Mongolian Teen Pursues His Dreams

Found this inspiring story through Alex’s Ohanian’s book’s blog. He recently published a book called Without Their Permission where he shares “his ideas, tips and even his own doodles about harnessing the power of the web for good”. I’m going to pick it up soon!

The New York Times writes about a student by the name of Battushig Myanganbayar from Mongolia who pursued his passion for electronics through MIT’s OpenCourseWare.

Battushig has the round cheeks of a young boy, but he is not your typical teenager. He hasn’t read Harry Potter (“What will I learn from that?”) and doesn’t like listening to music (when a friend saw him wearing headphones, he couldn’t believe it; it turned out Battushig was preparing for the SAT). His projects are what make him happy. “In electrical engineering, there is no limit,” he said. “It is like playing with toys.” He unveiled Garage Siren in August 2012, posting instructions and a demonstration video on YouTube. The project impressed officials at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — where Battushig planned to apply for college — but at that point they were already aware of his abilities. Two months earlier, Battushig, then 15, became one of 340 students out of 150,000 to earn a perfect score in Circuits and Electronics, a sophomore-level class at M.I.T. and the first Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC — a college course filmed and broadcast free or nearly free to anyone with an Internet connection — offered by the university.

Read the full story here.

This is just an incredible example of how MOOCs are changing education. Barriers that were insurmountable 10 years ago are suddenly much easier to overcome. The Principal of school was instrumental in helping Battushig learn the material, but without online education, Battushig’s road to success would have been much more challenging.  As online education continues to grow, I can only imagine this type of story will become more and more common.

 

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