Selected publications (.pdf)

"Education Change, Leadership and the Knowledge Society" 
Global e-Schools Initiative (GeSCI)  

Survey of ICT in education in the Caribbean
Volume 1: Regional trends & analysis
Volume 2: Country reports

Using technology to train teachers:
Appropriate uses of ICT for
teacher professional developmen
infoDev (Mary Burns, co-author)

Project evaluation:
Uganda rural school-based telecenters

World Bank Institute
(Sara Nadel, co-author)

The Educational Object Economy:
Alternatives in authoring &
aggregation of educational software 

Interactive Learning Environments
(Purchase or subscription req'd) 

Development of multimedia resources 
UNESCO (Cesar Nunes, co-author)

Real Access/Real Impact
Teresa Peters &
(hosted for reference; RIP TMP) 

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TED goes out on a limb with Sugata Mitra

The 2013 TED Prize winner is the charismatic, deadly smart Sugata Mitra, whose TED-prize wish is to build a School in the Cloud that supports students around the world to engage in in self-organized learning. 

Thumbnail for version as of 21:04, 2 December 2010

What's the risk to TED? Sugata (I've had a few drinks with him, I'm comfortable calling him "Sugata" although he'd probably call me, "Who?") notoriously avoids serious experimental assessments of the hole-in-the-wall computer, has proposed self-organizing learning as a cure for almost all educational and social ills (e.g., growth of terrorism among rural South Asian youth), and is following in the questionable footsteps of Nicholas Negroponte in postulating the benefits of teacher-less (teacher-free?) learning. 

Fine enough, let's drop a $1 million on this experiment. Sugata might be the only person who can pull it off, based on his experience, notoriety and single-minded pursuit of learning for the unschooled. 

But it's a prestigious award. Is there follow-up? If the resuts are lousy are we asked to say, "Ah, well, it was high-risk, after all"?

But my main question is, Is there any risk to TED's prestige? Next time they drop their award on an outlier-awardee will people again toot the horns of celebration, or will they get that sense of deja vú all over again? 

Reader Comments (1)

Received the following from Katherine Emmons via LinkedIn. I believe that Katherine shares a reasonable question, and that my response should probably be shared as well.

Katherine Emmons
Hello Edmond - please clarify - are you favorable on TED's decision to grant 2013 Prize to Sugata Mitra or not -- ?
1 day ago

Edmond Gaible
Hi. I don't really know. Sugata is pretty compelling, but sort of data-lite, if you know what I mean. I don't think $1 million is too much to wager on him, but I would LOVE to have some independent analysis of the effectiveness of this little bet. AND I would love to have TED share the results as part of its own effort to demonstrate a commitment to real impact as opposed to hype. ("Hype" is too strong a word. Perhaps "Allure.") Your thoughts?

March 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterEdmond Gaible
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