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OpenCourseWare
Alex Steffen, 15 Oct 03

MIT has put most of its course catalog online. Well, not just its course catalog, but the courses themselves - the syllabi, course materials, readings, assignments, tests, lecture notes, even recordings of the lectures themselves. With over 500 offerings in fields ranging from Architecture to Engineering, Media Arts to Materials Science, the OpenCourseWare site offers a pretty good approximation of the academic side of a top-notch university education... for free, anywhere in the world where you have access to the Internet, on whatever schedule you wish.

In a world where access to education is one of the barriers to sustainability, OpenCourseWare offers some revolutionary possibilities. Already, students from "210 countries and territories" are taking these classes. MIT's working to translate the materials into Spanish and Portugese, with other languages to follow. International online communities have sprung up around some of the course of study. Best of all, because it is built on an open licence platform, any improvements or expansions that others add to these courses must also be made freely available - in effect single-handedly creating an open source education movement.

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