Hole in the Wall: Communities of Practice


Communities of Practice (CoP) are the tools by which dissimilar corporations, subdivisions, separations, and functional spheres can share notions, experiences, and knowledge on a meticulous sphere of interest. If this is a CoP and is corporate-sanctioned, then the sphere of interest would rationally be one that affects to or would profit the company aims. nevertheless, communities may also enlarge to entail other companies and / or associations, depending on the focus sphere. This paper will analyze data on the Communities of Practice in general but focus primarily on the Hole in the Wall experiment, held in this sphere


The notion of a community of practice refers to the procedure of social study that happens and split socio-cultural performs that appear and evolve when people who have general aims interact as they aim towards those aims.

The term was originated on the work of a few cognitive anthropologists, namely Barbara Rogoff (1985) and Jean Lave, who tried to clarify and describe study that happens in apprenticeship circumstances. Later, Lave, in teamwork with Etienne Wenger (1991) created the construct lawful peripheral contribution in their studies of five apprenticeship circumstances: midwives in the Yucatan, Vai and Gola adapts, naval quartermasters, meat reapers, and a group of alcoholics anonymous. From their expansion of legitimate marginal participation, they made the term area of practice to refer to communities of practitioners into which novices would enter and effort to obtain the socio-cultural practices of the community.

One of biggest pitfalls of the information age has been that it gave rise to one more form of divide amongst the society, termed as digital divide. But at the same time, the information age has provided many opportunities to the mankind to spread education and disseminate knowledge through a number of channels. Even while managing an organisation or community, IT lends a helping hand. In case of an organisation or company, functions like HR, marketing management, research and development etc. can be carried with much more precision and effectiveness with the help of information technology and enabled services. Development of communities on the cyber space, within a department, a section of the society, group of friends, peer groups etc. are some of the examples which have become quite prevalent in our society today. Though earlier as well, we used to have the concept of the gathering of like-minded people, parties, clubs etc. but those were more formal in nature.

On the other hand, development of communities in today’s context like social networking sites, have made it easier for a wider section of the community to join the group/s and take the benefits, enrich the information database or help in disseminating the information. Information technology and the missionary zeal of some of the community leaders has further given a flip to such development. The ‘Hole in the Wall’ experiment carried out by Dr Sugata Mitra in some of the least-developed parts of India is one such effort to impart computer education to under privileged children. This experiment has in fact provided a good opportunity to researchers and educators in understanding the psyche of young street children from an altogether different perspective. How the curiosity amongst the kids help them in understanding the wonderful world of computer games, animations, paintings etc. and how this similar curiosity helps in developing of a like-minded groups of kids desirous of learning computer skills provided they get an opportunity. This study is an effort towards analysing the concept of development of communities in general and the ‘hole in the wall’ experiment in particular.

Background of the Study

If we take a look at the economic activities worldwide, we find that almost all sectors, in varying degrees, are affected by the economic slowdown prevailing for the last more than 6 months or so. This has certainly taken its toll on the growth potential and profitability of different sectors all around the globe. But it is quite interesting to note here that the latest figures released by NASSCOM, the trade body representing Indian IT sector, state that1 the Indian IT-BPO industry recorded an overall growth of 28% with revenues worth USD 52 billion in FY07-08 up from USD 39.6 billion in FY06-07. It has also been projected that this trend is bound to continue in the coming years as well. This is an indication towards the strength of the IT sector in India. But it is equally true that India is still counted as one of the poorest nations in the world. According to UNDP’s 2007/2008 Report on Human Development Index with a GDP per capita of around 3500 USD, India is still placed at a distant 128th place as compared to 33,700 USD of UK and 41,890 of USA2. With huge population depending upon limited resources, India has proved its worth in a number of sectors.

ITES is one such sector, which has helped in developing a resurgent India. Therefore it would be assumed that the sector gets enough boost in the country with means of training and development within easy reach for the citizens. But things are starkly different in this democracy, with corruption taking a good share of time and resources. But things are gradually improving with the realisation of the inner strength and a helping hand from the corporate houses, thinkers and social activists. The ‘Hole in the Wall’ is one such example of a helping hand. Dr. Sugata Mitra, a moving force behind NIIT, a premier software education and development company in the country, decided to put up a computer in the office wall of NIIT with an open window for children to play with the mouse and keyboard3. The Delhi main office of NIIT is located in an area frequented by street children with little scope for education as such. so computer education is a big luxury for them. Therefore, Dr Sugata Mitra didn’t have to go too far in search of an ideal locality.

The key driving force behind the success of such an experiment can be traced to the argument that the community of practices happen to be the sharing and transferring of valuable ‘tacit knowledge’ possessed by the individuals and groups (Kogut and Zander, 1992). The knowledge base thus created helps members of the community to improve upon the performance of the group or the community. Information and Knowledge have long been considered valuable assets for any community or organisation. In today’s context when globalisation forces are all pervasive, information is being considered as power. Therefore, allowing opportunities of learning, information gathering and knowledge base creation can very well be termed as efforts towards empowering the community or groups. The ‘hole in the wall’ experiment is one such effort towards empowering the underprivileged children from the least developed sections of the society. Started on 26th January 1999, a national holiday in India on account of celebration of the formation of the republic day of India, the experiment proved quite successful in generating information base etc, after some initial hiccups.

Aims and Objectives of the Study

This study is being undertaken with an aim to analyze the development and operations of communities in general and how such a practice helps in effective management of knowledge base. In order to better understand the concept an effort would be made to analyse the ‘Hole in the wall’ experiment carried out by Dr Sugata Mitra in couple of cities in India.

Present research on computers in teaching is, normally, on the impact and results of computers in the school locations that are featured by straight instructional means of the previous century. These means are efficient in structured education systems where all students attempt to attain a common aim. These methods entail the drill, exercise, fixed ways of evaluation, rote memory, passing on of stated knowledge spheres to scholars, and assessments. While these means are efficient in the hands of good instructors and schools, they have severe restraints of scalability and excellence. Good schools are costly, unviable and complex to build in remote districts. Good information science teachers are improbable to live in or move to rural and other remote districts. Good teachers are uncommon and luxurious and this trend is likely to carry on. At the same time, computers are, and will carry on to be, more practical, cheaper and faster. It is essential to assess how processors, as a pedagogic instrument, can assist in providing equal capability and the required circumstance to children from all means of socioeconomic and cultural backdrops, to learn and attain basic levels of literacy and teaching.


To figure out the practical circumstances of emergence, operation and development of some such communities and how the practical situation differs from theoretical perspective available in the relevant literature.

How technology helps in bridging the distances and plays a crucial role in strengthening the community feeling amongst such groups

Summary of Remaining Chapters

This chapter describes the purpose and rationale for undertaking the study. While underlining the aims and objectives of the study, the chapter also identifies the limitation in carrying a study of this nature. The research methodology, an important element of the study is also being discussed in this chapter.

The chapter on Literature review analyzes the elements of a community in general by examining how the social relations have undergone a change in recent times and how technology has played its role in firming up these relationships. At the same time, there might be some instances where emphasis on technology could have strained the relations as well. An effort would therefore be made in the chapter to analyse ‘technology’ as a boundary object impacting circumstances in different manners.

The chapter on Data Analysis will comprise of detailing different types of questions and their mutual relationship by analyzing the data gathered. This chapter analyses the studies that we carried out in previous chapters and builds upon the study to arrive at a conclusion in respect of the rapid pace of development of technology, social relations, developmental programmes etc. In the process a comparison will also be made with the success of the ‘hole in the wall’ experiment with some other similar projects undertaken elsewhere.

Limitations and Constraints

Considering the nature of the subject of the dissertation, more time and resources would be involved especially in determining the sample size and in data collection. Though the study is not strategic in nature yet some sample respondents might not be willing to answer the questionnaires especially when the objectives of the study were not clearly defined to them. In the course of the collection of the data required by this study, the time constraints might make it difficult to follow through other possible investigations which may lead to a more in-depth analysis. Considerable time will be spent in devising the questionnaires and agreeing with the concerned agencies on the protocol of questions to be asked. The administration of the research instrument might take several turns. The analysis and interpretation also might prove to be time-consuming in itself, because some of the information though requested, might not be forthcoming on account of the sensitive nature of the information. Technology is changing very fast with newer standards coming up sooner than expected. In fact the computer, IT and telecommunication scene are the fastest growing sectors today. Rapid advancements in IT and the convergence technologies have provided the all important trigger for the industry to gain newer heights. It might prove very difficult for the researcher to keep track of all such developments with clinical precision. In addition the researcher has to interact personally to the respondents which might also result in slightly biased population.

Literature review

Sub continental India entails several states with a total populace of over one billion people, 20 percent of the inhabitants of the world. Most of the territory has been repetitively occupied in the past 3000 years. These invasions have initiated mostly from Western and Eastern Europe, Eastern Asia and, infrequently, from China. This has sequenced in a exclusively assorted culture that unites races, faiths, languages, convictions and estimations. The education structure has incessantly grappled with this trouble of heterogeneity and has experienced lots of conversions, from the early Hindu structures of private schooling to the centralized universities of the Buddhist and Mogul epochs to the most recent replica, the British structures of the early twentieth century. It is in this bigger historical context that the application of enlightening tools in the subcontinent should be regarded. (McCaleb, 2002)

Talking on the matters of operations of communities of practice, it is necessary to mention, that the research made in this sphere argues, that the achievements they offer, would help to promote the education level of the developing states. Dr. Mitra says, ”Let us, for an instance, suppose that we could, someway, build the required number of schools and educate the necessary amount of teachers, in time. We would assume that all the schools we have created have a uniform level of quality, training and effectiveness and then, I am afraid, bump into a quality of education trouble”. And that one is even more difficult to resolve than the problem of the amounts. Here is how the disagreement goes. (Howley, 2006)

Actually, educational matters have undergone reasonable changes over a short period of time, re-functioning of early intervention actions beyond straight work with children and families have been restricted to interdisciplinary association related to education delivery in different contexts. Developing collaborative contacts with new colleagues in society regulations is an significant first step in supporting the day-to-day completion of early childhood addition, but it does not go far enough to tackle the challenges and troubles of the work in a dynamic sphere. Deep modifications in the way the fundamentals of the work are regarded, entailing redefining who the target audience of communities of practice are, require a reformation and rearrangement of the personal and collective approach.

What is missing in existing practice is the function and accountability of participation in a society of people whose aim is to appoint in mutual analysis of everyone’s experiences and observations as a way to steadily refine their practice and eventually contribute to the prescribed knowledge grounds. Expanding roles in this way creating on submission to make teacher skill the center part of the attempts to advance both practice and teacher education and recent proposals to offer early childhood teachers with supplementary opportunities to reflect on skills. It arouses thinking that is different and inductive, rather than convergent and deductive, by providing the ongoing reconstruction of knowledge as a matters to interpret new circumstances and to resolve matters with imagination.

The early interference sphere could income in at least three dangerous spheres by the increase of professional roles to entail such indication and collaborative query: closing the opening between study and practice, decreasing the separation of early interference practice, and optimizing the modification of principles into particular regulations and rules. A potential advance to this type of shared inquiry and studying is to build communities of practice grounded on diverse knowledge and designed to examine and improve the way we work with children and families in early involvement.

