"Sugata Mitra: The Child-Driven Education"
I found this video to be pretty interesting. I agree with the statement made, "if a teacher can be replaced by a machine, they should". As teachers, we should bring something dynamic to the table, something a machine can't. Teachers offer that personal interaction that you can't get from a computer.
I definitely think that kids can learn if they're motivated and for that matter they can teach themselves. When Mr. Mitra did his experiment with the computers in New Delhi, the kids taught themselves. It's like any toy with a child. What's the first thing they do? Rip open the box and start playing with the toy. They don't read the instructions but given enough time they will figure out every detail and part of that game in an hour.
The environment kids need to teach themselves isn't one where teachers hover. When you give a child a project and then you hover and pressure them, they aren't likely to do it on their own time. In Mr. Mitra's talk he said that it was only when left alone, that the kids would go and play on the computer and play the games.
The best way to motivate someone to learn is to make it the learning fun. When a child thinks something is boring, they aren't likely to do that project or assignment. Technology helps us out in that way. We can use technology to help us in making learning fun.
When I teach Sunday school, I am constantly trying to find ways to make what I'm teaching them interesting. I am always looking for games to play and videos to show them. When I bring in an object and use that, it heightens their interest. For example, one class I brought in a yo-yo. I began playing with it while I was talking [which I am HORRIBLE at]. They were watching me and I invited them to come try or if they knew any cool tricks. After a few volunteers, they looked interested. They focused on what I was talking about. My point was that we are always connected to God and we can pray anytime we want. Sometimes it feels like we're spinning at the end of our rope [when you let the yo-yo go and spin]. God hasn't left us...we're still connected. They relate when you use an attention-getter.
I took from this video, that kids can and will learn on their own. Just give them time and the resources and they'll prove they're motivated.