UK 'cyber grannies' teach Indians using Skype

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Jackie Barrow has found an unusual activity to fill her time during her retirement - and she finds it immensely rewarding on a personal level.

She answered a newspaper advert three years ago looking for 'cyber grannies', who could teach children in India online, using Skype.

Once a week, from her rural cottage fifteen miles outside Manchester, she teaches children in Pune, near Mumbai.

Though not a granny herself, she explains it is the skills of patience and offering uncritical encouragement, that prompt the 'granny' title in this case.

The official name of the project is SOLE (Self Organised Learning Environments) and it is the brainchild of Professor Sugata Mitra, most well-known for his hole-in-the-wall computer scheme which saw basic PCs put into some of the poorest parts of India.

Mrs Barrow explained to BBC News the pleasures and pitfalls of teaching online, and why she does it.

Produced by the BBC's Dougal Shaw

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