A boy genius from Mongolia has been schooling MIT on how to improve the elite institution’s free online courses.‘The Mongolian wunderkind Battushig Myanganbayar earned a perfect score in MIT’s first massive open online course, when he was fifteen. Designers of the course touted him as a poster boy for the power of free courses to spread high-quality education to the farthest reaches of the globe, and the New York Times hailed his story. But leaders of edX, the consortium started by MIT and Harvard University to develop free online courses, also did something else: They offered the star student a job, hoping he could make their MOOCs work better for other high schoolers.’
What I like about this story is how this genius boy started to help others within the community. ‘He produced his own lecture videos, in Mongolian, to help his classmates. “I developed my own technique to do mini-lectures by myself,” he explains. He propped his iPhone on a bookshelf and used its camera to film overhead video of his pen on the page as he completed homework problems and explained his work aloud.’
Educating one genius boy fulfils part but not the whole mission of MOOCs. Helping non-genius people with the brains of lecturers and genius people democratises knowledge and realises the potential of MOOCs. There might be only one Einstein out of 1 million people, but at least with Internet powered platform, this Einstein can find more ways to share his beautiful mind.