OpenFiction [Blog]

MIT OpenCourseWare Releases Episode 1 of ChemLab Boot Camp Series

Videos follow 14 MIT freshmen through their introduction to hands-on science.

CAMBRIDGE, MA, September 18, 2012 — MIT OpenCourseWare has released the first episode of its newest open educational offering, ChemLab Boot Camp, a video series that chronicles the experiences of 14 real MIT freshmen as they get their first taste of working in MIT chemistry labs.

Each year, groups of MIT freshmen are introduced to MIT’s laboratory environment through a four-week January course called 5.301 Chemistry Laboratory Techniques. In January 2012, a film crew followed these students as they competed to complete experiments. The stakes in the class are high—students who pass the class are guaranteed a job in an MIT research lab.

Watch Episode 1 of ChemLab Boot Camp.

Ten additional episodes will be released each week through the fall, and announced on the ChemLab Boot Camp e-mail list. The 2-5 minute episodes, shot in a style that mixes the geek fun of open educational resources with the immediacy of reality TV, brings viewers closer to the experience of being an MIT student than ever before. Follow the students as they struggle to master the intricacies of working with solvents and compete to create the largest crystals. The videos are part of a broader effort funded by The Dow Chemical Company to foster interest in science and engineering careers.

“Despite the critical need for more and more people trained in chemistry and chemical engineering, the fields have not been as attractive as they should be,” said MIT Professor John Essigmann in commenting on the inspiration for the series. “Dow and MIT have mobilized our collective resources to try to show high school and college students what it is like to be a chemist. We hope to show the human side of our field and to inspire young people to want to become the next generation of chemists.”

The MIT-Dow Outreach Fund is designed to develop and support the science and engineering careers of underrepresented minorities and women. A five-year, $2 million commitment from The Dow Chemical Company, the fund supports the advancement of the shared goals of both Dow and MIT to support science education throughout the entire pipeline. The establishment of this Outreach Program comes as MIT celebrates its 150th anniversary.

About Dow

Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow’s diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2011, Dow had annual sales of $60 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company’s more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 197 sites in 36 countries across the globe. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.

About Highlights for High School

Highlights for High School organizes more than 70 introductory level courses from the OCW site, and indexes over 2,700 individual resources to the AP curricula for calculus, chemistry, physics and biology, helping United States AP students and educators to find resources quickly. Highlights also includes dozens of demonstrations, competitions and other activities from MIT classes that show how fun and challenging science and technology subjects can be, inspiring the next generation of US engineers and scientists.

About MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in the teaching of substantially all of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate courses—more than 2,100 in all—available on the Web, free of charge, to any user in the world. OCW receives an average of 1.75 million web site visits per month from more than 215 countries and territories worldwide. To date, more than 100 million individuals have accessed OCW materials.

Contact:

Christine Welch
Echo Media
(714) 573-0899 ext. 225
Christine@echomediapr.com

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Testing out the Mechanical MOOC – the unplatform

Posted in Mechanical MOOC, MIT OpenCourseWare, MOOC, Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare, Video by scarsonmsm on September 12, 2012

I’m working with a group of testers to run through the initial draft of the course sequence for the upcoming Mechanical MOOC Intro to Python course, and I have to say, I am really loving the unplatform aspects of it.  I live in one of the more wired cities in the US, and I still spend a fair amount of my time outside of WiFi range.  I tried to complete the Udacity Stats course this summer, but one of the challenges was that I always had to be connected. My biggest blocks of free time are during my train commute, when theoretically I have wireless service (from AT&T) but practically I have at best spotty cell coverage (from AT&T).  This meant no working on the Stats course during the ride.

Because the  Mechanical MOOC depends on existing open content outside of an enforced platform, I have other options.  MIT OpenCourseWare helpfully provides a course download option, so I have the 6.189 course installed locally.  The text for the course is an open resource downloadable as a PDF.  The videos from 6.00 are available through iTunes U, so accessible offline on both my laptop and phone.   As an added bonus, OpenStudy just released a mobile interface, so I can even ask and answer questions without a WiFi connection.  Codecademy even seems to be functional on my iPhone at some level, though I doubt I’ll try to complete those lessons on that platform.

By not creating and enforcing a single platform, the Mechanical MOOC gives up the opportunity to harvest lots of tightly integrated data about the learners, but it allows us to take advantage of all the hard work that the content and community providers have put into making their environment accessible and inviting.  Hopefully this model is going to allow us to meet the learners where they live.

