‘Hole in the Wall’ Researcher Wins $1M NFP TED Prize!
28 February 2013 at 9:19 am
Sugata Mitra has won the TED Prize award for his work in India. Picture: ted.com
Innovative and bold efforts towards advancing self organised learning for children has earned an Indian researcher the first-ever $1 million TED Prize award.
After a series of experiments which revealed that groups of children can learn almost anything by themselves, researcher Sugata Mitra began his pursuit to inspire children all over the world to get curious and work together.
In 1999, Sugata and his colleagues dug a hole in a wall bordering a slum in New Delhi, installed an Internet-connected PC, and left it there (with a hidden camera).
Soon, they saw kids from the slum playing with the computer, learning English and searching through a wide variety of websites on science and other topics, and then teaching each other.
Sugata and his colleagues carried out experiments for over 13 years on the nature of self-organized learning, its extent, how it works and the role of adults in encouraging it.
The TED Prize is awarded annually to an exceptional individual who receives $1,000,000 and the TED community’s resources and expertise to spark global change.
At TED2013, Sugata asked the global TED community to make his dream a reality by helping him reinvent the way kids learn.
“My wish is to help design the future of learning by supporting children all over the world to tap into their innate sense of wonder and work together. Help me build the School in the Cloud, a learning lab in India, where children can embark on intellectual adventures by engaging and connecting with information and mentoring online," Sugata said.
“I also invite you, wherever you are, to create your own miniature child-driven learning environments and share your discoveries.”
In addition to revealing his plan to build a virtual school that offers a groundbreaking child-driven learning experience,TED says Sugata invited thinkers and doers around the world to help bring his dream into fruition by creating Self-Organized Learning Environments (SOLEs) in homes, schools, and community programs worldwide.
TED is a Not for Profit devoted to what it describes as “Ideas Worth Spreading”. It started in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.
Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference on the West Coast each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and now the annual TED Prize.
Watch Sugata Mitra make his TED Prize wish below: "Help me design the School in the Cloud, a learning lab in India, where children can explore and learn from each other – using resources and mentoring from the cloud."