In education, the importance has changed from classifying different communities of practice to arranging communities for the aim of improving performance, particularly as it is associated to professional expansion. Communities of practice initiated in retort to several blockades to professional expansion that were thought to exist within the culture of U.S. education and within the very organizations of higher learning accountable for preparing practitioners – the division of research and practice, the separated origin of teaching, and the lack of concord about what comprises recommended practices. These barricades also exist in the premature interference sphere and contribute to a lack of collegiality, academic inspiration, and specialized maintenance. Within customary models of employees preparation, for instance, it is not uncommon to anticipate students to apply research-grounded knowledge to the matters of everyday practice with only very restricted opportunities for practicum and field-grounded practices.

Communities of practice share central components with other models of mutual inquiry, but are also dissimilar from these advances in several significant manners. Common to all is the importance on augmented interactive conversation among experts about specialized knowledge and skills. Ongoing indication and inquiry are core performs in each model, as is the concept that by improving what and how they study, contributors create positive results that extend further than their own studies. In learning associations, action investigate, learning communities in higher learning, and professional development schools, partaking by families and other customers is rare. Communities of practice provide perhaps the maximum promise in terms of attaining diverse proficiency and making an collision on the sphere as the approach distinguishes that lots of concerns narrated to children and families do not fall carefully into purposes or disciplines and cannot be addressed without image from multiple regulations and interests.

Alternatively, the farther a school is from a municipal district, the worse off it is. The quality of training from a distant school will generally be less than that from urban one. This is a human matter, not a financial one. After all, cities were created for reassure, security, expediency and so on. So, people wish to live in cities. definitely there are exemptions, but most people wherever in the world tend to assemble towards cities and their neighborhoods. In the developing world, where countryside and remote communications are weak or simply do not exist, the matter is all the more sensitive.

A recent study in India (Annual Status of Education Report for Rural India 2005) reveals that 51.9% of children aged 7-14 are unable to read grade 2 texts and about 65.5% of these children are unable execute simple math operations.

Looks like UPE is caught in a peculiar deadlock. Not all the finances in the world will accurate the matter of lower quality learning in distant area schools. Schools with lacking teachers, depraved teachers, sick teachers are plentiful all through Africa, India, South America and other huge parts of the planet. The more finances we spend on tutor development, the more they shift to the cities. Without good tutors and managers, the schools deteriorate and fracture. Children stay in schools, only in accordance to the official papers. (Calabresi, Zimdahl, 2005)

The developed world in rather better off as their distant areas often have infrastructural capabilities analogous to their cities. But only to a restricted extent can that magnetize good tutors. A school in New Jersey will always have a broader choice of instructors, utensils and infrastructure than a school in Alaska, or even Newfoundland. The trouble of quality will stay the same. (Anner, 2000)

It is in this situation that it is required to look for optional methods for principal education that are comparatively sovereign of teachers and communications. Educational technology (ET) has conventionally been ruled and initiated first in good schools in urban districts. Since these districts have good tutors, the presentation of students is, anyhow, good. Hence, not much enhancement is observed in scholarship, and the role of ET has often been queried. Lots of teachers regard the application of technology in schooling as an over-hyped and under-performing notion. (Green, Gredler, 2002)

For technology to be commenced first in rural and distant spheres, it must be created such that it is easy to convey and necessitates little upholding. (Hawkins, 2001)

The extent of Internet use is increasing quickly in India, in comparison with the rest of the world. While the consumers in India are, almost completely, limited to the wealthy in municipal districts, it is more than possible that command for the Internet will ultimately arise right through the whole country. In this framework, there are lots of trepidations from academicians and others that the capability to addmit and the superiority of training offered will hinder the application of Internet in the subcontinent. (Peterson, 2002)

It is considered that this may not be accurate and report the consequences of an experimentation in Internet and PC usage using a “simply persistent” advance to studying.

What was observed was both outlandish and magnificent. It may point to a defect in the current regards of learning that are applied for the design of almost all forms of instructional fabrics and structures. (Short, 2003)

The capability to access the Internet is one of the most significant issues in the application of PCs today. In lots of forums held on the matter in the Indian Sub continental district, people inquiring the efficacy of systems that rely on the Internet were found. The argument offered is that there are too few people in the district who have admission. This argument is not an excellent one for choosing on whether or not to start actions in this district. This opinion is grounded on the fact that reserves have seldom involved the extend of a medium in this district. For instance, India provides the largest number of movies in the world. While it may be quarreled that in a state that is known for tremendous shortage, people would rather spend on provisions than on films, actually this is not the matter. Films are watched everywhere in India by millions of people irrespective of their communal or financial rank. In fact one might dispute that the virtual world that is provided by movies is sometimes the only respite that the poor have from a insensitive, and often agonizing, actuality. (Thirumurthy, Sundaram, 2003)

Most users distinguish the Internet as a foundation of data and amusement. The cost of obtaining a PC and an I-net connection at home is about Rs. 70,000 (US$ 1600). Moreover there is a returning charge of the phone bill approximately Rs. 10,000 (US$ 135) every year. In a state where the standard annual revenue is approximately Rs. 6000, these amounts are not insignificant. The fact that the home computer market is increasing at 44% seems to designate again that the financial system of amusement in the region are not evidently connected to incomes.

