ted-prize-2013-a-wish-to-inspire-the-world

2013-02-27-tedprizepullFrom someone who has worked in the developing world for over a decade, it is hard to comprehend a world where traditional classrooms and libraries are no longer necessary. We need more of them, not fewer.
2013-02-27-tedprizepullDr. Mitra talks fondly about the network of British "grannies" he has enlisted to teach children online and offer encouragement, but what about all the other issues that so often compromise a child's ability to learn and grow?
2013-02-27-tedprizepullWill access to the Internet be transformative? It will be for some children, of course, but if access alone were transformative, the developed world would be transforming like crazy in terms of learning, and it is not.
2013-02-27-tedprizepullDo teachers view themselves as learners? Do they experience their school as a vibrant learning organization? Frankly, this is another test many schools and school leaders fail.
2013-02-27-tedprizepullMitra's approach to education and his call to toss aside our assumptions about the "natural" teacher-student relationship reminded me of the work of the late Brazilian educator Paulo Freire.
2013-02-27-tedprizepullWhy, when we have such incredible technological resources at our disposal, have we been so slow to implement technology in many of our schools?
2013-02-27-tedprizepullEach and every opportunity we have to collaborate, entice, introduce, facilitate, and amplify the ideas and creations of the other -- to keep curious and engaged -- seems more than worthwhile to me.
2013-02-27-tedprizepullWe know that our children are (and that we all are) more than the sum of our circumstantial parts. All have potential, imagination, hopes, beliefs, strengths, and goals -- but, often because of circumstances, not all can actualize and achieve them.
2013-02-27-tedprizepullGreat teachers have recognized this truth, and now, by leveraging the connectivity brought about by the Internet, through content that is openly available, and by those willing to help champion the learning efforts of our students, anything is possible.
2013-02-27-tedprizepullIt's time for our schools to boldly re-imagine their purpose, reconfigure their pedagogy, and allow both students and educators to tap into the innate sense of wonder and intellectual curiosity we possess as human beings, whether we live in India or Indiana.
2013-02-27-tedprizepullWho should be responsible for this part of education? Ideally this should be the parent's responsibility. The question is: Who is giving parents that knowledge?
The challenge today is not acquiring information, or memorizing it. Rather, it is determining which information is relevant. What do our young people need to know and why, in this new, global, technology-driven world?
2013-02-27-tedprizepullWhat Mitra is planning is both needed in our world and is a departure from anything that has ever been done before in education reform on a large scale. Moreover, if his TED Wish is not anti-establishment, it is certainly outside the typical range of ed-tech innovation.
2013-02-27-tedprizepullDeliberate practice of the skill gets you to fluency much faster than learning it in the context of larger problem solving. You need to develop both skill fluency and problem solving ability to have a chance in the 21st century.
2013-02-27-tedprizepullHow do you measure individual learning progression when students are exclusively engaged in collective learning? If the group solved the problem collectively, how do you know which students could solve the problem on their own?
2013-02-27-tedprizepullMotherhood has shown me how tremendously competent children can be. Yet, the vast majority of programs that adults have designed for kids grossly underestimate what they are capable of.
2013-02-27-tedprizepullSugata's efforts have shown that the traditional model may not be the only road to success. His projects illustrate that kids can learn quickly from each other with minimal adult involvement, motivated solely by curiosity and peer interest.
2013-02-27-tedprizepullThe most important conclusion from Mitra's work is not about the technology, but in firmly establishing that poor children can learn and develop deeper learning competencies of creative thinking, problem solving, and self-reflection -- just like their more affluent peers.
2013-02-27-tedprizepullTo venture into the impossible. That's what Dr. Mitra's experiments did, and out of the impossible, he came back with the incredible: an approach to education in which children learn to teach themselves, in small groups, everything from English to brain science.
2013-02-27-tedprizepullMitra's work shows us that (even in the most unpromising settings and with a shoestring budget) education, like the Web itself, can be "a self-organizing system, where learning is an emergent phenomenon."