Monday, 6 April 2009

Hats Off

A breakthrough in the concept of open sourcing has been brought to my attention recently.
MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, now features on its websites a section called Open Course Ware (or is it OpenCourseWare?). The idea is that MIT provides all the course material it has on its hands for anyone to access, including videos, audio recordings, and papers. Isn’t that fascinating? One of the world’s topmost universities sharing its knowledge with anyone willing?
According to MIT, they’re doing this because their services are going to be sought after to capacity whatever they do, so they might as well help anyone out there who can’t acquire their services directly. In particular, they are aiming at institutions in poorer countries where materials are not easily available.
I don’t have much to say other than praise MIT for its actions. And praise as in big time praising, hats off and everything.

On a personal basis, this news reminds me that a couple of years ago, during a midlife crisis type moment, I was entertaining the thought of doing an Open University course. MIT’s move makes these thoughts look particularly silly: I was never into it for the degree but rather for the experience. Given that MIT is offering several courses of personal interest to me in its Open Course Ware program, my Open University days seem to be officially over before they begun.
Open Course Ware is the way instead. I started things off with an introduction to psychology. The future includes an introduction to biology and some literature courses, including film appreciation stuff.


Uri said...

It is quite wonderful, isn't it?

I guess now you'll stop reading books (that is fiction) altogether.

Moshe Reuveni said...

It is very wonderful.
As for reading, the bigger threat is the PS3. Between Fifa and GTA, I hardly do any pre-sleep reading anymore.

Wicked Little Critta said...

If you ask me, it would be a good move to come to Massachusetts and see the campus in person.

Moshe Reuveni said...

I won't argue with that (even though I have no idea how tourist friendly the university is). My argument is with the cost and the effort, plus the fact I was never really able to pronounce the word "Massachusetts".
Once upon a time I almost visited Boston several times for work but it always got cancelled. At the time I did want to pay a visit to Good Will.