About the session
The future of learning
In this talk, Sugata Mitra will take us through the origins of schooling as we know it, to the dematerialisation of institutions as we know them. Thirteen years of experiments in children's education takes us through a series of startling results – children can self-organise their own learning, they can achieve educational objectives on their own, they can read by themselves. Finally, the most startling of them all: groups of children with access to the internet can learn anything by themselves. From the slums of India, to the villages of India and Cambodia, to poor schools in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, the USA and Italy, to the schools of Gateshead and the rich international schools of Washington and Hong Kong, Sugata's experimental results show a strange new future for learning.
About the speaker
Sugata Mitra is Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University, UK. His interests include Children's Education, Remote Presence, Self-organising systems, Cognitive Systems, Physics and Consciousness. Professor Mitra's work at NIIT created the first curricula and pedagogy for that organisation, followed by years of research on learning styles, learning devices, several of them now patented, multimedia and new methods of learning. Culminating and, perhaps, towering over his previous work, are his 'hole in the wall' experiments with children's learning. Since 1999, he has convincingly demonstrated that groups of children, irrespective of who or where they are, can learn to use computers and the internet on their own using public computers in open spaces such as roads and playgrounds. He brought these results to England in 2006 and invented Self Organised Learning Environments, now in use throughout the world. In 2009, he created the Granny Cloud of teachers who interact with children over the Internet. Since the 1970s, Professor Mitra's publications and work has resulted in training and development of perhaps a million young Indians, amongst them some of the poorest children in the world. The resultant changes in the lives of people and the economy of the country can only be guessed at.