BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Technology  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 29 July, 2002, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Making child's play of technology
Child in Delhi at the Computer Clubhouse
Using the computer to analyse water samples
BBC News Online's Alfred Hermida

Children in the slums of Delhi, India, are having a unique opportunity to play and learn about some of the latest technologies at a youth club with a difference.

It is part of an international network of Computer Clubhouses, set up as a joint project between Boston's Museum of Science and the Media Lab at the Massachusetts's Institute of Technology, US.

"Many of the children had had no experience of computers in the past," said one of the co-founders of the project, MIT Professor Mitchel Resnick.

"But very quickly, they were using the computers to address issues that were very important to them in their everyday lives."

Global expansion

The first Computer Clubhouse was opened in Boston in 1993 as a way to bring computers and other technology to youngsters aged between 10 and 18 who do not have access at school or at home.

Computer Clubhouse in Delhi
Clubs aimed at children aged between 10 and 18
There are now more than 50 club, mostly are in the US. But the project has been expanding beyond America and there are clubs in Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

The chip maker Intel is investing $32m to bring the number up to 100 by 2005.

"In the future, a third of the clubs will be outside the US," Professor Resnick told the BBC programme Go Digital.

Learn and create

The aim of the project is not simply to introduce children to computers.

"Just getting technology out to the world is not enough," said Professor Resnick. "People need support to help them learn how to use these technologies."

Girl at the Delhi Computer Club
Children encouraged to be creative
"This is especially important for kids who come from under-served communities who don't have the same opportunities," he said.

The clubs use techniques developed by the Media Lab to encourage children to use technology creatively.

Professor Resnick cited the example of a child in Delhi who used a microscope connected to a computer to look at samples of drinking water.

The child was horrified to see the impurities in the water. Once he told his friends, they then went to their parents and convinced them to boil the water.

Beyond point and click

"We want to give the children a sense of their own possibilities. The clubhouses are not places where you just come to play games or surf the web," explained Professor Resnick.

"It's a place where you come to create your own games or your own websites. You don't just download music; you create music."

"The next generation of children is ready to do much more than just point and click," he said.

"They want to create design and develop with the new technologies."

See also:

07 Nov 01 | Education
02 Apr 02 | Science/Nature
02 Nov 00 | Education
18 Jul 02 | Education
22 May 02 | Science/Nature
27 Aug 01 | Science/Nature
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Technology stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Technology stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes