Prof. Sugata Mitra is Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University, UK.
He is the recipient of many awards from India, the UK, USA and many other countries in the world.
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. This work inspired the Oscar winning movie of 2009 – Slumdog Millionaire.
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.
In 2013, he was awarded the first $1 million TED prize, to put his educational ideas together to create seven ‘Schools in the Cloud’. Here he intends to study learning as emergent phenomena in an educational self organising system.
Since the 1970s, Professor Mitra’s work has resulted in the educational development of millions of young people, amongst them some of the poorest children in the world. The resultant changes in the lives of people and the economy of countries can only be guessed at.
School in the Cloud
The School in the Cloud is a platform driven by a global community of Self-Organised Learning Environments (SOLEs) and « Grannies ». Anyone can create a SOLE — it is an environment that sparks curiosity in children by asking them to explore a Big Question using the Internet and their ability to work together. The platform connects students with a global team of volunteer mediators known as Grannies. SOLEs and Grannies interact in an organic movement towards a more inclusive, universal education. The School in the Cloud helps students prepare for the future by using these SOLEs, as learning happens spontaneously in these purposefully chaotic environments.