ChemLab Boot Camp: MIT OpenCourseWare launches reality series

Posted in MIT OpenCourseWare, Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare, Video by scarsonmsm on August 14, 2012

A new series of videos to be published this fall follows 14 MIT freshmen through their introduction to hands-on science.

5.301 ChemLab Boot CampCAMBRIDGE, MA, August 14, 2012 — Each year, groups of MIT freshmen are introduced to MIT’s laboratory environment through a four-week January course called 5.301 Introductory Lab Techniques. In January 2012, a film crew followed 14 students as they struggled to complete experiments required in the class. The stakes are high—students who pass the class are guaranteed a job in an MIT research lab.

This fall, MIT OpenCourseWare will share videos that follow these students as they face the challenges of learning chemistry the MIT way through a unique series called ChemLab Boot Camp. The episodes will be released each week starting in September, and announced on the ChemLab Boot Camp e-mail list.

Watch the ChemLab Boot Camp trailer.

The 2-5 minute episodes, shot in a style that mixes the geek fun of open educational resources with the immediacy of reality TV, brings viewers closer to the experience of being an MIT student than ever before. The videos follow the students as they struggle to master lab techniques such as growing crystals and synthesizing antibiotics. The videos are part of a broader effort at MIT funded by The Dow Chemical Company to foster interest in science and engineering careers.

“Despite the critical need for more and more people trained in chemistry and chemical engineering, the fields have not been as attractive as they should be,” said MIT chemistry Professor John Essigmann in commenting on the idea behind the series. “Dow and MIT have mobilized our collective resources to try to show high school and college students what it is like to be a chemist. We hope to show the human side of our field and to inspire young people to want to become the next generation of chemists.”

The MIT-Dow Outreach Fund is designed to develop and support the science and engineering careers of underrepresented minorities and women. A five-year, $2 million commitment from Dow, the Outreach Fund is intended to support science education at all levels. The establishment of this Outreach Program comes as MIT celebrates its 150th anniversary.

About Dow

Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to advance what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems, such as the need for clean water, the generation and conservation of renewable energy, and the improvement of agricultural productivity. Dow’s diversified portfolio of specialty businesses in chemistry, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers around the world. In 2011, Dow had annual sales of $60 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company’s more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 197 sites in 36 countries across the globe. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at (http://www.dow.com).

About Highlights for High School

Highlights for High School organizes more than 70 introductory level courses from the OCW site, and indexes over 2,700 individual resources to the AP curricula for calculus, chemistry, physics and biology, helping American students and educators find resources quickly. The Highlights site also includes dozens of demonstrations, competitions and other activities from MIT classes that show how fun and challenging science and technology subjects can be, inspiring the next generation of US engineers and scientists.

About MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in the teaching of substantially all of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate courses—more than 2,100 in all—available on the Web, free of charge, to any user in the world. OCW receives an average of 1.75 million web site visits per month from more than 215 countries and territories worldwide. To date, more than 100 million individuals have accessed OCW materials.

Contact:

Christine Welch
Echo Media
(714) 573-0899 ext. 225
Christine@echomediapr.com

MIT OpenCourseWare video retrospective

Posted in media, MIT OpenCourseWare, open education, Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare, Video by scarsonmsm on February 22, 2012

Gathering resources for the upcoming Open Education Week (March 5-10) and through this was a pretty good list of video highlights from MIT OpenCourseWare’s first decade.

MIT’s Institutional Decision to do OpenCourseWare
May 2001

Celebrating a Decade of MIT OpenCourseWare
Apr 2011

WISE Awards 2010 laureate Cecilia d’Oliveira for MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW)
Feb 2011

Advancing the OpenCourseWare Movement: Challenges and Achievements
January 2011

Bill Gates on MIT OpenCourseWare
April 2010

Walter Lewin Highlights
December 2007

MIT OpenCourseWare Milestone Celebration Video
November 2007

MIT Milestone Celebration | Keynote Address, Thomas Friedman
November 2007

MIT OpenCourseWare Press Conference
Apr 4, 2001

MIT OpenCourseWare 2011 year-end numbers

Posted in Evaluation, MIT OpenCourseWare, OpenCourseWare, Video by scarsonmsm on January 11, 2012

Another good year for MIT OpenCourseWare.  Big story here is the tremendous jump in YouTube numbers–this plus the 12 million iTunes U downloads and the redistribution we are getting through Chinese sites like 163.com (which we get no reporting from) means that a lot of the OCW activity is through our video redistribution.