It is generally expected that volatile growth in Internet using would take place in the district, inspite of any other factors. (Wenger, 2003)

Previous hypotheses and experiments

The researchers has been working in this area for the previous two decades. The notion of uncontrolled learning was first stated out in a paper on the use of analytical (debugging) as a studying tool (Mitra, S. and Pawar, R.S., 1982 in Thirumurthy & Sundaram, 2003). Of the work performed later in this period, two researches are worth declaring in the framework of this paper. Both researches were grounded on a paper (Mitra, S.,1988, in Thirumurthy & Sundaram, 2003) where it was offered that uncontrolled use of computers can lead to increased studying of skills in children. It is now generally felt that children are more skilled at current computing skills than most adults, nevertheless they seldom wish or get official education in this sphere.

The initial experiment on the application of computers in countryside India were performed by Marmar Mukhopadhyay in the village of Udang in the state of West Bengal in India. Here, a few computers were located in a school and children permitted to use them after minimum instructions. Word dealing out, worksheets and database organization structures were willingly studied by both educators and scholars who then went on to make a rural sources and healthcare records.

The second trial was performed as a set of routes for children in NIIT Restricted, an Indian training company with over 150,000 students. These experiments were called LEDA (learning through exploration, discovery and adventure) and were based on a publication (Snyder et al, 2003). The structured use of computer games for meeting learning objects was the key tactics. Once more, it was stated over a period of four years that talent training would happen mechanically if children are offered sufficient access and inspiring content.

In an experiment performed in 2006, is was observed that the superiority of education in distant areas reduces with remoteness. Remoteness, in this background, can be geographical or also communal, financial, religious etc. as in ghettos or slums in cities.

It is remarked that there will forever be districts in the world where, because of whatever motive, good schools and good teachers will not subsist. Consequently, in such districts, optional forms of schooling will be required. No such substitute survives for primary education nowadays. The hole in the wall could be a probable gauge of such an substitute. (Short, 2003)

In a recent research performed in village Kalikuppam in Southern India, the scholars were capable to reveal that Tamil speaking children could study the basics on biotechnology, in English, on their own.

It was noticed that new enlightening technology is always piloted in the wealthy schools of cities where successful students and good educators are present. As a consequence the teaching increases from such technology are unimportant and studying knowledge is regarded over-built up and under-performing. It is offered that the highest knowledge should be developed for and piloted in the furthest regions first. It was also noticed that enlightening technology is rarely expanded for that aim. It is generally technology expanded for manufacturing or defense and borrowed by teachers. For instance, Power Point and LCD projectors were expanded for corporate halls and not for teachers. (Rallis, Tedder, Lachman, 2006)

It is offered to make a lab that will create and test instructive knowledge for use in distant spheres. It is suggested to make educational facilities in distant areas of India where children can self arrange their studying process to pass the government high school tests on their own. The consequences of these trials are likely to be significant for all states, since a deficiency of and shortage of superiority in primary schooling is a worldwide occurrence.

In the UK, additionally to the usual matters of quality schooling in remote districts, there is also a trouble of target – children are unwilling to study science, engineering, math etc. for two motives. One, that topics such as banking can make them wealthy simpler. Two, that they can get a superior standard of living in any case, even with no abilities. These aspirational matters are required to be tackled instantly and knowledge can be an influential way to do so. (McCaleb, 2002)

Lave and Wenger’s book on located learning stated the matter of a community of practice. The key foundation behind this statement is that most learning hypothesis, even when it entails a social measurement as does Vygotskian activity hypothesis, is inclined to be grounded on empirical researches of learning in the different backgrounds of teaching and classrooms. Nevertheless, as others have stated out in contacts to management studying adults tend to learn in the numerous circumstances of work, which have lots of disparities from classrooms and the establishments of schooling. ‘Situated learning’ thus attracts people’s attention to learning that needs place in everyday life, entailing work places. Within such circumstances, Lave and Wenger state, the learning procedure is tied to ongoing activities and performs and these are done by communities of people through communal interaction rather than by isolated personalities. (Lave, Wenger, 2001)

This research is over a small example and in a precise geographic territory in India. It is significant to be very watchful in generalizing about the judgments from this research. Nevertheless, it is considered that the results point towards some attractive options. It is in this courage that the following terminations should be regarded.

If a teacher desires to shift to another location, the admission of his or her apprentices seem to refuse. The nature and incentive of a teacher seems to impact the quality of studying, almost separately of other features such as overfilling (too many undergraduates for a single tutor or classroom), or school capacities, which were almost indistinguishable in all the schools researched. In distant areas, most of the tutors (69%) wish to migrate to their nearest urban centers (Delhi, Ghaziabad or Noida, for instance).

On the grounds of the above, one could row that the enthusiasm of teachers to go on working in a school impacts the accomplishment of their undergraduates.

In this relation, it is significant to point out that the words “distant” and “migrate” do not, unavoidably have to be in the background of corporeal, environmental detachment. Schools in lots of areas of large cities, both in the developed and developing states reveal a decline in the value of education in slums, ghettoes and other nuisance areas of the city. It is rational to presume that these educates, like those in our pastoral sample above, also have a tutor movement and motivation trouble. It is offered that some districts of urban cities are communally, ethnically and / or financially “remote” from other spheres of the city. While this research is about geographical distance, it is fascinating to offer that these other types of seclusion could also cause tutor migration with an assistant decline in the quality of teaching. (Hough, Smithey, Evertson, 2004)

The Indian Government like governments of lots of other states spend large quantities of their education resources for the training of tutors, in the hope that this will recover the quality of teaching. This anticipation may have an inherent flaw when applied to distant territories. Wherever a teacher wishes to shift away from the school he or she is occupied in, teacher training will only facilitate them to do so simpler. There will forever be areas on the globe where good teachers will not wish to work.

