It is our pleasure and privilege to announce Professor Sugata Mitra as one of our keynote speakers at this year’s Innovative Education Forum. Professor Mitra is Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University, UK. He is the instigator of the Hole in the Wall experiment, where a computer was embedded within a wall in an Indian slum at Kalkaji, Delhi and children were allowed to freely use it. The experiment aimed at proving that kids could be taught computers very easily without any formal training. His keynote will explore the concept of ‘Self organising systems in education.’ His premise is that groups of children, given the appropriate resources, can learn to use computers and the Internet on their own, achieve many objectives of schooling on their own, and even attain levels of achievement close to traditional schooling with the help of a friendly, but not necessarily knowledgeable, mediator.
Professor Mitra’s ideas about learning as a self organising system are based on experimental results, often referred to as ‘the hole in the wall’ experiments. He will be discussing this famous project and more recent research.
He will include his thoughts on the design of facilities and technology for areas where good schools cannot exist and good teachers do not want to go.
This keynote hints at a future of education that may be very different from what we have today.
The Hole in the Wall experiment has left a mark on popular culture. Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup read about Mitra’s experiment and was inspired to write his debut novel that went on to become the Oscar winning movie of 2009 – Slumdog Millionaire.
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