OCW cited by MIT President in response to Senate Finance Committtee
While MIT is already well-positioned to respond to the recent concerns of the Senate Finance Committee regarding endowment and student financial aid because of consistent and thoughtful polices in the past decades, it was nice to see that OCW was cited in the response by President Hockfield as an important element of MIT’s value to the nation:
Open access, free to the world: MIT OpenCourseWare
Yet, despite these contributions to the nation and the world, we are keenly aware that we can enroll only a tiny fraction of the students who could benefit from an MIT education. In response, our faculty developed a pioneering initiative that we call OpenCourseWare (OCW). Through OCW, we make the course materials for virtually all the 1,800 courses in our curriculum available online, free, to anyone in the world. Each month, OCW receives about 1.8 million visits. Bill Gates recently held up OCW as “an exciting example of how technology can make great educational materials scale.”
Educators, students, and independent learners around the globe often send us e‑mail describing how OCW has enriched their teaching or changed their lives. One young man in rural Maryland offered this assessment:
“I am a high school student with little opportunity to learn of subjects outside of mathematics and English. Your website has contributed hundreds of hours to my education in Physics as well as Biology. Discovering and utilizing MIT’s OpenCourseWare site was like finding $40,000 sitting on a park bench.