It is implied that substitute methods that do not rely on tutor eminence and inspiration should be initiated into distant schools. The consequences from this research could be applied to maintain the viewpoint that educational techniques, predominantly those that facilitate learners to obtain educational purposes without educators, should be initiated into remote schools. Actually, such tools should be provided into schools where, for any reason, tutors are either lacking or do not wish to go.

Generally, new instructive technology is piloted in prosperous, urban schools. Such schools already have good scholars and teachers. By piloting new tools in such surroundings it is necessary to conclude that these tools are not useful to school education. It is in distant territories, at the “bottom of the pyramid”, that optional teaching methods may do most to recover the quality of schooling in schools that are remote from urban centers. (Grisham, Bergeron, Brink, 2001)

There are a some deficiencies in the expansion, testing and ultimate deployment of instructive technology. Most of the technologies applied in schools and other instructive foundations are borrowed from other submission regions. For instance, Microsoft PowerPoint is one of the most generally used applications in educational organizations. Nevertheless, it was not created for the use of teachers and students – it was created for business contacts. The PC itself is created for climate regulated and electrically steady surroundings such as in most offices and businesses. They are not created for use in carpeted or outdoor environments and also not created for use by children. Projectors, screens, “smart” boards, video conferencing, etc, are all tools that have been created for use by industries and business communication. It is essential to create and expand technology that can, to any extent probable, offer education, without educators, in those districts where good teachers are not willing to go. instructive technology should be created for, and go first, into the furthest districts. (Ruopp, 1999)


There are a number of challenges in applying Sense-Making Methodology in a corporate environment. Firstly, the introduction of Sense-Making is considered, at times, idealistic, woolly, unable to focus on outcomes, unrealistic to deal with diversity. Secondly, the author has to be sensitive to the issue of power in introducing Sense-Making Methodology to the organization. It challenges some traditional way of thinking and working and can be seen as a threat to the status quo.

A community of practice perspective highlights the local and situated nature of learning across each of the workgroups. Despite belonging to a large government training institution each of the workgroups exhibited a unique context and learning experience. For example, negotiating the political was recognized as being a key competence by the strategic planners whereas the trade-teachers did not consider this type of learning relevant in their workgroup. The recognition of the local and situated nature of learning has been integrated into the methodology of the Uncovering Learning project. Rather than ‘rolling out’ a pre-set learning intervention with each of the workgroups, individual projects have been developed in collaboration with workgroup members.

The methodology of the work is to analyze the functioning of the communities of practice, and the “Hole-in-the-wall” experiment by professor Mitra. Formally called Minimally Invasive Education, this innovative methodology was first tested in a slum in Kalkaji, New Delhi, in 1999. The experiment was replicated in two other rural sites in the same year. The first adopter of the idea was the Government of NCT of Delhi. In 2000, the Government of Delhi set up 30 Learning Stations in a resettlement colony. This project is ongoing and continues to create a tremendous impact among generations of young learners.

As with any research project, determining the best methodology to gather data when conducting research is of paramount importance. Inevitably, any discussion of methodology involves a debate over the pros and cons of quantitative analysis versus qualitative analysis. Both types of analysis require data and facts and figures, which can be gathered either through primary sources or secondary sources. Some of the primary sources will be the interviews and opinions that we seek to solicit from the persons concerned with the hole in the wall experiment, beneficiaries of the experiment etc.

Aim of this project is to research, examine, report and assess the development and operations of communities of practice; creation and management of the knowledge base and analysis of the ‘hole in the wall’ experiment. Therefore, an effort would be made to study the path taken by the technology to arrive at this position and how it has impacted the behavioural aspects of the people in the society. Using reliable secondary sources of data would yield the required information to make the comparisons and further investigate the trend. Moreover, use of secondary research allows for the analysis of a broad range of topics that can be thoroughly investigated and has proven to be credible. According to Haley (2003) many researchers have opted to conduct secondary research as opposed to primary research, because of limited opportunities for conducting primary research and the costs of qualitative work that goes into conducting such a research. Therefore, in order to maximize the use of available data, we’ll critically analyze the secondary data. The advent of software’s to aid the coding, retrieval and analysis of qualitative data is another development which greatly influences the decision in favour of secondary data. In these respects, the impetus behind the approach is similar to the one which informed the secondary analysis of quantitative data (Procter as cited in Heaton, 1998).

The research used in this discussion comes from several sources including books, government documents, reputed websites and scholarly journals. The research also relies upon documentary evidences. This type of research involves “systematic and objective location, evaluation, and synthesis of the evidence in order to establish facts and draw conclusions concerning different sets of events. Rather than collecting data, secondary data is used, that is, documents that are already in existence, published and unpublished” (Britton, 1996). Although secondary research is used often, there are drawbacks associated with it. Haley asserts that there are problems in understanding where primary data ends and secondary data begin. This problem exists because it is “an iterative process and grounded theory in particular requires that questions undergo a process of formulation and refinement over time” (Glaser, 1992). Some of the main steps involved for this project are;

Analyze the functioning and implementation of some initiatives from the NGOs, corporate houses and the governments towards making their respective societies feel the benefits of the development programmes and creation of knowledge base.

Carry out a comprehensive look at the community in general and children in particular from the cities where the ‘hole in the wall experiment’ was implemented.

Gather data related to the economic conditions and development indices of the concerned communities.

Put together all the elements and analyze the relevant data. In the process we’ll also refer to the analysis done by some of the leading world bodies, institutions and organizations.

The subjects or sample populations for both the survey and key informant interviews are those who have stakes in the development of communities in general: Dr. Sugata Mitra, the street children, some government officials, the coordinating agencies etc. Since the sample population belongs to mutually exclusive subgroups or strata, stratified random sampling technique will be employed to get the sample size.

