BSNR Christmas Lecture 2023
The Future of Learning – 13th December, 6pm GMT
Dr Sugata Mitra
In this talk, Sugata Mitra, takes us through over two decades of experience with how children and the internet interact. What influence does the internet have on children and learning? Under what conditions are these influences at their optimal best? How have these influences changed over time? What is to come?
From travels around the world, Sugata describes the changes that schools need to make to become meaningful in a world where what we need to know is no longer evident. He describes how to define the goals of education and how to design environments to achieve those goals.
From the World Bank funded ‘Hole in the Wall’ project to the million-dollar TED prize funded ‘School in the Cloud’ project, Sugata describes his experiments with children, collaboration and the internet. Through experiments carried out in India, the UK, Australia, Latin America and the USA, we glimpse the new literacies that are shaping and changing the nature of learning itself.
‘On the internet, we know before we learn’, Sugata quotes from a 12-year-old in London. A sentence that forecasts ‘the end of knowing’, as he puts it.
A Ph.D. in theoretical physics, Sugata Mitra retired in 2019 as Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University in England, after 13 years there including a year in 2012 as Visiting Professor at MIT MediaLab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. He remains Professor Emeritus at NIIT University, Rajasthan, India, the organization where his initial work began.
His work on children’s education includes the ‘hole in the wall’ experiment where children access the internet in unsupervised groups, the idea of Self Organised Learning Environments (SOLEs) in schools, the role of experienced educators over the internet in a ‘Granny Cloud’ and the School in the Cloud where children take charge of their learning – anywhere.
His interests include Children’s Education, Remote Presence, Self-organising systems, Cognitive Systems, Complex Dynamical Systems, Physics and Consciousness.
Sugata Mitra is one of the most awarded educationists in the world. Amongst his many global awards is the million-dollar TED Prize in 2013.