Sugata Mitra is Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University, England, and a visiting professor at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Professor Mitra works in the areas of cognitive science, information science and educational technology, and he has a keen interest in engineering and software development. His current research interests include technologies for remote and rural education, distance education, instructional robotics, self-organizing systems and collaborative systems on the Internet.
Beyond the Hole in the Wall: Discover the Power of Self-Organized Learningby Sugata Mitra
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Ten years ago, educator Sugata Mitra and his colleagues cracked open a hole in a wall bordering an urban slum in New Delhi, installed a networked PC, and left it there for the local children to freely explore. What they quickly saw in their �Hole in the Wall� experiment was that kids from one of the most desperately poor areas of the world could, without instruction, quickly learn how the PC operated. The children also freely collaborated with each other, exploring the world of high-tech online connectivity with ease. It was the dawning of Mitra�s introduction to self-organized learning, and it would shape the next decade of his research. This important update on Mitra�s groundbreaking work (which provided the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film 'Slumdog Millionaire') offers new research and ideas that show how self-directed learning can make kids smarter and more creative. He also provides step-by-step instruction on how to integrate it into any classroom. It�s an important lesson that could reshape our schools and reinvigorate our educational system. With a foreword by Nicholas Negroponte, founder of both MIT's Media Lab and the One Laptop per Child Association.
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Sugata Mitra has found that, given a computer and access to the Internet, children can teach themselves a remarkable number of things. He shares his philosophy and demonstrates its efficacy with studies performed over two decades. Interspersed with the application of self-organizing learning environments is a futuristic tale of a girl named Rita whose experiments with volume lead to a remarkable interaction with technology.
Brilliant! We need to learn from this and implement it. Our schools and the way we learn in them hasn't changed - ever.