Join Our Community


get-involved

There are many ways to get involved with School in the Cloud, from running your own SOLE to becoming a Granny or carrying out research with us.


Download Toolkit


support

A useful guide to how to run your own SOLE. Our toolkit is free to use and adapt to your own environment through Creative Commons licence.


Read Our Story


listing-image-3

School in the Cloud is learning at the edge of chaos; a place to come together to discover and explore self-organised learning (SOLE).


Big Questions


noimage

A great Big Question will get your SOLE off to a flying start, but deciding what to ask is the hardest part! Children love questions with no easy answer.


Search Results

solecolombia4 SOLE gives peace a chance

SOLE Colombia

View Partner

SOLE Colombia

SOLE gives peace a chance


  Author - School in the Cloud

  Partner(s) - SOLE Colombia

  Location: Colombia



When Sugata Mitra first muted the idea of the School in the Cloud, his dream was a place where children could go on intellectual adventures together.

But in Colombia, it’s not just children that are doing it – whole communities are embracing self organised learning environments (SOLE) to help them find answers to their own Big Questions.

As SOLE Colombia’s director, Sanjay Fernandes, explains, his organisation’s work to expand SOLE across the country has led to amazing outcomes they never envisaged three years ago. It’s also put them in an unique position to help advise on the peace process,

Read More

When Sugata Mitra first muted the idea of the School in the Cloud, his dream was a place where children could go on intellectual adventures together.

But in Colombia, it’s not just children that are doing it – whole communities are embracing self organised learning environments (SOLE) to help them find answers to their own Big Questions.

As SOLE Colombia’s director, Sanjay Fernandes, explains, his organisation’s work to expand SOLE across the country has led to amazing outcomes they never envisaged three years ago. It’s also put them in an unique position to help advise on the peace process, which we’ll get to shortly!

“People in rural communities have their own Big Questions and that’s what has been so powerful,” says Sanjay. “It’s been fascinating to see and very different to your average education stories. It’s not about grade results or organisational objectives – it’s about community empowerment and that’s what we’re all about.”

solecolombia2
Villagers have used SOLE to find out how to make their plantations more efficient and productive and also used what they’ve discovered to set up their own entrepreneurial projects such as creating bakeries or making recycled bags. (SOLE Colombia’s own SOLE kit is made out of old grain/rice/ or flour sacks and has inspired many others to try it themselves).

In one rural village, about one and a half hours away from the nearest town, people go to do a SOLE in the school at least once a week, without any guidance. “They’re completely doing it on their own – we don’t control that,” says Sanjay. “This is real self organisation where we don’t need to do anything at all.”

And now SOLE Colombia has just embarked on its most ambitious project yet –

Read more

Colombia | Community | SOLE

The Big Question

View All Questions

Learning - Posted by Miguel Salas Ahumada


  Author - School in the Cloud

  Location: Baja California



Where are we going with this new method of learning?

Read More

Where are we going with this new method of learning?

Read more

Education | Learning | SOLE

How to make SOLE more social


  Author - School in the Cloud

  Location: Isle of Man



Helen Moyer hates the word “teacher” despite the fact she’s been one for seven years.

“I remember teachers from my own school days standing in front of the class just relaying facts and I never wanted to do that,” she says. “I want to create an atmosphere where the children see me as a learner as well and SOLE is perfect for that. It’s completely changed the way I teach.”

Williston School, where Helen works, is also a supporter of P4C (Philosophy for Children), which she finds aligns well with SOLE principles. For the past few years they have been working towards letting the children own their learning,

Read More

Helen Moyer hates the word “teacher” despite the fact she’s been one for seven years.

“I remember teachers from my own school days standing in front of the class just relaying facts and I never wanted to do that,” she says. “I want to create an atmosphere where the children see me as a learner as well and SOLE is perfect for that. It’s completely changed the way I teach.”

Williston School, where Helen works, is also a supporter of P4C (Philosophy for Children), which she finds aligns well with SOLE principles. For the past few years they have been working towards letting the children own their learning, embracing new technologies and pedagogical approaches.

Being on the Isle of Man (which is located in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland – pictured below) means educators enjoy more freedom to experiment than most: they have their own government, no OFSTED inspections, and can create their own curriculum.