The general population of this study will comprise of children from those regions where the ‘hole in the wall’ experiment was implemented. There will be 50-100 respondents in all and will be selected randomly.

Data analysis

It is well recognized that breakthroughs in government regulations and agendas are held back when colleagues within an organization are not capable to connect the dots among their work – much less with practitioners in other organizations or at the local extent. The problem generally is not a lack of good meanings or split purpose. Rather, it is mostly an organizational matter – as demonstrated by the structural obstructions that the intelligence society is addressing now, in retort to the urgent need to recover homeland safety. (Au, 2002)

The difficulty of today’s challenges and connected performance anticipations – in communal, private, and nonprofit subdivisions – necessitates a commensurate capability for learning, modernization, and partnership across diverse communities. But conventional direction bureaucracies are created to solve stable matters for instituted constituencies through centrally regulated programs and strategies. These arrangements are not adequate to address the disorganized matters people face today. Many of the most urgent social troubles – in education, community security, the environment, job creation, affordable accommodation, healthcare, and more – call for bendable collections, constant adaptation, and the savvy amalgamation of expertise and credibility that requires crossing the borders of organizations, segments, and governance ranks. One way to incorporate attempts across these boundaries is to promote “communities of practice” that endorse cross-boundary action learn to address nationwide main concerns.

The hypothesis of communities of perform was obtained to clarify the process whereby a novice in a field (i.e., community of perform) expands an understanding of and proficiency in the language and workings of that area. This process is often regarded when more practiced members of a population sponsor tenderfoots and steadily induct them into the performs of that society through an apprenticeship-like sequence called genuine peripheral contribution. The communities of perform framework can assist in explaining the achievements and failures of efforts to use CMC by focusing concentration on two matters: (a) the requirement for a central perform or question fastening the society, and (b) the requirement of beginners for opportunities for rightful peripheral partaking.

When the literature on computer-intervened communication was scrutinized from a community of practice standpoint, two general complexities were obvious. Lots of the programs that were studied either did not have an anchoring perform or inquiry, or were anticipated to keep too many performs, resulting in a lack of center and role bewilderment for the contributors. Other programs were invented completely of apprentices to a practice and did not have skilled participants, making it impracticable to create opportunities for genuine peripheral contribution. In cases in which there was an skilled member of the perform, that person was asked merely to post queries for discussion, but not to connect in leadership of the population. In most cases, these researches were reasonably successful in creating increased communication, offering instances of multiple standpoints, and entailing discussions providing a broad range of difficulties. However, they did not succeed to make a community of perform that could transform the philosophy of the contributors and induct novices into the performs of the field. (Braun, 2002)

The communities of practice framework was not merely helpful for studying the results of past efforts to develop online conversation; it also ruled the expansion of the online conversation forums tested in this study. Conclusions about how to commence the online conversations, who would be entailed, how to makeup the participant’s responsibilities, how to assist important, practice-centered conversations, and what technology to apply all stalked from a spotlight on building an online community of tutors that pondered on classroom tutoring.

This study joined the research on CMC and communities of perform by creating a CMC surroundings that engaged pre-service teachers in a insightful dialogue about teaching by exploiting on the two main characteristics of a society of practice. By joining pre-service teachers’ discussions in a central matter or a specific concentration, and by making opportunities for genuine participation, this study discovered the successes and restrictions of a web-based conferencing structure for unprofessional tutors. (Chrisman, 2005)

Data were investigated separately for each year. The messages were studied and rated using a scale of reflection. The scale was a vaguely changed version of that previously used by Howley (2006) to contrast reflection in CMC surroundings with face-to-face reflection. The scale was adjusted by re-characterizing the level portrayals both for clearness and to accentuate the building of each level upon the characteristics of the prior level. Moreover, to better exemplify the distinctions between levels, the existing instances text for each level was reinstated with actual messages from a portion of the intern meeting information.

To state the dependability of this appraisal structure before rating the mainstream of the messages, the first author and two supplementary raters each applied the scale to estimate a randomly chosen set of 46 communications with the original goal of 80% agreement. That aim was met in the first surrounding with extents of 80.4% and 84.7% conformity. The raters then met to realize the grounds for resolve scoring disparities and to decide those where probable. The preponderance of differences were due to key differences in the explanations of category borders and a lack of clearness for the application of coding regulations.

The primary differences centered on the treatment of borderline retorts. Minor wording modifications were made to tighten the grouping descriptions, and it was defined to apply a conservative coding structure for boundary conclusions (e.g., when in doubt score in the lower grouping). After the decision of these coding divergences, inter-rater reliability reached 100%. Once these group definitions and coding regulations were stated, the remaining communications were studied. The first author rated 1,200 messages with as few disruptions as probable over a 4-day epoch to minimize characteristic variations in conclusions. The same rating table and conclusion rules were applied for all notes. (Fetterman, 2002)

When the rating procedure was complete, the information was analyzed using SPSS. Originally an analysis of difference was done with all the data, comparing indication by year. evocative statistics and a follow-up Turkey HSD were also created at that time. The full data set was smarted for two supplementary ANOVAs: one with the communications eliminated that were rated as being totally unrelated to education practice, and one eliminating both the communications that were unrelated to teaching practice and the communications that were only slightly related to teaching functions. Two more ANOVAs of the complete data set were run: one contrasting suggestion by gender, and one comparing indication by frequent / infrequent application of the forum.

