Re. below, if you haven't already seen this post from Canarie's
listserve news, I thought it might be of interest to some of you. It
is also interesting to note the ranking below re. open courseware
nations outside the U.S..
>Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2003 05:46:41 -0400 (EDT)
>From: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: [news] Initial results of MIT's Open-Course Project
>Sender: [log in to unmask]
>For more information on this item please visit the CANARIE CA*net 4 Optical
>Internet program web site at http://www.canarie.ca/canet4/library/list.html
>[Excerpts from Wired Magazine article - BSA]
>Every lecture, every handout, every quiz. All online. For free. Meet
>the global geeks getting an MIT education, open source-style.
>When MIT announced to the world in April 2001 that it would be
>posting the content of some 2,000 classes on the Web, it hoped the
>program - dubbed OpenCourseWare - would spur a worldwide movement
>among educators to share knowledge and improve teaching methods. No
>institution of higher learning had ever proposed anything as
>revolutionary, or as daunting. MIT would make everything, from video
>lectures and class notes to tests and course outlines, available to
>any joker with a browser. The academic world was shocked by MIT's
>audacity - and skeptical of the experiment. At a time when most
>enterprises were racing to profit from the Internet and universities
>were peddling every conceivable variant of distance learning, here
>was the pinnacle of technology and science education ready to give
>it away. Not the degrees, which now cost about $41,000 a year, but
>the content. No registration required.
>And MIT will learn a few things, too, just as it did during
>OpenCourseWare's first year. One lesson of the beta test revolved
>around access, which in some parts of the world is costly and slow.
>A second issue: lack of assistance to Web-based students. Even the
>most brilliant university course can falter without the kind of
>intensive teaching support provided at a school like MIT. Then there
>are the nagging intellectual property headaches. How, for example,
>do you police Third World scam artists from hawking MIT degrees as
>if they were Calvin Klein knockoffs?
>OpenCourseWare's pilot run was wildly successful, drawing visitors
>from 210 countries and territories. In addition to students, the
>material appeals to countless educators at other universities.
>Zhivko Nedev, a computer science professor at Wilfred Laurier
>University in Waterloo, Ontario, turns to 6.170 material to help him
>prepare lectures for his programming course. "It is the best thing I
>have ever seen in computer science," he says. Ludmila Matiash, at
>the Kyiv Mohyla Business School in Ukraine, draws on OpenCourseWare
>to design educational and training programs. Kathy Mann, manager of
>the biology lab at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno,
>Nevada, uses Biology 7.012: Introduction to Biology to teach
>students how to create lab reports and record information from
>science experiments. "It's really well done," she says. "Why
>reinvent the wheel?" The Fulbright Economic Teaching Program at the
>University of Economics in Ho Chi Minh City makes its own content
>ine to any interested learners - and indicates on its site that it
>is taking a cue from OpenCourseWare. "Part of our stated mission is
>to be more than just a project at MIT," says Margulies, "to evolve
>into a movement, to help other universities develop a model."
>All this success has bred a few problems. For starters:
>profiteering. I show Margulies an email from Thailand. "A group of
>us here are considering opening a University devoted solely to
>'e-learning courses from MIT!'" writes the sender, who says he hopes
>to offer "Bachelor of Science degrees in MIT Studies."
>MIT dishes out its content via more than 200 servers in Akamai's
>global network. This takes the burden off the university's
>infrastructure and eases bottlenecks, but the big remaining obstacle
>is the last mile into people's homes.
>Top 10 OpenCourseWare Nations*
>Rank Nation Hits
>1. Canada 3,886,197
>2. Germany 3,576,071
>3. Brazil 3,170,362
>4. South Korea 3,254,259
>5. France 3,012,102
>6. Japan 3,095,913
>7. United Kingdom 3,099,713
>8. Chinaž 2,563,446
>9. India 2,512,267
>10. Australia 1,372,052
>* Outside the U.S.
žIncludes nearly 600,000 hits from mainland China, where the
government denied access to OpenCourseWare until February 2003, and
nearly 2 million hits from Hong Kong.
Leo J. Deveau, M.Ed, MLIS.
Nova Scotia Round Table for Post-Secondary
Disability Service Providers,
N.S. Department of Education,
NSCC Halifax Campus
1825 Bell Rd., Rm. 126
Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Halifax office: 902-424-0073
Home office: 902-542-3908
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