Adam Braun went to school in the US and now runs a nonprofit that builds schools in Ghana, Laos, Nicaragua and Guatemala. In contrast, Sugata Mitra—the winner of the 2013 TED Prize—went to school in India and now is a professor in the UK, where his research on self-directed learning routinely brings him into elementary […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
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."
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 resouces from the worldwide cloud.
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What others say
“Education-as-usual assumes that kids are empty vessels who need to be sat down in a room and filled with curricular content. Dr. Mitra's experiments prove that wrong.” — Linux Journal
Sugata Mitra’s TED talks
Two educators, two very different visions, one question: How can tech help us rethink education in the developing world?
Take two education activists with very different theories — and give them a chance to work together on a goal they both care about. That’s the thinking in the video above, the kick-off of Microsoft’s new Work Wonders project, which pairs up unlikely collaborators to spark new ideas. Watch as TED Prize winner Sugata Mitra […]Continue reading
Eleven-year-olds running a classroom? That could sound outlandish to some elementary school teachers, but not to Joe Jamison, or “Mr. J” as he is affectionately called by his fifth-grade students at Lawrence Intermediate School in central New Jersey. “I learn from my kids,” says Mr. J, as he dips his hand into a Philadelphia Eagles […]Continue reading