Free World Class College Courses For All: Open Course Ware For Students, Educators and Self-learners
Open educational resources are suddenly making it possible for people all over the world to access knowledge as they never have before.
OpenCourseWare sites directly challenge the widespread notion that higher education is reserved for privileged and urban populations. OpenCourseWare:
* is a free and open digital publication of high quality
educational materials, organized as courses.
* is available for use and adaptation under an open license.
* does not typically provide certification or access to instructors.
One of my own favorite examples of this new trend comes from the team at MIT OpenCourseWare.
This one site alone offers educational materials for over 1700 college-level courses, and those are supplemented by audio, video and non-English courses. Their site is used by a global audience, so they have formally partnered with four organizations to translate course materials into Spanish, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and Thai.
The extensive course list extends beyond the technology studies MIT is known for to support the entire gamut of traditional or progressive academic pursuits. This link, for example, leads to a list of available courses in Women's and Gender Studies, including "Gender, Power, and International Development" and "International Women's Voices:" http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Women-s-Studies/index.htm.