Sugata Mitra’s “Granny Cloud” Wins Education Prize

Contact: 
Julie Atkins julie@iskme.org
Sylvia Paull whoisylvia@aol.com

PRLog - Feb. 2, 2015 - HALF MOON BAY, Calif. -- In 2013, Professor Sugata Mitra was awarded the $1 million TED Prize to build the ultimate “School in the Cloud” -- learning labs where children, given their innate sense of wonder and curiosity, regardless of income, can work together to engage and connect online in the so-called Granny Cloud, with the guidance of virtual “grannies.”

Last December, at Big Ideas Fest -- an annual convening of educators from around the world, education nonprofit and host ISKME awarded its Big Ideas Fest Innovation in Action Award to Jackie Barrow, on behalf of the Granny Cloud. This cash award is given annually to an individual or organization whose project embodies the spirit of the Big Ideas Fest: Transforming education through innovation in action.

ISKME CEO and Founder Dr. Lisa Petrides describes why Barrow and the Granny Cloud received the award: “This remarkably creative program for linking virtual grannies, or mentors, to children in rural India stimulates their curiosity, develops their confidence, and inspires them to enjoy the learning process -- all of which align with ISKME’s mission to enable open access to learning across borders.”

Says Barrow, a retired teacher who lives outside Manchester, England, and now also interviews and mentors new grannies for the project, “What appeals to potential candidates is the idea of using technology to reach out to children in some of the most underserved parts of the world. The project offers the opportunity to connect with young people in areas where resources are scarce. We have the chance to encourage them to discover the world through the magic of the internet.

“The Big Ideas Fest provided excellent speakers and opportunities for collaborative design thinking, all of which I found to be an extremely stimulating experience. I was thrilled to accept the award on behalf of the Granny Cloud, truly a team of people taking on the challenge of putting innovation into action.”

Granny Cloud founder Mitra adds, “I am very happy that the Granny Cloud has received this award. Jackie Barrow is a pioneer, and this award is in recognition of the contribution that she and many like her have done, to change the lives of thousands of children.”

For more information about the Big Ideas Fest and ISKME, see www.bigideasfest.org andwww.iskme.org. And for more about the Granny Cloud, see www.theschoolinthecloud.org.

 

Watch Jackie Barrows's Big Ideas Fest talk: The Adventures of a Cloud Granny.