MIT Free

From: Tom WSMF (
Date: Fri Apr 06 2001 - 17:42:22 PDT

>From my fave newsource, ars-technica

MIT for free Posted 04/06/2001 - 12:09am EST [Discussion] This just rocks.
MIT has placed itself at the forefront of furthering the cause of greater
human good by announcing that they plan to make all of the materials for
all of their courses--notes, simulations, videos of lectures, etc.--freely
available online. This initiative will make course material from one of
the best universities in the world accessible to anyone, anywhere with an
Internet connection. Here's a noteworthy clip from the NYT coverage:
Another difference between the M.I.T. plan and other Internet initiatives
is that it makes no effort to offer full-fledged, for-credit courses
online. Rather, it will offer course materials as ingredients of learning
that can then be combined with teacher-student interaction somewhere else
or simply explored by, say, professors in Chile or precocious high school
students in Bangladesh. Still, is the institute worried that M.I.T.
students will balk at paying about $26,000 a year in tuition when they can
get all their materials online? "Absolutely not," Dr. Vest said. "Our
central value is people and the human experience of faculty working with
students in classrooms and laboratories, and students learning from each
other, and the kind of intensive environment we create in our residential
university." "I don't think we are giving away the direct value, by any
means, that we give to students," he said. "But I think we will help other
institutions around the world." This is the kind of knowledge sharing that
the Internet was architected for, and hopefully more universities will
have the courage and foresight to follow MIT's lead. Imagine if all the
lectures, notes, and syllabi from even just a few of the top tier
universities were freely available online. With resources like that
available to high schools and colleges the world over, it could quite
literally change the face of education like nothing since the GI bill and
Federal Student Loan programs

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