OpenCourseWare

By Deane Barker on January 7, 2007

How to go to M.I.T. for free: This is a very cool thing. I’ve looked through this and it’s all there, free for the taking.

The OpenCourseWare movement, begun at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2002 and now spread to some 120 other universities worldwide, aims to disperse knowledge far beyond the ivy-clad walls of elite campuses to anyone who has an Internet connection and a desire to learn.

Intended as an act of “intellectual philanthropy,” OpenCourseWare (OCW) provides free access to course materials such as syllabi, video or audio lectures, notes, homework assignments, illustrations, and so on. So far, by giving away their content, the universities aren’t discouraging students from enrolling as students. Instead, the online materials appear to be only whetting appetites for more.

Take this one for example: Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs. Everything is provided — the syllabus, readings, lecture notes, exams, etc.

Here’s the organization behind this concept: the OpenCourseWare Consortium.

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