At TLC Middle School, we will start our mornings by discussing news articles from around the world. One article we’d certainly discuss is a piece called The Boy Genius of Ulan Bator — it’s about a 16-year old boy from Mongolia who did extremely well in an online course that MIT offered for free. It was a sophomore-level class in Circuits and Electronics, and the boy, at age 15, was one of just 340 students (out of 150,000 who took the class) to earn a perfect score. The student is now a real-life student at MIT.
Here’s a short video I just made that shows how we might bring this story to life by finding the boy’s home town in Mongolia using Google Earth. In addition to finding the locations in the video, we’d have a discussion about the implications of a world where students from everywhere can learn with top students at places like MIT.
(sorry about the audio — I need a better microphone — if you crank the volume, you should be able to hear)
Also, I thought of this comparison after making the video, but North Carolina’s population is about 9.7 million. So while I show in the video that you could fit 11 NCs in Mongolia, I should also have pointed out that North Carolina contains more than three times Mongolia’s population of 2.9 million.