“We’re pushing boundaries all the time and the difference SOLE has made has been incredible,” says Helen. “It’s created a level of curiosity and an ability to share their learning collaboratively which is nothing short of amazing. It’s like the love of learning has been re-ignited within them.”

iseofman3
Helen was first introduced to SOLE three years ago when one of the IT staff returned from a conference where Sugata Mitra was speaking and suggested they try it out.

But the first few attempts weren’t exactly a success. “It was complete chaos and I thought ‘what on earth am I doing?!’” says Helen.

One of her challenges was the amount of high level needs pupils she had in her class, with dyslexia and autism especially prevalent among the students.

Read more

Isle of Man | P4C | Primary School | Social SOLEs | SOLE | Teaching

Inspiring families to learn together


  Author - School in the Cloud

  Location: New Jersey



Like many before him, Steven Delpome was inspired to try SOLE after hearing Sugata Mitra talk.

“I was listening to him on the TED Radio Hour and got fascinated by the whole idea,” he explains. Up until then I was a believer like everyone else that you tell children to do things, they practice, learn it and move on. Then the test says ‘they passed’ so they’re good.”

At that point in our chat, Steven pauses to reflect on what he just said: “I’ve moved on so far since then –

Read More

Like many before him, Steven Delpome was inspired to try SOLE after hearing Sugata Mitra talk.

“I was listening to him on the TED Radio Hour and got fascinated by the whole idea,” he explains. Up until then I was a believer like everyone else that you tell children to do things, they practice, learn it and move on. Then the test says ‘they passed’ so they’re good.”

At that point in our chat, Steven pauses to reflect on what he just said: “I’ve moved on so far since then – that sentence makes so little sense to me right now!” he laughs.

Later that year he started experimenting a little in class to see what the kids could do on their own. He didn’t rush into it though – he spent seven months researching SOLE before he took the leap. “I thought ‘let’s try it once and see how it goes’,” he says. So the 6th grade English teacher picked a question off the list of Big Questions  What is irony?

“I followed the pattern word for word and it was fairly brilliant,” Steven explains. He ran the SOLE on the Friday of a long weekend and on the following Tuesday, he pulled the kids aside for 1:1s to see what they remembered. The concept had stuck for almost all of them.

“What impressed me was that they didn’t all have the same answer – they were able to build their own understanding around it,” he says. For example, one girl had found a video online that showed the difference between surprise and irony which made it clear to her.

Read more

Children | Education | families | Libraries | Schools | SOLE | Technology

The Big Question

View All Questions

SOLES, Technology and Teachers


  Author - School in the Cloud



With SOLEs & Technology, does the teacher role become redundant?

Read More

With SOLEs & Technology, does the teacher role become redundant?

Read more

Education | SOLE | Teachers | Technology

The Big Question

View All Questions

School in the Cloud: Working in Rural Areas


  Author - School in the Cloud



How Could School in the Cloud be made to work for the most remote rural areas that have no mains electricity or broadband?

Read More

How Could School in the Cloud be made to work for the most remote rural areas that have no mains electricity or broadband?

Read more

Broadband | Digital Technology | Education | Electricity | Innovation | Internet | Poverty | Rural Communities | School in the Cloud | SOLE

The Big Question

View All Questions

Musicians need SOLE?


  Author - School in the Cloud



Do musicians need SOLEs?

Read More

Do musicians need SOLEs?

Read more

Music | SOLE

The Big Question

View All Questions

SOLE's Effective way of Learning?


  Author - School in the Cloud



Are SOLEs an effective way of learning?

Read More

Are SOLEs an effective way of learning?

Read more

Education | Learning | SOLE

Video in Kalkaji - feature image VIDEO: In Kalkaji SOLE, it's all about earning respect

TED Lab - Kalkaji

View Partner

TED Lab - Kalkaji

VIDEO: In Kalkaji SOLE, it's all about earning respect


  Author - School in the Cloud

  Partner(s) - TED Lab - Kalkaji

  Location: New Delhi



It may be a tiny research lab, but Kalkaj in Delhi certainly packs a lot in. There are almost daily Granny Cloud sessions and a seemingly endless stream of visitors since it opened two years ago.