• 18.6 million visits (+1.2 million over last year) 10.2 million repeat visits, 8.4 million new visits
• 9.8 million visitors (+200K)
• 1.92 visits per visitor (+0.10)
• 101.4 million page views (+3.1 million)
• 5.42 pages per visit (-0.21)
• 1.8 M zip files of course content downloaded (-.1 million)
• 11.4 million YouTube views (+4.1 million)
• 12 million iTunes downloads (+0.2 million)
• 317K visits from the MIT community (+42K)
• 361K visits referred by StumbleUpon (-85K); 183K by EducationPortal (+23K); 178K by Facebook (+100K); 157K by Reddit (-15K); 117K by Wikipedia (+5K); 111K by YouTube (+16K)
• 33% of visitors used Firefox (-5%); 26% used Chrome (+11%); 23% used IE (-11%); 14% used Safari (+4%)
• 2.37% used iOS (+1.57)

How it all began (the retrospective edition)

Here is the video of one of my all-time favorite OCW experiences–the panel I moderated at OCWC 2011 of many of the principals involved in MIT’s decision to undertake OCW. It’s been a pleasure and an honor to get to know each one of these gentlemen and see first hand the collective commitment among them to simple do good in the world.

How it all began

We’ve resurrected the original press conference announcing OCW. Hear firsthand how it all began…

Share your OCW story

As we approach the celebration of MIT OpenCourseWare’s 10th anniversary, we’d like to share our users’ stories of OCW’s impact in their own words. Record and upload a video describing your OCW story to YouTube and e-mail us at ocw-outreach@mit.edu to let us know where to find it. We’ll be selecting user videos for inclusion on the 10th anniversary section of our site.

OCW ED Cec d’Oliveira at WISE awards

Very nice video of MIT OpenCourseWare Executive Director Cec d’Oliveira speaking at the WISE award ceremony:

Friday’s not ideal for press releases

but this is when I had the time to address this one.  Something fun to play with over the weekend:

MIT OpenCourseWare Announces iPhone App for Video Lectures

Collaboration with Irynsoft brings interactive viewing experience to OCW videos on iPhone

CAMBRIDGE, MA, February 4, 2011 — Today, MIT OpenCourseWare announced the release of the new OCW LectureHall iPhone app, which utilizes Irynsoft LLC’s VIRT2GO platform to make viewing OCW lectures a social experience in which users can update and keep tabs on their Facebook friends, post to a forum, and leave ratings and reviews of individual videos. Users can also download video for offline viewing as well as take notes and conduct web searches while watching video. The LectureHall app is available through the iTunes Store.

“The new LectureHall app provides a multidimensional experience for iPhone users,” says Stephen Carson, OCW’s External Relations Director. “Instead of simply watching the video, users can discuss the content and enhance their understanding with related materials.”

The beta version of LectureHall has been available on the iTunes App Store since July 2010, and has already been downloaded over 10,000 times. Irynsoft is also working on an Android version of the LectureHall app, expected to be released in the summer of 2011. The LectureHall app is part of a larger effort by MIT OpenCourseWare to distribute MIT’s course materials more widely. In addition to this mobile platform effort, MIT OpenCourseWare also distributes course materials on hard drives to bandwidth-constrained regions; through translation affiliates; and through distribution affiliates including iTunes U, YouTube, the Internet Archive and Videolectures.net.

About Irynsoft

Irynsoft is a software and services company that is focused on mobile and web technologies, based in the Bay Area of California and was established as an LLC in late 2009. Irynsoft’s primary business is to provide a platform for educational institutions and companies to deliver content and social collaboration services on mobile devices. The platform (VIRT2GO) is an interactive mobile learning platform where you find and “attend” lectures & collaborate among a social network of peers, all within a rich smartphone interface. With VIRT2GO’s portability & community, students overcome the biggest hurdles that impede online educational success: finding the time and finding the help.

About OpenCourseWare

An OpenCourseWare is a free and open digital publication of high quality university-level educational materials—often including syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, and exams—organized as courses. While OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiatives typically do not provide a degree, credit, or certification, or access to instructors, the materials are made available under open licenses for use and adaptation by educators and learners around the world.

About MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in the teaching of substantially all of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate courses—more than 2,000 in all—available on the Web, free of charge, to any user in the world. OCW receives an average of 1.5 million web site visits per month from more than 215 countries and territories worldwide. To date, more than 100 million individuals have accessed OCW materials.