A year into his School in the Cloud documentary, Jerry Rothwell shares the highs and lows of watching students teach themselves

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Filmmaker Jerry Rothwell films a family in Korakati, India. He is making a documentary that tells the story of the School in the Cloud. Photo: Courtesy of Jerry Rothwell Filmmaker Jerry Rothwell films a family in Korakati, India. He is making a documentary that tells the story of the School in the Cloud. Photo: Courtesy of Jerry Rothwell

British director Jerry Rothwell, the winner of the first annual Sundance Institute | TED Prize Filmmaker Award, has spent the past year trailing TED Prize winner Sugata Mitra as he sets up the first locations of the School in the Cloud. Traveling between a remote village in India and a forward-thinking elementary school in the U.K., Rothwell has watched Mitra, a Newcastle University professor, plant the seeds of his global education experiment that lets children learn on their own, and from each other, by tapping into online resources and their inner sense of wonder.

The subject matter of School in the Cloud is definitely different from Rothwell’s previous films, which include Donor Unknown, about a sperm donor and his many offspring; Town of Runners, about an Ethiopian village famed for its…

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