Open Education Week
March 5, 2012 8:46 AM   Subscribe

March 5-10, 2012 is the first Open Education Week. The effort has been lead by the Creative Commons Education Project and the Open Courseware Consortium. The effort hopes to highlight and promote the use of open educational resources (OER). Events listed here.
posted by humanfont (3 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
From this weekend's NYT.
posted by falameufilho at 9:33 AM on March 5, 2012

The NYT article is pretty inaccurate in focusing on Stanford and other Ivy Leagues when talking about MOOCs. There's a much longer history than it suggests.

Here's a very good overview of the conversation around MOOCs from George Siemens. David Wiley, Stephen Downes, and others have been working on this for years.
posted by idb at 1:25 PM on March 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm really enjoying Sebastian Thrun's class, Programming a Robotic Car. If anyone still wants to take part, they've changed the grading procedure after all the traffic they got from that NYT article, to allow people to join the class late and still get a passing grade. They list a bunch of prerequisites, but I think all I've needed for the first three lessons is basic python, decently good programming skills, enough knowledge of probability to know what "p=0.1" is likely to mean, and a general idea of how matrices work. It's great fun if you're into that sort of thing.

My only previous experience with semi-formal education over IP was watching Walter Lewin's lectures on electromagnetism, on youtube. Highly recommended if you don't already - and for some reason you do want to - understand Maxwell's equations. It's just a video camera pointed at a traditional university lecture. Simple enough method of MOOC or whatever you want to call it.

The format of the robot car course isn't all that different, except it comes with homework and a final exam. Instead of hour-long lectures you get many short videos, most followed by a really easy quiz. I find it surprisingly easy to follow, but I suspect that's partly because I already know lots of computer science stuff and mostly because Thrun is a good teacher; not because of the more Internet-adapted nature of the presentation format.

I've recently tried some Khan Academy stuff too, and some other classes on youtube, but none of the ones I've come across so far are on the same level of inspiration as Sebastian Thrun and Walter Lewin. Still, they're all better than watching television. This wave of educational resources is the best thing to hit the Internet since AltaVista.
posted by sfenders at 11:49 AM on March 6, 2012

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