The theory of this research was that there would be a optimistic relations between the existence of the attributes of a community of perform and the extent of reflection of the starting teachers taking part in an electronic society. To test this notion, a content analysis advance was used to rate 1,200 messages on scale of reflection. As would be anticipated, there was difference between the mean indication score for each imprison; nevertheless, those personalities mean scores were also strongly grouped for every year. A frequency count of the amount of PC within the Whole-in-the wall experiment of at each level revealed that over 90% of the messages were rated 4 or subordinate on the range. (Grisham, 2001)

A study of variance was held using the reflection scores to define whether there were essential differences in the extents of reflection among the various years of the web-grounded conferences as characteristics of the theoretical model were applied.

The aim of this research was to expand a conceptual structure classifying some of the significant supports and restraints of tutor reflection found in a web-based conferencing structure for non-professional tutors. To expand this framework, the literatures of communities of practice were studied. The community of practice literature distinguishes the significance of a group indication advance in which inquiries of practice and generally shared matters anchor teacher arguments. gradually more, these replicas are shifting from the physical world of the classroom to the virtual freedoms of computer-arbitrated communication. Examining CMC study from this hypothetical framework underlines the necessity for three characteristics: (a) precisely concentrated questions or troubles, (b) well-stated functions and responsibilities, and (c) a combination of beginning and skilled teachers.

Over the three-year stage of this study, alterations were created to the web-grounded conferencing structure to better fit with this hypothetical framework. purposely, the framing of the aim, the account of the positions and responsibilities, and the combination of skilled and non-professional teachers using the discussion were all varied. For this study project it was theorized that there would be an encouraging relations between the attendance of these attributes in a CMC atmosphere and the level of indication of the starting teachers taking part in an electronic community. If this were real, there would be a year-over-year amplify in the mean level of indication expressed in communications as the discussion environment was modified to match the theoretical model more intimately. Nevertheless, the results show some unanticipated variations in the interns’ mean extents of reflection. (Hough, 2004)

As Internet access turns to be more general in schools and homes, computer-reconciled communication is turning to be an increasingly good-looking tool for supporting the specialized development of educators in thoughtful learning communities. A principal aim driving the arrangement of these electronic teacher communities is the wish to facilitate teacher indication. Nevertheless, due to the supporting and restraining features of electronic communities are indistinct, the application of these instruments for teacher indication still stays an changeable phenomenon.

Expanding an understanding of the keeping and constraining attributes of electronic communities has been complex. In a 1996 appraisal of the literature, it was stated, “the most conspicuous oversight in these researches carry on to be the lack of investigative techniques applied to the content of the conference transcription”. Little has been done since to re-arbitrate this oversight. Too often when an online discussion is studied after its application, the content of the transcriptions is shallow or socially sympathetic in nature, not unselfish or philosophical. This lack of an arranging theory or attitude to guide the expansion of research into philosophical online discussions for tutors, and the complexity entailed in eliciting indication in an online population, makes it complex to press forward beyond introduction researches. (Hung, 2002)

The first is generally reasoned by problems like teacher’s maintenance, or how can people as community attract more tutors to those almost dumped districts, and second, for causes like the partiality of affluent urban schools in disadvantage of the more remote schools for piloting techniques. How actually in good schools with outstanding (or at least more stimulated) tutors and students, the community for practice technology is many times distinguished as over-hyped and under-performing in the instructive charges. In Professor’s Mitra estimation the individualities of the less providential and remote schools entails that they should be the ones essentially, experimenting and be aimed by the directs with instructive skills.

States should be vigorously searching and testing options to primary schooling, whether schools do not exist, or just are not enough, schools where tutors are not available or just do not enough qualification. In accordance to the trials Professor Sugata held along the years, he not just revealed but also assisted in proving that children are chiefly well adapted to self study and arrangement.

The Kalkaji, Mandantusi and the Hole in the Wall researches all seem to implement this exact plan. The notion of the researches, were simple: implant a PC into a hole in some distant position; places where children did not have much or no contact with technologies. “Et voilá!” the effects were not only astonishing, but they ended up assisted raising more inquiries than real replies. For example, the language in which the computers were running did not seem significant for the contact, in some cases it even assisted demonstrate how children can essentially learn some expressions (approx. 200 different words), all of them extrapolated from the straightforward interaction with the PC. (Bathla, 2002)

The Hole in the Wall experiment not only assisted in proving the actuality that kids and teens can be self taught, but also assisted understand a bit of more of the self-study process. As an instance of the results from this trials, Mitra quoted that individual connections have a profound impact on the studying procedure: 6-13 young kids seemed to learn better when mixed in groups, in spite of of their education as a whole, the consequences were quite consistent in groups with various backdrop. This scheme also documented the kind of stuff apprentices were using the PC for: general windows operation, browsing, playing, chatting, email, music download, drawing, learn from instructive material and other PC grounded actions. (Mitra, Raha, 2001)

Generally, today’s corporations are looking for better internal realizing, more effectual and better teamwork, better conclusions. Generally it is talked about gathering and optimizing the Collective Intelligence, which already exists in some classified communities today, like Wikipedia, Digg, Slashdot, etc. and it reflects their native cultures and norms, and in large companies, they’re just like most of those communities, they have the “man power” to scale and take benefit of these collective intelligence gathering instruments. CI represents both a challenge and an opportunity for the IT subdivisions within those corporations. Too much time and knowledge is being squandered today’s, which strengthens the notion of probable massive economies in terms of efficiency, efficient work, augmented peripheral vision, decrease duplication and extend the work contacts in a more closer and individual matter: people might communicate themselves directly rather than depending on the rigid arrangements most corporations have to get in touch with someone.

