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School in the Cloud Project

Sugata Mitra makes his bold TED Prize wish: Help me design the School in the Cloud, a learning lab in India, where children can explore and learn from each other -- using resources and mentoring from the cloud. What if we could be inspired by this and address skills gap which is keeping young professionals out of jobs?

Photo of Kedar Iyer
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The skills gap between what students learn at universities and schools is lagging behind the knowledge required for future jobs. So, bridging it using more study courses and training resources online and offline may infact be like applying an old cure to a new problem.

Could a radical approach like the School in the Cloud initiative for kids be applied to transform higher education and bridge the skills gap? 

What if teachers/ mentors/ advisors/ industry experts asked tough real world problems to students in university of help them learn the skills required to succeed in the jobs of the future?

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Kedar, great to see you posting this inspiring talk.
I like the assumption behind the school in the cloud of providing students with tools to think, question and analyze.
Regarding the notion of skills, I think we need to distinguish between analytical / creative / thinking skills that can be applied on various contents and content based skills that might change over time.

Photo of Sagar Tandon

Yes we do need to distinguish between analytical/creative/thinking skills and content based skills. Because I believe content and knowledge are also important as market or companies don't support lot of research topics but in long run they accept it. So University based learning is also important in lot of aspects especially in terms of R & D.
For e.g. a student interested in Quantum Computation and Information won't get much chance to show his/her knowledge in the market because it is still in research phase but now slowly and slowly companies like AMD, Intel, etc are coming forward.

Photo of Kedar Iyer

Thanks for pointing out the difference Anne and Sagar.

I don't have any academic research experience in the types of skills, so please pardon my ignorance in the use of the word.

From my limited observations of watching applicants performing challenges, I tend to categorize the former as life skills and the later as functional skills in my head. Am I totally off in my understanding of skills?

Photo of Guy Viner

Anne-Laure- glad to see you making this distinction. I think you summed up the difference between hard and soft skills intuitively. Important to keep in mind as we move forward into the ideas phase!

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