Beth Stefanik
Associate Director of Communications & Media Relations
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Tiickets Available for TED Prize Winner Dr. Sugata Mitra

Charlottesville, Va., Sept. 25, 2015 - TED Prize winner and education innovator Dr. Sugata Mitra will speak in Charlottesville on Thursday, October 15 at 6:30 p.m. at The Jefferson Theater (110 East Main Street). Hosted by St. Anne’s-Belfield School, Dr. Mitra will be the inaugural speaker in the School’s Inspiration Speaks series and will address the future of our schools, as well as engage in discussion with attendees on the challenges and opportunities inherent in how we teach children in today’s technological age. More than 200 complimentary tickets to this event are available to the general public.

“We are educating children in an age of almost limitless possibility due to advances in technology,” said David Lourie, head of school. “The Inspiration Speaks series brings international visionaries, individuals who will challenge and inspire our community with myriad ideas and lively discourse on a variety of topics related to teaching, learning, education, and growth. Dr. Mitra is a world-renowned education researcher and innovator, and it is a privilege to have the opportunity to welcome him to Charlottesville and facilitate conversations on the many roads available to us in the Internet age.”

Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University, UK and previously a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Mitra is currently working on the School in the Cloud, a platform that allows students to use self-organized learning environments (SOLEs) and the Internet, rather than traditional schools and curricula, to answer “big questions” and occasionally connect with a global team of volunteer mediators. This project is the culmination of over a decade of research and observations from all over the world, including the Delhi-based Hole in the Wall project that inspired Vikas Swarup’s Q&A, the novel adapted into the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire.

Dr. Mitra’s findings that, in the absence of supervision or formal teaching, children can teach themselves and each other if they are motivated by curiosity and peer interest, challenge key assumptions about formal education. His most recent research has found that use of the Internet can allow eight- and nine-year-olds to perform at more than seven years above their expected academic level.

At TED2013, he was honored with the inaugural TED Prize. This $1 million award given to an individual with a creative, bold vision to spark global change was presented to Dr. Mitra to support the design of the School in the Cloud, in which students can explore and learn from each other.

Overflow tickets are also available to hear Dr. Mitra speak to students, families, and alumni at St. Anne’s-Belfield School’s Conway Convocation Center (799 Faulconer Drive) at 11:00 a.m. on October 16. To reserve tickets to either event, visit


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