Two news items
Top down and bottom up support for OCW in the news today. First, an op-ed piece by Susan Hockfield in the Boston Globe today:
…perhaps the most powerful tool to offer people in the developing world is knowledge and analytical skills they can use to help themselves. Today, MIT’s OpenCourseWare makes materials for virtually all of the institute’s 1,800 courses available online, to anyone on earth, free (ocw.mit.edu). For many courses, translations are available in Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese, with Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish versions on the way.
Since MIT launched OpenCourseWare in 2001, more than 40 million people around the world have used the site. We regularly receive e-mails from teachers, students, and self-learners, explaining how MIT OpenCourseWare has improved their teaching or changed their lives. One woman from Latin America wrote a note of thanks, because, as she put it, OpenCourseWare opens “a window of knowledge for so many who are limited by economic or other reasons. It’s truly a way to spread freedom to humankind.” We hope she’s right.
And this from the student newspaper of UW Eau Claire covering the student senate presidency campaign there:
High on the Lauer-Charlier to-do list is implementing an online database that would allow students to see syllabi and video from professors courses to help give students a better understanding of what a course would be like.
Lauer said the OpenCourseWare program would start slow, having only a few professors participating at first before opening the program to all professors. He said Senate received $20,000 toward start-up costs but added that it wouldn’t cost much to implement and run the program since the program is in place at universities across the country.