What do a British chef, a Newcastle University professor and an anti-corruption activist have in common? They’re all winners of the TED Prize – a cash award, currently for $1,000,000, given annually to a forward-thinking individual with a fresh, bold vision for sparking global change to make the world a better place. The Prize begins with […]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
Sugata Mitra TED Prize update: Preview the School in the Cloud documentary — and a new web platform for learning
By Natasha Scripture Sugata Mitra thinks big. At last year’s TED, he unveiled his dream to transform primary education. Instead of a teacher, a chalkboard and a generic curriculum, the recipient of the 2013 TED Prize asked us to imagine an environment that empowered children to learn on their own, with the guidance of virtual […]Continue reading
A School in the Cloud among the mangrove trees: Sugata Mitra opens his first independent learning lab in India
“Early one morning last February, a man turned up on my doorstep who had travelled through the night to get there,” said Sugata Mitra, the education reformer who received the 2013 TED Prize. “This schoolteacher wanted to do something positive for his village, which had no electricity, health care or primary education … It was […]Continue reading