“A Hello Hub, to me, is like the grandchild of the ‘Hole in the Wall’, 16 years later.” Prof. Sugata Mitra

 

Professor Mitra is best known for the “Hole in the Wall” experiment where he put computer stations, equipped with educational materials and games, into slums in India, allowing underprivileged children and adults to express themselves, explore together, immerse themselves in learning activities, teach each other and collaborate in solving problems. Mitra’s method has proven that providing children with the opportunity to teach themselves capitalises on their innate desire to learn and can take the educational process to new heights.

Moreover, studies have shown that children who are given access to digital education have vastly improved scores in digital literacy as well as higher numeracy and literacy scores.

Across the globe there is a pressing need to make quality education accessible to children and adults in the most disadvantaged countries and communities. Child-led digital education is one such solution and Project Hello World works to provide access to digital education to children who are enrolled in traditional schools as well as those out of school, or living on the streets, who are in desperate need of educational opportunities and access to information.

The idea of promoting child-led digital education was pioneered by the work of Sugata Mitra, Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University/UK, and an Advisor to Projects For All. 

 



TED PRIZE 2013 TALK by SUGATA MITRA: 
BUILDING A SCHOOL IN THE CLOUD

Sugata Mitra and his TED Talk on child-led digital education has been viewed over 5 million times. One of those who watched him was Roland Wells, the COO of Projects For All. At around the same time, Katrin Macmillan, Founder and CEO of Projects For All, visited the Hamar tribe in South Omo, Ethiopia. She saw what the lack of access to education or communication meant for a marginalised and poor community. Katrin called Roland, an old friend, to describe the situation.

Roland forwarded Mitra’s TED talk to Katrin with an idea: to take him up on his challenge. Two years later, in October 2013, they had founded Projects For All and cut the ribbon on a digital education terminal in Suleja, Nigeria: the Hello Hub. This was the beginning of Project Hello World.

“I feel nostalgic when I see the Hello Hub and Katrin’s team in action,” says Prof. Mitra, now advisor to Projects For All. “In the years since 1999, when the first ‘Hole in the Wall’ computer was installed in New Delhi, I have been struggling with how to keep them in working condition. The technology keeps failing, even today. Internet connections are still spotty. The lights still go out. But it is efforts like Hello Hub that will solve these problems eventually.”

Read more about Prof. Mitra’s child-led digital education and the beginnings of Hello World in our blog post.


THE INSPIRATION FOR THE HELLO HUBS

Watch the award-winning TED Prize 2013 Talk by Sugata Mitra that inspired Project Hello World, proving since the late 1990s that, with the right tools, children can be the pioneers of their own future.

To find out more on child-led digital education, take a look at Sugata Mitra’s School in the Cloud project.