With all this data sharing inside and outside of the company, another matter happens, how can we efficiently restructuring what to read, or even write? Personalities, groups and separations inside the firms work as conduits: on a archetypal day one might have 100 items offered by the social network, from those, 10 might be adequately significant. So communal reading and sifting drives significance. (Inamdar, 2004)

Relating the matters of the Hole in the Wall experiment, Mitra argued on the issues of some future experiments he is aiming to hold, where he will try to imitate the physical surroundings – if it’s hot and moist in Bangalore, the heating & humidity control in the teacher’s office back in the UK should be sloped up suitably.

Mitra wishes to hook up a Roomba-like robot to be regulated by the remote tutor. It will have a monitor on it revealing the teacher’s head, with directional audio regulation. In this way, the tutor’s tele-presence can be distantly projected around the room as the robot goes anywhere the teacher wishes. It is aimed No more corruption on distance ed exams would occur.

According to reports, children who gathered to the site tutored themselves initial computer processes. They worked with different windows and applications; selected various menus; cut, copy, and paste; launch and apply programs. The program was summoned by researchers and state officials alike as a ground-breaking agenda that provided a model for how to bring India’s and the world’s municipal poor into the PC epoch.

Nevertheless, visits to the PC kiosk revealed a somewhat various actuality. The Internet admission was of little use since it seldom functioned. No extraordinary educational plans had been made accessible, and no particular content was offered in Hindi, the only language the children knew. Children studied how to manipulate the joystick and keys, but almost all their time was spent sketching with paint applications or playing games.

There was no arranged participation of any community company in helping to hold the cabin, since such participation was neither solicited nor accepted. And the very planning of the kiosk – grounded on a wall rather than a room – made management, instruction, and collaboration.

Parents from all over the district had hesitant feelings about the cabin. Some regarded it as a welcome proposal, but most expressed worry that the lack of arranged instruction took away from its estimation. Some parents even protested, and argued that the kiosk was injurious to their kids.

Analyzing the educational level of the Hole in the Wall experiment, the following scheme should be composed. It clearly defines the use of formal and self-education, and provides an opportunity for further researches, and consideration of similar experiments:

Analyzing the educational level

As for the performance level, Mitra figured out the following graph, revealing all the changes in children’s self education:

performance level
(Mitra, Rana, 2001).

The graph entails the three days’ period.

Actually, the experiment gas already given the first benefits. It has caused the appearing of the innovative technique – the MIE. Minimally invasive education (MIE) is an educational method, obtaining its name partially from the medical term ‘minimally invasive surgery’. (Mitra, 2000)

The performance may be expressed in the following graph:

Skills and performance increase
(Mitra, 2003).

It was stated that most of the slum children were capable to retort to the computer to browse, play games, create documents and d pictures within a few days. Thus, it was scrutinized that, even in the nonattendance of any straight input, mere inquisitiveness led groups of children to discover, which originated in learning. This, combined with minimal input from gazes, or from anyone recognizable with computers, assisted the children study more. This leads to suggest that any learning surroundings that offers an adequate level of interest can originate learning among groups of children. Children’s wish to learn, along with their interest and peer interaction, forces them to explore the surroundings in order to please their inquisitiveness. As the children discover their environment, they recount their new practice with their preceding experience and thereby new studying process takes place. Therefore, MIE is defined as a pedagogic technique that uses the learning surroundings to generate an adequate extent of motivation to encourage learning in groups of children, with none or negligible intervention from a teacher. In MIE, the function of the teacher is restricted to providing, or leading learners to, surroundings that create adequate extents of interest. A known instance of MIE is the category of studying that takes place when an suitable puzzle is offered to children with little or no contribution from others. The computer itself is competent of generating such interference from time to time. (Mitra, 2003)


Adults grow up to be educated to differentiate among play and work as two separate sections, each to be planted in an individual method. As children, people are educated not to play while people are working. Fascinatingly, children learn the cords of life through the arrangement of play while interrelating with their caregivers. Two of the features that appear as significant in the “hole in the wall” setting are studying of computing skills by the means of active partaking at a mutual level. It is obviously obvious that children adopt a mutual method of studying that encourages sharing and allocation of knowledge. Computers have traits of a ‘scaffolding’ instrument, facilitating children to study basic computing dexterities in a social environment. “Hole in the wall” study discloses confirmation of evolution and expansion of learning in children, consequently of an completion of technology. The current paper emphasizes that if knowledge is to pressure tutoring and studying, then the close connection between the two spheres needs to be researched, analyzed and documented. The present paper is a donation towards better realizing of an communication between technology communications (computers) and a communal and instructive communications.

As in our prior work, we draw from the community of practice literature. The characteristics of workplace communities of practice and how members work and grow professionally within them have been documented extensively in sociological and anthropological research outside of public education. Communities of practice are viewed as emergent, self-reproducing, and evolving entities that are distinct from, and frequently extend beyond, formal organizational structures, with their own organizing structures, norms of behavior, communication channels, and history. Members often come from a larger professional network spanning multiple organization ns, drawn to one another for both social and professional reasons. Newcomers gain access to the community’s professional knowledge tools and social norms through peripheral participation in authentic activities with other members. New practices and technologies are brought into the community by leaders, newcomers, and outsiders, and are adopted by the community through the discourse of its members and the evolution of practice over time. Thus, from a community of practice perspective, one’s work and one’s professional development are inextricably entwined with those with whom one works


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  1. What gave you the idea of giving slum kids access to the Internet?
  2. What use, do you think., it would give them?
  3. Are you saying that if we put computers in all the slums, slum kids could become literate on their own?
  4. Tell please on the Minimally Invasive Education concept
  5. I-net is mostly in English. How do you offer to solve this language barrier for Indian kids?
  6. Has the Indian or any other government expressed interest in funding such a project?
  7. You say that only the children used the computer, not adults. What does this mean for adult education?