Science Central

The future of learning

The future of learning

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Date: Monday 6 June 2016
Time: 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: The Core, Bath Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5TF

TED Prize winner Professor Sugata Mitra will take us through the origins of schooling as we know it and the dematerialisation of institutions as we know them. Thirteen years of experiments in children's education takes us through a series of startling results – children can self-organise their own learning, they can achieve educational objectives on their own, can read by themselves. Finally, the most startling of them all: groups of children with access to the Internet can learn anything by themselves.

From the slums of India, to the villages of India and Cambodia, to poor schools in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, the USA and Italy, to the schools of Gateshead and the rich international schools of Washington and Hong Kong, Sugata’s experimental results show a strange new future for learning.

Using his $1 million TED Prize, Sugata has now built seven ‘Schools in the Cloud’, of which some glimpses will be provided in the talk. Sugata’s talk will be followed by a presentation from Open Lab, School of Computing Science.

Sugata's talk will be followed by a presentation from Prof Patrick Olivier from Newcastle University's Open Lab on Digital Civics and the Connected Learning Community.

The North East is now home to the largest digital local government and community research activity in the world — the Digital Civics initiative at Newcastle University and Northumbria University. A key goal of Digital Civics is how digital technologies can be used to create a Local Learning Ecology in which learners, teachers, parents, companies, civic groups and communities can participate in, and contribute to, new relational models of learning that both meet the needs and realise the assets of the region.

Patrick's talk will outline the Digital Civics vision of Connected Learning Communities, from the development of new pedagogies that exploit social media in the creation of Connected Classes, to new digital platforms for schools and colleges to commission learning materials and training opportunities. The talk will preview a number of ongoing activities in this area, serve as a call to arms for citizens, and lay out our vision for the North East as a Connected Learning Community. 

The event is organised in collaboration with the Federation of Small Businesses with support from the North East Chamber of Commerce. There will be a free drinks reception after the talks.

About the speakers:

Prof Sugata Mitra 

Sugata is Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University. He is the instigator of the Hole in the Wall experiment, where in 1999 a computer was embedded within a wall in an Indian slum at Kalkaji, Dehli and children were allowed freely to use it. Since then the work has led to Self-Organised Learning Environments (SOLE) throughout the world delivered by the School in the Cloud Platform. His Hole in the Wall experiments inspired a novel which went on to become the Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire. In addition to his pioneering work with SOLE he has over 25 inventions in the areas of cognitive science and emotional technology, and is the recipient of numerous international awards for his work.

Prof Patrick Olivier

Patrick Olivier is Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at Newcastle University. He is Director of Open Lab, Newcastle University’s internationally renowned centre for cross-disciplinary research in digital technologies, Patrick is Co-Director of the £8.5M EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Civics, an 8-year cross-disciplinary initiative that will train 55 digital civics doctoral researchers; and Director of the £12M EPSRC Digital Economy Research Centre, a 5-year, 25 postdoctoral researcher, collaboration between Newcastle and Northumbria universities that is designing, deploying and evaluating large-scale digital civics platforms in public health, social care, education, and local democracy.