Noted educationist and 2013 TED Prize winner Sugata Mitra has opened his first ‘School in the Cloud’ project in India at Korakati, a small village in the Sundarbans.
About 800 miles west of Kolkata, the village located in a mangrove swamp, is Sugata Mitra’s first independent, solar-powered learning platform with a group of teachers who are available over Skype from a remote location to help mentor the children as they explore information.
Located at a difficult to reach village, the school has equipped itself with a 40ft bamboo tower receiver in order to get the necessary data bandwidth.
The center is the fourth of the 7 new Self Organised Learning (SOLEs) locations to open as part of Mitra’s $1m TED Prize-funded project. While the other SOLEs are attached to schools, the one at Korakati is the first to be a stand alone.
Students at the center will be able to interact with English-speaking Skype Grannies from all over the world, projected onto a wall from a computer with an Internet connection.
Currently there are 7 physical learning labs that are being built in India and the UK. The first lab opened in Nov 2013 at George Stephenson High School in the UK. The next two opened in February at Delhi, India and County Durham, UK. Korakati and Chandrakona, Bengal, both opened in March 2014 and the final two, the flagship lab at Gocharan, Bengal, as well as the lab at Phaltan, Maharashtra, will open in May 2014.
In 1999 Sugata Mitra placed an Internet enabled computer in a “hole in the wall” in a Delhi Slum and left it there to see how children from the slums learn English and acquire basic computer skills, an experiment which later came to be known as ‘Hole in the Wall’ project for which he won the TED Prize in 2013.
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[Image credit : TED site]