Linux Journal has an absolutely fascinating article about an experiment known as "The Hole in The Wall".
An internet-enabled computer kiosk was quietly placed in a slum in New Dehli. No instructions were provided with the kiosk. Nonetheless, the children living in the slum began to use the computer:
"They even invented their own vocabulary to define terms on the computer, for example, sui (needle) for the cursor, ‘channels’ for web sites and damru (Shiva’s drum) for the hourglass (busy) symbol."
Not only that, but a community structure emerged around the computer:
"Shy children are not left out. Girls especially assume organizing roles, throwing screen hogs off the computer to let quieter children have a turn. Kids even organize classes for each other."
The ultimate proof as to just how far the children progressed in using the computer is shown in this message received by the professor running the experiment:
"We have found and closed the thing you watch us with."
I find this enormously encouraging.
Thanks are due to Tristan Roddis for passing on the link.
Congratulations are also due: Tristan recently became a father.