Self-Organized Learning Environments: Where Curiosity Meets Technology

By Jamia Wilson

Education innovator Sugata Mitra made his debut as the first recipient of the $1M TED Prize at TED2013. From the Long Beach stage, Sugata asked the TED community to help him design the future of learning.  He called for the community’s support in making his virtual learning lab “The School in the Cloud” a reality, and invited parents, teachers, and mentors worldwide to conduct child-driven Self-Organized Learning Environments (SOLEs). SOLEs are self-directed learning experiences where kids tap into their inherent curiosity by embarking on collaborative intellectual explorations online.

Sugata Mitra conducting a Self-Organized Learning Environment (SOLE) in India. Photo Credit: Sundance Institute|TED Prize Filmmaker Award winner Jerry Rothwell

Since Sugata’s talk launched in February, thousands of people have downloaded the SOLE toolkit for use in their homes, schools, and community centers across the globe. What’s more, the stories and feedback SOLE practitioners have shared helps inform his research.

Nowadays, Sugata is engaged in building the School in the Cloud’s lab school in India and launching several satellite SOLEs in existing schools in the United Kingdom and India. Sundance Institute/TED Prize Filmmaker Award winner Jerry Rothwell is capturing his progress to feature in a documentary that will be released in 2015. In the meantime, SOLE learners from Serbia to South Africa are sharing their stories and even partnering together to create transformative child-driven learning experiences worldwide.

Visit our SOLE stories site to read SOLE stories from around the world or submit your own.