Sugata Mitra – at TED2013 – Building a School in the Cloud –

11 Mar

At TED2013, Sugata Mitra made a bold TED Prize wish: Help me build a place where children can explore and learn on their own — and teach one another — using resources from the worldwide cloud. To Create ‘Self Organised Learning Environments’

Educational researcher Dr. Sugata Mitra’s “Hole in the Wall” experiments have shown that, in the absence of supervision or formal teaching, children can teach themselves and each other, if they’re motivated by curiosity and peer interest. In 1999, Mitra and his colleagues dug a hole in a wall bordering an urban slum in New Delhi, installed an Internet-connected PC, and left it there (with a hidden camera filming the area). What they saw was kids from the slum playing around with the computer and in the process learning how to use it and how to go online, and then teaching each other.

The “Hole in the Wall” project demonstrates that, even in the absence of any direct input from a teacher, an environment that stimulates curiosity can cause learning through self-instruction and peer-shared knowledge. Mitra, who’s now a professor of educational technology at Newcastle University (UK), calls it “minimally invasive education.”

One Response to “Sugata Mitra – at TED2013 – Building a School in the Cloud –”

  1. Torn Halves March 28, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    When summed up at tweet-length or packaged as a neat TED talk, Sugata Mitra’s idea of education can sound like a gift from pedagogic heaven. However, it deserves a lot more thought. Mitra is assuming some ideas of unbelievable simplicity. For instance, the term “minimally invasive education” depicts teaching as essentially invasive. Is it? An even simpler (but less pedagogic) idea his February talk played with was the idea that the age of empire is over. We take a longer, more critical look at Mitra’s presentation of that idea in the post below:

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