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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2012
Educators, I strongly recommend reading about Sugata Mitra's educational experiments that he calls MIE (Minimally Invasive Education). I am astounded by what he has accomplished. Next year, I have the great honour of designing and implementing a digital development right form kindergarten right through to grade 12. Wow. I am basing a huge amount of what I do on Sugata's research.

This is the future of education. It is changing before our eyes and it is one of the most exciting times to be alive in the education field.

Watch his TED talk and read his book. The world is about to change, be ahead of it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2012
This is a short and sweet introduction to the work of Prof Sugata Mitra. He is the inspiration for the book Q&A by Vikas Swarup and the Bollywood/Hollywood movie Slumdog Millionaire. His Hole-in-the-Wall experiment is an evolution in learning and teaching. Maybe we don't need to spend billions on Education like we do; unless we understand it is designed to create a complain society of workers and consumers.

Anyway the stories set in the near future are uncanny like short science fiction stories by Asimov. The best part for me was the practical guidelines at the end on how to impliment his SOLE or Self Organised Learning Environments. This book is highly recommended for people who've watched his two TED Talks and every single Computer Lab teacher or supervisor in South Africa.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2012
I had seen Sugata Mitra's TED talk and was indeed inspired by it and thus when I saw a book from him I rushed in to buy it. What I did not realize was the content of the book was too brief. The book talks about the concepts, however falls short of talking about the implementation specifics (at least some examples would have been nice). The author does point out a few people who have tried out the concept and possibly leaves it to us to get in touch with them.
I would say it is a book which hands out the concept and tells us to try it out in our own way...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2014
A few months back I found Sugata Mitra's TED talk on Pinterest. I loved the TED talk and it really felt like it was just for me. I'm a homeschool mom of four and constantly on the lookout for ways to reach and teach my children and in ways that they can retain the most. I believe that teachers learn the most on topics they teach and am interested in child led learning. This mode of learning makes sense to me. Human beings are very social creatures and normally enjoy learning and sharing knowledge that is why this method is so effective. I recommend this book for all teachers, educators and parents. The only reason I gave this a four star opposed to five is because I disagree with the Mitra about arithmetic. I believe giving children a solid foundation in reading,writing and arithmetic is crucial to further learning and understanding. I also feel that only obtaining information from the internet could have dangerous repercussions in countries where propaganda and censorship exist. The ideal balance in my opinion is the use of the internet, books and older people. That being said I found this book very exciting and the research and information very relevant.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2012
I would consider this as a very long article rather than a book.

It's an excellent short read that answers the question why children learn much faster when it comes to new technologies computers or tablet devices, and how parents or gardians can utilize these technologies to a better learning.

I liked the conceptual part about "connectedness" and "self-organized systems" because it goes deeper in the cognitive part of learning. However I skimmed through the stories because I'm not interested in them.

I really recommend this book to those who are interested in education or may have kids, it's beneficial too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2013
This book has thrilled me as few others. It is an almost unbelievable testimony to the human mind, and what cooperation, sharing, discussion and the courage to 'just do it' can do. This book proves what 'Progressive' educators have been saying for almost a century - allow children to teach them selves, and literacy will follow. I'm not telling you a thing about the book, except it is one of the most significant books on education I've read. And when I finally settle down in my home, I know just the wall I'm going to make this magic hole in!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2013
Short but very interesting read. Dr. Mitra shares new methods of learning appropriate for the 21st Century that has huge ramifications for education in the developing world, challenging the systems in place in the developed world. A must read for anyone concerned about education.
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Sugata Mitra is a compelling speaker, and he and his associates have spent ten years developing a new approach for teaching kids in the 10 to 12 year old group. In brief, let the kids teach each other and themselves.

Sounds simple, and this essay is an excellent introduction to the basic concepts, with a short section at the end on implementation, what he calls SOLE, or "Self Organised Learning Environments". As well as reading the essay, it is very helpful to find Mitra's lecture on the TED network; the basic concepts are there, as well as dynamic presentation by the man himself.

One approach to implementing SOLE is a work in progress at the link in the first Comment. The working paper starts out:

A teacher encourages their class to work as a community to answer questions using computers with internet access. The class work around a guiding set of rules:

Students need to form groups of about 4

Children choose their own groups

They can change groups at any time

Children can look to see what other groups are doing and take that information back to their own group

They should be ready to present their answers back to the class at the end of the session

Although Mitra's research contains designs for specially designed SOLEs, for most schools a SOLE will constitute a classroom, a set of laptops and a teacher willing to experiment with a different teaching style.

It will be fascinating to follow this research to see how effective it can be in practice. Most of my own teaching was of the more traditional type, but for three years in a one room country school house, fifth, sixth and seventh grades, three of us followed many of these principles with very little supervision from the over-worked teacher (who had 22 younger kids in her charge). The three of us did very well when we went on to a classically structured Junior and Senior High School.

Robert C. Ross
June 2012
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on July 13, 2013
This marvelous booklet will restore your faith in the power of youths to undo the messes created by those who preceded them.

About ten years ago I enjoyed an account by Wired Magazine editor Kevin Kelly, "Out Of Control," a deep dive look at the emergence of collective decision-making processes that he named "Hive Mind." I'm not smart enough to summarize the book, but generally it is an effort to delve into the power of many minds working in some sort of synchronicity that belies our usual belief that we are totally individualized thinking beings, separate from one another. In many situations, a kind of human consensus emerges almost as though one mind alone had taken charge.

Something somewhat similar is happening here. Ten years ago, a teacher in India and his buddies put a computer connected to the Internet in the opening of an exterior wall of a building in a grim New Delhi ghetto. Then they left it. No instructions, no supervision, no nothing.

What happened next is the story, indeed, the miracle, of this book, and it will blow you away. Suffice it to say that the teacher quickly discovered that kids from desperately poor slums, badly educated, could, WITHOUT INSTRUCTION, figure out a great deal about computers and how to use them on their own. And, more important, that they could learn from the experience and thereby become better able to work within a complex world.

Great book. Very upbeat. Highly recommended.
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on October 8, 2012
If you are a teacher and/or professor of teacher education, this book is a must-read. Sugata Mitra engages in an ingenious experiment which shows the power of technology + student engagement + self-organization which add up to remarkable student learning and achievement. Although there are some holes about the research methodology and outcomes, the book offers unique insight into the power of young students to collaborate and make sense of the world on their own with the guidance of a surrogate grandmother--- a.k.a. the 'grandmother cloud.' In education, we keep talking about how technology can change teaching and learning---these series of experiments demonstrate 2nd and 3rd generation models. At the end of the book, there are some theoretical models to account for the treatment effect--brief, but I believe they will whet your curiosity to explore further. To give you an idea of the power of the book for me, I read it on the way to a vacation in Italy when I thought I would be watching movies. This story is truly an exciting and transformative picture of a real disruptive change. I would also recommend the TED talk by Sugata.
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