Sugata Mitra is Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University, England. He is best known for his “Hole in the Wall” experiment, and widely cited in works on literacy and education. He is Chief Scientist, Emeritus, at NIIT. He is also the winner of the TED Prize 2013.

Mitra has been described as a polymath by the University of London, as his 30 years of research spans a wide range of disciplines.

Sugata Mitra, put computers in “a hole in a wall” in the slums of India.  His book Beyond the hole in the wall covers what happened afterwards.

Talk should be filed under self-education:

Why is it the way it is right now?  With Helicopter you tell children “do not touch it” wait until someone tells you what you have to do….that is the education system we have to day.  From an age when you can press a button and blow things up….but a computer is not like that.

How can teachers change when they are driven by an ancient examination system that they have to teach to? System was engineered for the 19th Century.

14 years ago Sugata Mitra put a computer in a slum in India. He used to make courses for people who had money.  Who has decided that slum children won’t make good programmers?  From this frustration he put the computer in the wall.  The students taught themselves and each other!

Students taught themselves English in order to use the computer he left there.  8 year olds were teaching 6 year olds how to work the computer.

Girls between 11-13 invent a system of adminitration to give everyone access to the machine.

English Language gets better.  Get bored of the games on the machine, find new games and discover google and EVERYTHING changes.

Children discuss what else they can do with the computer and how the community can maintain the computer so that it never goes away and never breaks down (that doesn’t happen – big challenge for technology durable computer for rough environments)

Speech to text software helps students improve their speaking skills. Students download the speaking Oxford dictionary to check against for Speech to text.  They invented the pedagogy!

Student start to learn BECAUSE I’m not there!  Students were completing educational objectives by themsleves.

One student makes a small breakthrough and then reflects to the rest of the students!

Students can reproduce individually w/out help what they did as a group with aids months later.

These ideas are being applied to schools in UK.  Get a group of children, ask them to make groups of four (allowed to use 1 computer with an internet connection)  Give them one question to solve. (Bringing the properties of Hole in the wall into the classroom)

Children will go to almost any length to find the answers.

Self-Organized Learning Environments – Hole in the Wall learning method. Self Organized learning environments need a boost….the admiration boost (grandmother effect – positive affirmation)  The Granny Cloud

Schools in the Cloud!