Classroom in Ninxia Province, China where Murray and Larson observed teacher utilizing TV lecture.

During a visit to a rural school in China, BLOSSOMS founders Richard Larson and Elizabeth Murray watched as a videotaped lecture enlivened an otherwise cold, bleak classroom. The teacher paused the lecture from time to time to engage with the class. The interruptions worked, but awkwardly, prompting Larson and Murray to wonder what would happen if they created video lessons that were designed to be interactive. They envisioned video lessons dovetailed with engaging activities for teachers to do with their students.

So inspired, Murray and Larson set out to create BLOSSOMS (Blended Learning Open Source Science or Math Studies), a series of freely available interactive lessons presented in a widely accessible video format. BLOSSOMS video modules supplement the standard curriculum with virtual lessons led by educators from around the world and activities led by local classroom teachers.

The BLOSSOMS project is sponsored at MIT by LINC (Learning International Networks Consortium), a global consortium of educators interested in using distance and e-learning technologies to increase access to quality education worldwide. BLOSSOMS is an “Open Educational Resource,” a web-based collection of materials offered freely and openly for re-use in teaching, learning and research. OERs such as BLOSSOMS help make education a right rather than a privilege by providing schools around the world with access to quality educational tools.