Sugata Mitra creates a School in the Cloud
School in the Cloud
My wish is to help design the future of learning by supporting children all over the world to tap into their innate sense of wonder. Help me build the School in the Cloud, a learning lab in India, where children can embark on intellectual adventures by engaging and connecting with information and mentoring online. I also invite you, wherever you are, to create your own miniature child-driven learning environments and share your discoveries.
Modern-day schooling looks like it did 300 years ago. The system we know — a teacher in front of a class, students quiet in orderly desks — was developed under the British Empire. But today, with the rise of the Internet, memorization of facts isn't as important. For the jobs of the future, students need to learn how to locate information and think critically.
This is the paradigm shift Sugata Mitra hopes to usher in with the School in the Cloud. In addition to designing and building physical learning labs of varying bandwidth and resources, he set out to create a "Granny Cloud," a global network of retired teachers to support children through an online School in the Cloud platform. His goal: to engage communities, parents, teachers and after-school programs worldwide to transform the way kids learn, by sharing the Self-Organized Learning Environment (SOLE) method with them.
A lot has happened since Sugata Mitra shared his wish at TED2013. In November 2013, the first School in the Cloud learning lab — located inside a high school in Killingworth, England — opened its doors to students. Since then, six more learning labs have been built — one more in the UK and five across India.
Mitra has also launched the School in the Cloud platform which ensures that anyone, anywhere, can experiment with self-organized learning. As of 2016, more than 16,000 SOLE sessions have taken place globally, with partner learning labs and programs scatted across the world — including in Pakistan, Colombia and Greece. The platform debuted at TED2014, with Microsoft and their Skype Social Good team stepping in to provide core technology and connect a global community. Made By Many, the product design partners, and IDEO, the research design partners, co-created the experience. And Newcastle University opened SOLE Central in 2014, as a global hub for research on self-organized learning. The platform is managed at the university's Culture Lab.
The process of building the School in the Cloud will be the subject of documentary by British director Jerry Rothwell, winner of the first annual Sundance Institute | TED Prize Filmmaker Award. A trailer of the documentary, which you can watch below, was released at TED2014. The film will be available soon.
- Contribute to School in the Cloud's Crowdrise campaign. Open through July 9, 2016, the campaign will raise money for global SOLE partners.
- Join the global experiment in self-organized learning
- Start your SOLE
- Register to be a Skype Granny
- Follow @SchoolinCloud
School in the Cloud documentary
Educational researcher 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.
Learn more about Sugata
- Alan Ricks, Mass Design Group
- Jackie Bezos, Bezos Family Foundation
- James Tooley, Newcastle University
- Lakshmi Pratury, The INK Conference
- Mark Hofer, Bezos Family Foundation
- Michael Murphy, MASS Design Group
- Patrick Newell, Tokyo International School and 21 Foundation
- R.S. Pawar, National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT)
- Ram Shriram, Sherpalo Ventures
- Ron Gutman, HealthTap
- Sandy Speicher, IDEO
- Sir Ken Robinson, Education and Creativity Expert
- Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Foundation
Watch Sugata's Talks
- School in the Cloud platform
- School in the Cloud on Facebook
- Sugata's TED Book