One of the best things about my job is that I get to come home most days and feel pretty good about the work I do, feel like maybe I’ve helped somebody somewhere to improve their life. I had dinner tonight with some of the students from MIT student groups coming back from summer work in China and Africa, and I have to say I feel humbled by the work they do. We asked them to speak to a visiting committee about the impact of OCW on their work–both provide instruction in the regions where they work and have adopted OCW as a tool. Their glowing words about OCW were invaluable, but their stories of the work they do are the amazing part.
The group working in Africa described how they thought the most important thing they could do was to help the brightest people in the region develop self-study skills using tools like OCW because it would be a generation before there were enough qualified college-level teachers to meet the needs for education in standard classroom settings. The group he works for is entirely student run, with only a single faculty member as an advisor. One of the other students in the group was so inspired, he started a second organization that brings together Palestinian and Israeli teens to work on collaborative problem solving. Truly things to feel good about at the end of the day.