they would prefer to stay in their tribal village.  

 

I also find it difficult to believe that they have never seen a written word...and I have to think back on the colonization/modernization/civilization of tribes as not a good thing and what the greater implications there could be in this merely "dropping off technology" for these children as some sort of experiment. 

 

At the same time this story is another reason I do not send my children to school.  I think there is too much bias in institutionalized education and journalism and I want my children to feel free to look at the whole picture, something I was discouraged from doing as a child.  

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#6 of 10 Old 11-12-2012, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It is really disappointing they feel the need to exaggerate.  This statement is not true.  I also noticed that in the original article there was a mention of how people in this parts have never seen a written word.  Again NOT true at all.  Ugh.

 

Good point. I'd assumed he was only referring to a tiny village, but it's not a tiny village at all. Here's the Wikipedia writeup: Wonchi.

 

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#7 of 10 Old 11-12-2012, 10:32 AM
 
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Good point. I'd assumed he was only referring to a tiny village, but it's not a tiny village at all. Here's the Wikipedia writeup: Wonchi.

 

Lillian
 

 

You got me curious. I looked on wikipedia, and then went to Google maps. There's a district called Wonchi with a population of almost 100,000, but it's 98% rural. The village of Wonchi (in West Shewa, Oromia, Ethiopia) itself does appear to be quite small and remote... a hundred or so small buildings. 

 

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#8 of 10 Old 11-12-2012, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 

You got me curious. I looked on wikipedia, and then went to Google maps. There's a district called Wonchi with a population of almost 100,000, but it's 98% rural. The village of Wonchi (in West Shewa, Oromia, Ethiopia) itself does appear to be quite small and remote... a hundred or so small buildings. 

 

Miranda

 

Ah! Glad you thought to notice the difference. That makes a lot more sense.

 

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#9 of 10 Old 11-18-2012, 07:57 AM
 
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Interesting, but I did have to wonder why they weren't learning to read and write Amharic or a local tribal tongue.  I guess learningEnglish is more impressive somehow?

I wonder if it was just what the charity could afford? There are already hundreds of apps that teach English to children, and I'm not sure how many are there that teach Amharic in an engaging, game-like fashion. 

 

Even if the segment exaggerates that they haven't seen a written word, I still think it is amazing. Another demonstration that children learn all the time and absorb information in most amazing ways. 

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#10 of 10 Old 11-18-2012, 10:48 AM
 
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Interesting, but I did have to wonder why they weren't learning to read and write Amharic or a local tribal tongue.  I guess learningEnglish is more impressive somehow?

 

It's probably because all the apps they can put on the tablets don't have versions in those languages. I didn't watch the whole video, but I don't think they created 50+ apps from scratch just for this experiment, but rather they installed apps that already existed (or could the kids add additional apps? I'm guessing there's no internet access).

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