Sugata Mitra, a Newcastle University professor and winner of the 2013 TED prize, believes that a reduction in resources can stimulate creativity and innovation. Mitra’s ‘Hole in the Wall’ experiment, where he installed a computer in a Delhi slum, demonstrated that children can teach themselves and each other, even without the presence of a teacher. This led to the concept of ‘minimally invasive education’, which suggests that children are capable of learning on their own if they are given the right tools.

Mitra’s research has been criticised, with some suggesting that his approach could lead to the devaluation of teachers. Despite this, Mitra maintains that his work is not anti-teacher, but rather pro-learning. He believes that the current education system, which is based on an outdated 19th-century model, needs to be updated to reflect the digital age. Mitra suggests that the future of education could involve ‘grannies in the cloud’, retired teachers who guide and encourage students from afar.

Mitra’s innovative approach to education has been embraced in some parts of the world. In India, the government is funding 100 ‘Hole in the Wall’ computers, while in Colombia, a ‘School in the Cloud’ has been set up. Mitra’s work may be controversial, but it offers a fresh perspective on how we might approach education in the future.

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