Sugata Mitra, Professor of Education Technology at Newcastle University, has recently seen the wider launch of his School in the Cloud project. Based on the use of technology to formulate and deliver Self Organised Learning Experiences (SOLE), the project is the fruition of a partnership between Microsoft and his university.
School in the Cloud was launched as a global online platform in order to accelerate this research by asking educators — be they teachers, parents or community leaders — to run their own SOLE and contribute to the global experiment by sharing their experiences and help design the future of learning.
The key notion is that anyone can, using the internet, deliver a big question, or an important skill or perception, and share that idea or skill with interested children across the globe.
The project web site offers a way to profile contributors, to manage the structure of the ‘big question’, and to give learners and teachers the opportunity to feed back about their project experiences.
The short film below gives a flavour of what it is like to be a Skype Granny, as part of the project delivery. A warm, sharing and grounded experience for all, built within the framework of the School in the Cloud project. (Can I be a Skype Grandad?…Ed).
Mitra’s idea is to make learning available to children everywhere. The development of a SOLE should have the potential to stimulate enquiry, imagination and to engage with other cultures and communities. Answering the big question by utilising resources that would otherwise be unavailable in the child’s own community.
The East of England is not without educational projects, web focused, that work with distant communities. Nor is there a shortage of Fellows who may warm to the idea of remote support for children interested in their own subject or experience.
Is The School in the Cloud the perfect medium for this delivery?
In our region a group of Fellows are currently pursuing engagement with a course in Human Centred Design for Social Innovation. (See our events page for details). Could there be a real synergy between our Fellows current HCD efforts and the creation of SOLE instances?
We think it’s an exciting idea.