Located in a government girls’ school just a stone’s throw from the original Hole in the Wall, this lab is helping to give young people the opportunity to aim high.

Sometimes I find it’s better to leave others to say the words for you and when that individual is Jaya, who has firm views about how she wants to change the world,

Read More

It may be a tiny research lab, but Kalkaj in Delhi certainly packs a lot in. There are almost daily Granny Cloud sessions and a seemingly endless stream of visitors since it opened two years ago.

Located in a government girls’ school just a stone’s throw from the original Hole in the Wall, this lab is helping to give young people the opportunity to aim high.

Sometimes I find it’s better to leave others to say the words for you and when that individual is Jaya, who has firm views about how she wants to change the world, it’s a no-brainer.

This short interview above, taken from footage by filmmakers Dan Oxenhandler, Will Sloan and Alfred Birkegaard, perfectly illustrates how much a SOLE lab means to children like Jaya, who are inspired to aim high thanks to this interaction.

And it’s not just the children who have benefited from this experience over the past two years, many members of the Granny Cloud also Skype in regularly and love taking sessions here. “From the very beginning they were a bubbly, enthusiastic group displaying a lot of confidence,” says ‘granny’ Edna Sackson, who is based in Melbourne, Australia. “They were able to understand my English and my accent and many responded well in full sentences. It’s great to see how they work collaboratively and offer each other support.”

Sunita Lama, who is based in Dubai, echoes these sentiments. “The Granny Cloud session is always such a boost for a teacher like me and the reason is the innocent effort of each child to participate,” she says. “Though they are young minds, I like to challenge them because critical thinking and analysis are important skills and with so much knowledge available, I personally feel there should be no limitations drawn,

Read more

Comprehension | English Language | Filmmakers | Granny Cloud | Learning | Reading | Skype | Socio-economic | SOLE

turning_art_world_feature Turning the art world on its head

SOLE Central

View Partner

SOLE Central

Turning the art world on its head


  Author - School in the Cloud

  Partner(s) - SOLE Central

  Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne



It’s not enough to turn the education system upside down: SOLE is about to enter a world many of us consider off-limits.

Contemporary art is often portrayed as an elitist world full of large canvases with coloured dots and hefty price tags, but Helen Burns believes it doesn’t have to be that way.

The SOLE Central research fellow has spent her career helping children and adults explore their creativity through contemporary art and now she’s applying all she’s learnt so far to a new exciting project.

Gallery in the Cloud will give school children and other gallery audiences the chance to become curators of their own contemporary art galleries.

Read More

It’s not enough to turn the education system upside down: SOLE is about to enter a world many of us consider off-limits.

Contemporary art is often portrayed as an elitist world full of large canvases with coloured dots and hefty price tags, but Helen Burns believes it doesn’t have to be that way.

The SOLE Central research fellow has spent her career helping children and adults explore their creativity through contemporary art and now she’s applying all she’s learnt so far to a new exciting project.

Gallery in the Cloud will give school children and other gallery audiences the chance to become curators of their own contemporary art galleries. Supported by the SOLE method of learning collaboratively in groups, they will create digital artworks inspired by their own experiences that will reflect their own individual identities.

The resulting art collection will be self-curated, using cloud-based technology to create an ever-evolving gallery.

“It challenges the usual conventions of a gallery space and turns the concept of an ‘art world’ on its head, focussing instead on the ‘experience’ of art, which is accessible to everyone,’ says Helen.

Turning art world on its head - robot

This dented war robot (above) is from one of Helen’s previous art-based learning projects. The child who made it said it represented their experience of learning as ‘battered, but not giving up’

Helen is focussing initially on children at transitional periods in their education, such as SATs. “These are tough times for them,” she says. “A combination of the skills and resilience gained through creating contemporary art using SOLE could have a really positive effect on their ability to cope when they’ve got a lot to deal with.

“SOLE pedagogy and contemporary art actually have a lot in common as they can both be good vehicles for developing your own ‘voice’ and there are no wrong answers.”

The artists will be able to constantly revisit their artwork over several years,

Read more

Art | Arts | Baltic Arts Centre | Durham University | Education | Granny Cloud | Orkney Islands | Pedagogy | SOLE