Heard this over coffee this morning, and found it on the site just now.
now all we need is good net access and online Unis!
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- in an
unprecedented step in world-wide education -- announced today it plans to
materials for nearly all its courses freely available on the Internet over
the next ten years.
The website for the project -- MIT OpenCourseWare -- would include
material such as lecture notes, course outlines, reading lists, and
assignments for each course.
Over the next decade, the project expects to provide materials for over
2,000 courses across MIT's entire curriculum -- in architecture and
humanities, arts, social sciences, management, and science.
MIT President Charles M. Vest said of the program: "MIT OpenCourseWare is
a bold move that will change the way the Web is used in higher education.
content posted for all to use, it will provide an extraordinary resource,
free of charge, which others can adapt to their own needs. We see it as
source material that will
support education worldwide, including innovations in the process of
teaching and learning itself."
Professor Steven Lerman, chair of the MIT faculty, said that the project
stemmed both from enthusiasm for the opportunities that the Internet
affords for wide-spread
sharing of educational ideas, and from concern over the growing
"privatization of knowledge." He noted that many universities, including
MIT, see the Internet as a
means of delivering revenue-generating distance education.
But, he said, "we also need to take advantage of the tremendous power of
the Internet to build on the tradition at MIT and in American higher
education of open
dissemination of educational materials and innovations in teaching."
The project would begin as a large-scale pilot program over the next two
years, starting with the design of the software and services needed to
support such a large
endeavor, as well as protocols to monitor and assess its utilization by
faculty and students at MIT and throughout the world. By the end of the
two-year period, it is
expected that materials for more than 500 courses would be available on
the MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) site.
MIT sees a variety of benefits coming from the MIT OCW project:
Institutions around the world could make direct use of the MIT OCW
materials as references and sources for curriculum development. These
materials might be
of particular value in developing countries that are trying to expand
their higher education systems rapidly.
Individual learners could draw upon the materials for self-study or
The MIT OCW infrastructure could serve as a model for other
institutions that choose to make similar content open and available.
Over time, if other universities adopt this model, a vast collection
of educational resources will develop and facilitate widespread exchange
of ideas about
innovative ways to use those resources in teaching and learning.
MIT OCW will serve as a common repository of information and channel
of intellectual activity that can stimulate educational innovation and
The program will continue the tradition of MIT's leadership in educational
innovation, as exemplified by the engineering science revolution in the
1960s. At that time,
MIT engineering faculty radically revised their curricula and produced new
textbooks that brought the tools of modern science, mathematics, and
computing into the core
of the engineering curriculum. As their students joined the engineering
faculties of universities throughout the country, they took with them
their own course notes from
MIT, and spread the new approach to engineering education.
In similar spirit, but with new technologies, MIT OCW will make it
possible to quickly disseminate new knowledge and educational content in a
wide range of fields.
President Vest commented that the idea of OpenCourseWare is particularly
appropriate for a research university such as MIT, where ideas and
quickly from the laboratory into the educational program, even before they
are published in textbooks.
MIT believes that implementation of OCW will complement and stimulate
innovation in ways that may not even be envisioned at this point. "We
expect that MIT OCW
will raise the tide of educational innovation within MIT and elsewhere,"
said MIT Provost Robert A. Brown.
"By making up-to-date educational content widely available," he said, "OCW
will focus faculty efforts on teaching and learning on their campuses. It
also will facilitate a
new style of national and global collaboration in education through the
sharing of educational content and the potential of telecommunications for
The concept of MIT OpenCourseWare was born from deliberations of a study
group chartered by MIT's Council on Educational Technology. The Council, a
educational leaders from throughout MIT, asked the study group to consider
ways to use Internet technology to enhance education within MIT as well as
influence on education on a global scale. The group was composed of
faculty and staff from MIT, and was assisted by consultants from
Booz-Allen & Hamilton (BAH),
who are helping with organizational aspects of the project.
The Booz-Allen team was led by BAH Vice President Reginald Van Lee. Mr.
Van Lee, an MIT alumnus, said "MIT continues its role as the preeminent,
in the development and dissemination of new ideas and knowledge. We are
excited to have contributed to this innovative and important step in the
Bernard Tyers * Dept. of Physical Sciences * Dublin City University
* P:01.704.5520 *L:NG23 * W:frank.physics.dcu.ie/~bty
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