Self-Teaching School in the Clouds

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Sugata Mitra

Dr. Sugata Mitra’s “Hole in the Wall” experiment has changed the way education and learning is being viewed today.  In 1999 Mitra dug a hole in a wall in New Delhi and installed a computer, and then placed a hidden camera to film in real time what would happen next.  How the children responsed to this revealed a new revolution in education research.  Without a teacher present and not in a formal classroom setting, children were able to teach themselves, and each other how to use the computer.  What was also discovered during this experiment is that if children are curious enough about something they are motivated by interest to learn and teach themselves and each other.  Similar to a toddler or young child that learns to use an ipad.  This project clearly proved that without direct involvement from a teacher, an atmosphere that encourages curiosity can create self-teaching and peer to peer shared knowledge.

According to Mitra, “self-teaching may be the new classroom today where children can explore and learn from each other”, and “traditional schools as we know them today are obsolete.”  Although this statement may seem harsh or even over dramatic after watching “New Experiments in Self Teaching” and “Build a School in the Cloud” I couldn’t agree more with many of the points Mitra makes pertaining to this own research.  It only took four hours for the children to learn to use the computer without any assistance, and language was not a factor, nor was education.  Once the children became self-taught on the computer they started to teach the other children how to use it.  Another example of Mirta’s theory was in India he gave computers to a group onf children and had them use a speech to text interface to translate words, an over time the student’s accents had started to change and resemble that of what they were listening too.

In today’s classroom it may be time to back off from the traditional way instruction has been led, and begin letting students learn on their own. Personally, over time I have even realized with myself I learn best, and hardly ever forget what I learned using a hands-on approach through trial and error. When I have to read through a text book and remember information it does not stick in my brain as well.  This is not only just true for myself, but for so many other people too.  Which brings me to how I want to run my own classroom one day.  I will definitely incorporate some of the suggestion Mitra has made for modern day teachers using the “Cloud Learning Lab’ model. The first School in the United States to use the “Cloug Learning Lab” is in Harlem, and I plan to incorporate some of the lessons they use.  For example in my class I will have the students participate in a “self-organized learning environment” also known as “SOLE” the students will be given a discussion question and then asked to research it in a small group.

 

 

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The World is Flat!!!

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The world is constantly changing and evolving!  It is going flat and society must buckle up, enjoy, and embrace it.  As Thomas Friedman explains in his video there was ten days to flatten the world. The first in 1989 with the collapse of the Berlin wall followed by Netscape going public in 1995.  These events at the time seemed mind blowing and were huge advances in where we are today with globalization and now its impact on education. When it comes to the impact globalization has on education some may find it negative but others believe in the fast paced developments.

I am actually surprised it has taken this long for the public school system to embrace technology advances, however at the same time I am delighted to see this finally happening.  An example of how classrooms have been impacted by this global shift is the fact it is not uncommon in the classroom today to see the students using chrome books with applications such as google classroom.  Google classroom is designed to assist teachers when doing things such as assigning homework, creating lesson plans, grading turned in work, collaborating in discussions with students, and so much more.  These new shifts in the classroom suggest that the education system is being retooled and knowledgeable with the technology advances in our society.

Personally, I believe that the effects of globalization for the future teacher will only be positive assisting him or her with the forward movement of teaching alongside technology.  I do not view technology in the classroom as destroying the quality of human interaction, in fact I embrace it as a way  for teachers to be more creative such as developing assignments similar to the podcast article read.  I am excited to see what the future of technology in the classroom has to offer our teachers and students!

 

All About Kristina Bauer

My name is Kristina Bauer I am a mom to three wonderful children ages eleven, three, and one!  All three of my children happen to be girls!   I was born and raised in Bakersfield, CA and am the oldest of five children.  For a short amount of time I did move away and attended college in San Diego, CA!   After a few years living in southern California I decided to move back to Bakersfield to be closer to my family.  Five years ago I met my husband Luke while he was visiting friends in Bakersfield.  After one short year of dating we got married in Maui, Hi among a few of our closest friends and family.  The last four years I have spent at home with my children volunteering in their classrooms, substitute teaching, and mentoring teen mothers through Youth for Christ at a local high school!  Substitute teaching and the volunteer work I do has made it apparent that I truly have a passion for children, their education, and future!  Before I took on the ranks of stay at home mommy I worked in the finance industry at Merrill Lynch as a client advisor, as much as I did enjoy my career I never felt as fulfilled as I do when I work with kids!

 

Bauer (19)