Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Why Not Attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, While Still in High School?

The significance for High Schools and the MIT OpenCourseWare initiative is that MIT is extending their offerings to the secondary level.

More than 60% of those people who accessed MIT were from Asian countries but it would make sense that Americans can take advantage of this unprecedented access to knowledge.

The outreach to High Schools by MIT is called "Highlights for High School," which aims to bolster high school education through free and open course materials, from complete curricula and syllabi to videos, lecture notes, and animations.

You can not earn a diploma online but you can access MIT courses.

Highlights for High School is also known as OpenCourseWare Secondary Education, or OCW SE.

On the new site, there are thousands of resources designed just for high school teachers and students, including:

* 15,000 lecture notes;
* 1,800 syllabi;
* 2,600 videos, audio clips, and animations taken from actual MIT courses;
* 9,000 assignments; and
* 900 assessments.

The reason MIT put the materials online is clear.

"As has been well documented, the [United States] needs to invest more in secondary education, particularly in STEM fields. MIT as a leading institution of science and technology has an obligation to help address the issue,"

said Thomas Magnanti, former dean of the School of Engineering at MIT, who chaired the committee that developed Highlights for High School.

Cf. Highlights for High School

Would You Like to Take Classes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology?

MIT puts entire curriculum online
Linda Rosencrance

December 04, 2007 (Computerworld) MIT has put its entire curriculum of 1,800 undergraduate and graduate courses online, making the courses available for free to any user with an Internet connection and a Web browser.

First announced in 2001, MIT's OpenCourseWare includes syllabuses, homework assignments, exams, reference materials and video lectures when available. The information is published under an open license that allows for reuse, distribution and modification of the materials for noncommercial purposes, said OCW spokesman Steve Carson.

"There are lecture notes, exams, homework assignments from about 15,000 lectures, about 9,000 homework assignments, 900 exams. And with the homework assignments and exams, about 40% of them include the solutions, so you can check your work and see how well you've done," Carson said. "For many of the courses, we've been able to add certain types of special enhancements. If there's a simulation or animation that the faculty member has created, we've included that."

An estimated 35 million people have accessed OCW course materials since the program's inception, Carson said.

"There's been a lot of traffic from China, India and South Korea," he said. "Sixty percent of users are from the outside the United States. And nearly 600 courses have been translated into [other] languages, including Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese and Thai."

Carson said MIT has also provided more than 120 local copies of the OCW site to universities in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa where bandwidth is tight.

In addition, 160 universities from countries and regions around the world, including Spain, China, Japan, Africa, Australia, Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia, have also published an estimated 5,000 courses, he said.

To date, the project has cost $29 million -- much less than the $100 million price tag that had been projected. Funding was provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Ab Initio Software Corp. and MIT, Carson said.

Carson said MIT expects to add 50 new courses each year.