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Content Co-Creation by Children

The Background
Children, when given free access to computers, pick up basic computer literacy skills by with minimal intervention by adults. This has been called Minimally Invasive Education (MIE) by Dr. Sugata Mitra and is basis for the Hole-in-the-Wall Learning Stations.

What Next?
Children interviewing a community member.
HiWEL has been experimenting with several ideas to take learning at the Learning Station to the next level keeping the MIE principle in mind. One question that occurred was - "Can children move from being content-users to content-generators?" This gave rise to the initiative - Content Co-Creation by Children (CCC) at the Learning Station. HiWEL now offers CCC as an added service to the Learning Station.

Why CCC?
In most parts of the world, the oral tradition has been an important means to communicate and record history. Folklore has been used to preserve the environment and culture in the absence of the written tradition and all members of the community - elders, women, men and children are custodians of culture. Often there is a difference in the acquired knowledge and its dissemination inducing an element of dynamism in the entire process and making it a "living" culture. Incidentally, this knowledge comes under the purview of the intangible culture of a nation that UNESCO is taking steps to preserve as it is this that is likely to get lost in the process of urbanization.

Numerous studies indicate that children learn best in environments that are conducive and aligned to their cognitive and mental models (Brouwer-Janse, et, al., 1997). It is acknowledged that learning becomes more effective and memorable when children participate in educational activities they can relate to and are drawn from their immediate environment. Children at the HiWEL Learning Station, learn primarily by cooperating and collaborating with one another.

A sample CCC project.
The above forms the basis for the minimally invasive mediation called Content Co-Creation by Children (CCC) at its Learning Stations. The purpose of this initiative is to enable children to examine closely various activities and objects in their environment which have cultural connotations and document the same. These could be folklore, local flora and fauna, structures and events of cultural significance, etc. The children will also learn to share the content so created using digital media and communication. This is a documentation based project and is in no way a reflection of the performance of the children participating in this project.

The primary overall objectives are:
  • Enable creation of usable, values-based, culturally sensitive content on the local culture and tradition by the community, the primary creators being children
  • Enable sharing of content with others and the world at large
  • Make efforts for the content management and storage for the future use
In addition to these primary objectives, the project will also:
  • Motivate local communities to utilize the digital intervention in forms meaningful to themselves

Project Framework
The effort involves both micro and macro interventions. At the micro level, individual children, youth and women will be the focal points. At the macro level, effort is made to cover as many stakeholders for this initiative as possible. Stakeholders are identified with the assigned roles to play. To build a community, the process of content creation is complemented by attractive and easy packaging of the information, appropriate training and content that fulfils community needs.

HiWEL has evolved a research-based, robust, replicable and scalable process to enable content creation by children using HiWEL Learning Stations. The CCC mediation project provides detailed processes and platform to exchange and share knowledge through HiWEL Learning Stations. The delivery will be through a web-based platform, an interactive, dynamic portal and/or Wikipedia® for the collation and refinement and to engage the community on continuous basis. This platform shall have mechanisms for both the vertical and horizontal information and communication exchanges.

A pilot research project was undertaken to find out if children can collaborate and create authentic and objective content of cultural relevance, both current and past. Based on this, the project was simultaneously replicated at other HiWEL Learning Stations. To see the pilot project, click here

Screenshots from some of the CCC projects
Education Challenge
A New Way to Learn
Learning Dynamics
Technological Innovations
Ensuring Impact
Content Co-Creation by Children
Activity Based e-Learning

UN Millennium Development Goals
UNICEF State of the World's Children report
India State and District Report Cards

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