Dr. Sugata Mitra, Professor of Educational Technology, Newcastle University, UK
Dr. Sugata Mitra is an award-winning computer scientist and educator from the Silicon Valley East. He started the database publishing industry (think “Yellow Pages”) in India and Bangledesh and is credited with more than 25 inventions and first-time applications. He is probably best-known for his innovative “Hole-in-the-Wall” experiments that provide hundreds of poor children a door into cyberspace and a pathway to improved literacy. Now a professor of educational technology at Newcastle University (UK), Dr. Mitra has expert knowledge in the technologies for remote and rural education and new ways of learning that bridge the digital divide. His research interests also include distance education, instructional robotics, self-organizing systems, and collaborative systems on the Internet.
Self Organizing Systems in
In his keynote “Self-Organizing Systems in Education,” Dr. Sugata Mitra will address the issue of education in remote and rural locations. Drawing on his experience and work with the IT sector in India, Dr. Mitra will outline the effects of remoteness on the quality of education and note how such traditional “solutions” as teacher training only aggravate the problem. He will describe prospective alternatives to be found in self-organizing systems, synchronous distance education, teacher-independent learning, and remote-presence technologies.