OpenCourseware and teaching
One of the finer things of being involved in ‘open’ is the feeling that you are really involved in something greater, in a world where people and organizations actually want to contribute because it is the right thing to do. Yes, ego comes into play, perhaps the lure of future monetary rewards. Organizations and commercial institutions might jump on the ‘open’ bandwagon with a keen eye to their revenues and market shares. Be that as it may, the majority of contributions simply share out an enormous wealth of knowledge and skills with which we can enhance our skills and competencies.
OpenCourseware is part of the open realm and the venerable MIT started it. It’s MIT OpenCourseware site now holds 1800 courses. MIT isn’t the only institutions offering top notch course materials online, for free. The OpenCourseware Consortium is made up of dozens of institutes of higher learning from all over the globe.
There is so much available material that articles that try to list some highlights. Christina Laun compiled a list of over 60 courses that teachers can use to become up to date. A few courses help teachers to understand the open source tools that are widely available now:
- The Impact of Open Source Software on Education, which is part of a wider series on open source software and open educational resources from PennState.
- Blogs, Wikis, New Media for Learning, by UtahState University.
- Creating open educational resources, by the Open University. This would be nice in conjunction with Creating Interactive Multimedia (University of Southern Queensland). Though not ‘really’ open source it helps to harness the power of new media in education.
A great list and it is good to see open source tools in there.