Sugata Mitra, founder of Hole-in-the-Wall (a 2010 DML Competition winner), spoke to his TED audience, saying "There are places on Earth, in every country, where for various reasons, good schools cannot be built, and good teachers cannot or do not want to go." In this scarcity, Mitra saw tremendous potential.
When Mitra put his first computer in a hole in the wall in 1999, he saw how much children learned and accomplished without a school, classroom, teacher, or book in sight. In an initiative he began in 2010, Mitra added an important new feature: a granny. Two hundred volunteer grandmothers Skype with children in India, to help encourage and coach them, which Mitra sees having a tremendous impact on learning achievement.
In an interview with the BBC, Mitra contrasted the stark learning environments of many Indian children with their rich desire -- and ability -- to learn, and has conducted fascinating studies that demonstrate how much children learn when we step out of the way. By 2010, Mitra's Hole-in-the-Wall organization had built more than 700 Internet-enabled public Playground Learning Stations across India, Bhutan, Cambodia and countries in the African continent.
Mitra's work has implications for learning both inside and outside classroom walls, both abroad and at home. Be sure to add Sugata Mitra to your Google alerts, and keep an eye on Hole-in-the-Wall as they expand their online, self-organizing learning curricula across the globe.
Countdown to the 2010 DML Competition Showcase features Where Are They Now? updates on the 2008, 2009, and 2010 winners. The 2010 DML Competition winners will showcase their projects at the Designing Learning Futures DML Conference on March 4, 2011 in Long Beach, California.
Visit our DML Countdown page to view more updates from featured projects.