Researchers affiliated with the One Laptop Per Child initiative dropped boxes full of Motorola Xoom tablets off in two remote Ethiopian villages, pretty much just to see what would happen.
Kids of around first-grade age opened the boxes. The kids figured out how to turn the tablets on. And then the kids started learning–not just about the machines (they were soon customizing their own home-screen configurations and hacking their way around the camera restrictions), but also about music and English-language words.
All without teachers or instruction of any kind.
Read the brief but fascinating story at MIT Technology Review.