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The concept of open source learning was formally explored by Sugata Mitra, Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University, England who won the TED Prize in 2013 for his work related to literacy and education. Mitra began this process by posing this question:  "Could it be that knowing is obsolete?"
Hole in the wall
Sugata Mitra SOLES
Could it be that knowing is obsolete?


Mitra maintains that our current educational system, much of which is comprised of rote learning, is no longer practical, and he challenges us to consider that students memorizing and regurgitating information they could acquire in 15 seconds on the internet, rather than concentrating on more creative, self-directed endeavors, may be as outmoded as a first generation iPhone.

Another provocative question Mitra has asked:  "Is education obsolete?"
Is education obsolete?


His hypothesis stemmed from the notion that in a world where infinite information is available on the internet isn’t it theoretically possible for people to become self-taught experts on any subject they choose?  The data collected from his hole in the wall experiment suggests he may be onto something.  And while completely abolishing teachers and traditional learning institutions is obviously not a good plan, it would be remiss to ignore that Mitra’s SOLE’s or Self-Organized Learning Environments do seem to have enormous potential to inspire students toward engaged learning and innovative thinking. Therefore, are positive additions to any curriculum.
We are excited by this concept, and have been successfully utilizing self-directed learning strategies to master subjects we’re interested in yet not formally trained in throughout our adult lives. At MacGyver Academy we intend to create SOLE’s and implement Mitra's concept of minimally invasive education by providing our participants with the proper resources, safe environment, encouragement, and motivation needed to become their own best teachers!


Sugata Mitra:
Can kids teach themselves?
Sugata Mitra
TED 2013 winning talk
Sugata Mitra:
The Future of Learning
Education scientist Sugata Mitra tackles one of the greatest problems of education -- the best teachers and schools don't exist where they're
needed most. In a series of real-life experiments from New Delhi to South Africa to Italy, he gave kids self-supervised access to the web and saw results that could revolutionize how we think about teaching.
In this talk, researcher and TED Prize winner Sugata Mitra, a professor of education technology at Newcastle University in the UK, takes you through the origins of schooling as we know it, to the dematerialisation of institutions as we know them. Learn how children can self-organise their own learning, achieve educational objectives on their own, read by themselves, and most startlingly, how groups of children with access to the Internet can learn anything by themselves.
Speaking at LIFT 2007, Sugata Mitra talks about his Hole in the Wall project. Young kids in this project figured out how to use a PC on their own -- and then taught other kids. He asks, what else can children teach themselves?