Self-Managed education is here to stay

By: | September 16, 2020

TED Prize winner Sugata Mitra delivered a keynote at the 2015 International Conference & Exposition of the Association for Talent Development (ATD) where he shared his dream of a School in the Cloud. At the conclusion of his talk, the nearly 10,000 attendees rose to give him a prolonged and deserved standing ovation.

What made Mitra’s humble talk so powerful? My sense (as one of those 10,000 attendees) was that his simple, transcendent message of freedom and agency marked a phase shift in how we think about learning, particularly for the young.

Mitra and his colleagues began their “Hole in the Wall” experiments in a New Delhi slum in 1999, leaving a web-enabled computer there and filming children as they interacted with it. The experiments, which inspired the movie “Slumdog Millionaire,” showed that children could teach themselves to use a computer and then teach other children how to use it—while upgrading their math and language skills.

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