SUGATA MITRA

TED WEEKENDS
From someone who has worked in the developing world for over a decade, it is hard to comprehend a world where traditional classrooms and libraries are no longer necessary. We need more of them, not fewer.
TED WEEKENDS
Dr. Mitra talks fondly about the network of British "grannies" he has enlisted to teach children online and offer encouragement, but what about all the other issues that so often compromise a child's ability to learn and grow?
TED WEEKENDS
Will access to the Internet be transformative? It will be for some children, of course, but if access alone were transformative, the developed world would be transforming like crazy in terms of learning, and it is not.
TED WEEKENDS
Each and every opportunity we have to collaborate, entice, introduce, facilitate, and amplify the ideas and creations of the other -- to keep curious and engaged -- seems more than worthwhile to me.
TED WEEKENDS
We know that our children are (and that we all are) more than the sum of our circumstantial parts. All have potential, imagination, hopes, beliefs, strengths, and goals -- but, often because of circumstances, not all can actualize and achieve them.
TED WEEKENDS
Great teachers have recognized this truth, and now, by leveraging the connectivity brought about by the Internet, through content that is openly available, and by those willing to help champion the learning efforts of our students, anything is possible.
TED WEEKENDS
It's time for our schools to boldly re-imagine their purpose, reconfigure their pedagogy, and allow both students and educators to tap into the innate sense of wonder and intellectual curiosity we possess as human beings, whether we live in India or Indiana.
TED WEEKENDS
Deliberate practice of the skill gets you to fluency much faster than learning it in the context of larger problem solving. You need to develop both skill fluency and problem solving ability to have a chance in the 21st century.
TED WEEKENDS
How do you measure individual learning progression when students are exclusively engaged in collective learning? If the group solved the problem collectively, how do you know which students could solve the problem on their own?
TED WEEKENDS
Motherhood has shown me how tremendously competent children can be. Yet, the vast majority of programs that adults have designed for kids grossly underestimate what they are capable of.
TED WEEKENDS
Sugata's efforts have shown that the traditional model may not be the only road to success. His projects illustrate that kids can learn quickly from each other with minimal adult involvement, motivated solely by curiosity and peer interest.
TED WEEKENDS
The most important conclusion from Mitra's work is not about the technology, but in firmly establishing that poor children can learn and develop deeper learning competencies of creative thinking, problem solving, and self-reflection -- just like their more affluent peers.
TED WEEKENDS
To venture into the impossible. That's what Dr. Mitra's experiments did, and out of the impossible, he came back with the incredible: an approach to education in which children learn to teach themselves, in small groups, everything from English to brain science.
TED WEEKENDS
Mitra's work shows us that (even in the most unpromising settings and with a shoestring budget) education, like the Web itself, can be "a self-organizing system, where learning is an emergent phenomenon."
TED WEEKENDS
Probably most children on earth grow up using a dialect or even a language at home different from the one textbooks are written in. In practice, this means that students are expected to learn in a context where they are also taught to avoid using the speech they find most natural.
TED WEEKENDS
In places where the greatest inequity exists, Dr. Sugata Mitra's "School in the Cloud" holds enormous promise for leveling the playing field. But his methodology, which taps into a child's innate sense of wonder and curiosity through Self-organized Learning Environments, is relevant for communities and classrooms everywhere.
TED WEEKENDS
Why do adults fear those three words so much: "I don't know"? As parents and teachers, we tend to feel we must know everything. But how do we expect our children to learn how to learn, when we aren't willing to be role models for how it happens?
TED WEEKENDS
It's easy to totally lose track of our native wonder, those questions that naturally bubble up from our observations of the world and our curiosity about it. So while Sugata's wish is about children, in some ways, I feel like it's potentially going to change adults' lives even more.