In between studying for classes and working at the MIT Computing Help Desk, MIT senior Clinton Blackburn volunteers as an ambassador for OCW during his travels to Africa.
"When I visited the University of Development Studies in Ghana, I was excited to see the support that the administration and faculty offered for OCW. I was able to meet with the vice-chancellor and each of the department heads. Everyone was on board and ready for a mirror site at the campus," says Blackburn.
Blackburn assisted in the installation of an OCW mirror site drive. The OCW Mirror Site Program offers copies of MIT OpenCourseWare to educational organizations that face significant challenges to internet accessibility, inadequate internet infrastructure, or prohibitive internet costs.
"In Zambia, the professors wanted to provide their students with additional study materials," says Blackburn. "But the lack of high speed internet connectivity made this challenging. The mirror site we installed there not only allowed professors to reference OCW materials, but allowed the students to access the materials without long waits and explore topics outside of their major course of study since they now had all of OCW available to them locally."
Blackburn continues to volunteer with OCW by training other MIT students who will travel to developing countries. Many of these students will either teach a MIT course for the summer or want to give access to MIT materials to universities or colleges in their home towns.
"This is my part in giving back to MIT and giving others the tools to reach a wider audience. Through OCW, I am part of a movement to help make education free and available to the world. That's a really cool thing," says Blackburn.