By Keshav Gupta
I happened to come across the MIT BLOSSOMS website while searching for world-class online enrichment opportunities over the net. This free resource has over 175 math and science videos for teachers for use in high school classrooms. However, I got interested in these videos as the topics were closely related to our high school curriculum. I was pretty excited to have discovered this online treasure and started watching these videos on my own, at my home, one by one. Now I am one of those high school students who has been truly enriched by this free online educational resource. I find MIT BLOSSOMS videos a great supplement to our high school curriculum as they help in visualizing the theoretical concepts and relate these concepts to real world applications in a simple yet elegant way. The concepts are clearly explained and can be understood even without the help of anyone else.
In my region, even though there is plenty of raw talent, the key aspect holding learners back is limited access to high-speed internet and a general lack of awareness. Intermittent power cuts add to the problem. As helping others to learn has always been my priority, I decided to put in some effort so that other learners can also reap benefits from this unprecedented learning opportunity. For this, I have prepared a collection of free, high-quality educational resources and have burned them on a DVD for distribution to other learners. This DVD has 25 selected videos from the MIT BLOSSOMS library, NCERT Exemplar Problems books on math & science for relevant theory, and links to some excellent educational websites like edX, MIT OpenCourseWare, Khan Academy, etc. that offer free learning resources. The learners have the flexibility to watch the BLOSSOMS videos at a time and place they find convenient; they can watch them over and over again to understand the concepts better.
I lead a team of volunteers, which includes my schoolmates, parents, teachers, and anyone who comes forward to support this noble cause. This chain assists me in making multiple copies of the DVD and distributing them to learners even in the farthest and remotest corners of my state, far beyond my personal reach. I am thrilled by the interest this DVD has generated among the learners, and many parents have come forward to sponsor multiple copies of this DVD. I have also collaborated with an NGO, “Help Student India”, for wider distribution. I hope MIT BLOSSOMS will come up with more videos in the future; I would be more than happy to view, download and distribute them, through my ever-growing network of volunteers.
My effort is just a small step in the uplifting of the learner community of a predominantly tribal state and other parts of the country. It is my pleasure to acknowledge the generous encouragement and appreciation received from Madam Elizabeth Murray, Project Manager of the MIT BLOSSOMS Initiative, for this voluntary activity. I am thankful to the teachers who have shared their valuable time by making these wonderful lessons.
Keshav Gupta lives in Bhilai, in the state of Chhattisgarh, Central India. He is a class XII student at Delhi Public School, Durg, and his favourite subjects are Math, Physics and Computer Science. Kesha enjoys making interesting DIY electronics projects in his leisure time. One such project is featured in his learner story published in the edX blog. He has challenged himself and completed a few freshman and sophomore level MITx courses on edX. He is currently volunteering as a Community TA in four of these courses. His website www.keshlabs.in - hosted, developed & maintained by him - contains information about some of his creative projects.