Prof. Sugata Mitra’s current work is on the Internet and children’s learning. Prof. Sugata Mitra is Professor Emeritus at NIIT University Rajasthan India. A Ph.D. in theoretical physics, he retired in 2019 as Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University, UK.  

Professor Mitra’s work at NIIT created the first curricula and pedagogy for that organisation, followed by years of research on learning styles, learning devices, several of them now patented, multimedia and new methods of learning. Culminating and, perhaps, towering over his previous work, are his “hole in the wall” experiments with children’s learning. Since 1999, he has convincingly demonstrated that groups of children, irrespective of who or where they are, can learn to use computers and the Internet on their own using public computers in open spaces such as roads and playgrounds. He brought these results to England in 2006 and invented Self Organised Learning Environments, now in use throughout the world. In 2009, he created the Granny Cloud of teachers who interact with children over the Internet.

Since the 1970s, Professor Mitra’s publications and work has resulted in training and development of perhaps a million young Indians, amongst them some of the poorest children in the world.

In 2013, he was awarded the first $1 million TED prize, to put his educational ideas together to create seven laboratories called ‘Schools in the Cloud’. Here he studied learning as emergent phenomena in an educational self-organising system. These results question the ideas of curriculum, examinations and the meaning of ‘knowing’ itself in the Internet world of the 21st century.

The effects of Sugata Mitra’s work on the lives of people and the economy of the countries can only be guessed at. 

Sugata's keynote will be Wednesday, July 27 at 9:00 a.m.