Mitra, S. Build a School in the Cloud. TED. https://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_build_a_school_in_the_cloud?referrer=playlist-ken_robinson_10_talks_on_educ.
Mitra questions the future of education. He wonders what we are doing with an education system that is obsolete. He experimented with learning computers in parts of India where student had no access to technology to see what would happen. He learned that in 9 months, a child in rural India with no formal instruction could have the same computer skills as an office secretary in the West (including having to teach themselves English). Access to technology is key but encouragement is the most valuable tool, which he terms “the granny cloud”. He has a vision for a “school in the Cloud” where students create Self Organized Learning Environments.
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this talk and keep bringing it up with my teaching colleagues. As teachers, we hear time and again that one of the most important principles/beliefs that a teacher can have is to believe that all children can learn; regardless of situations, backgrounds, learning challenges, etc. Mitra’s experiments in rural India highlight this principle. This speaks to everything I know and believe in my heart about education, most particularly the parts about encouragement being the most valuable tool. I love everything about this Ted Talk!