The main idea here is that children learn best when interested. Of course. Self-directed learning and authentic inquiry describe the most fundamental way that humans learn from their experiences with the world around them. It is important to have ownership over our own learning, an investment in something that matters to us, and critical understandings are most often born out of 'figuring things out' for ourselves. This type of experiential learning empowers the learner to feel satisfaction and understanding from the experience, and therefore motivates and drives the learning cycle onwards.
It is important to note that this type of learning doesn't only happen with technology. A child can have deep learning experiences outside in nature, through social interactions and with non-technological objects in the physical environment. It is obvious, however, as we see in numerous examples around the world, across cultures and between stages of development, that technological devices are a focal point of interest and enthusiasm for children. They provide instant feedback and create an interactivity that inspires the user to dig deeper and keep learning.
Sugata Mitra suggests, "Education is a self-organizing system where learning is an emerging phenomenon." This doesn't mean that teachers are irrelevant, or even gaining insignificance, within the system. Their effectiveness is being challenged. Learning is not something that teachers can teach children. Learning needs to happen collectively, collaboratively and with a positive outlook. A playful, supportive and humble attitude is often a teacher's best quality. This can be the driving force behind inspiring and motivating self-directed learning as well as the essential, underlying safety net used when encouraging learners to become risk-takers and step outside their comfort zones. This is when and where all the good stuff happens.