I wonder: Is the Internet removing or reducing the barriers to education, and making it a more egaliterian institution? For example, I heard some time ago that Yale and other colleges are making podcast and/or video lectures available for free over the internet.
I did a quick search and found these two posts from the Whatis.com blog (oops…corrected the website address).
Jimmy Ruska has created an outstanding index of free online educational resources, which heâ€™s called the Massive Resource List for All Autodidacts.
An autodidact, in case youâ€™re wondering, is a self-directed learner. Wikipedia has an index of different different autodidacts in different countries.
Jimmyâ€™s selections, which include courses, educational podcasts and much more, make it easier for all of the autodidacts out there to excel in self-directed learning.
And the other post:
Yale University has announced that it is offering publicly-accessible digital videos of several courses on the Internet for free. While the courses canâ€™t be counted towards a Yale degree, Yale did gain the distinction of being the first member of the Ivy League to focus on video lectures. Princeton and Harvard Law School have already made course materials available for free online, even offering virtual courses in Second Life. MIT, while not an Ivy, has taken the step of making all of its courses freely available to netizens.
Yaleâ€™s pilot project features seven courses, all beginning in the 2007 academic year. Examples are â€œIntroduction to the Old Testament,â€ â€œFundamentals of Physicsâ€ and â€œIntroduction to Political Philosophy.â€ Transcripts, rendered in several languages, are available for download. This PDF describes the program in more detail.
Amazing stuff!! Can you imagine the day where companies won’t care so much as to what college you “attended” but what knowledge you have? What if a poor man in a third world country could get access to free Internet–Perhaps at a public library, a non-profit internet cafe, or something of that nature–and complete an equivalent of 4 years of college? We would need a way to make it measurable.
Well, I just discovered the TeachingAmericanhistory.org podcast page and that’s what got me started on this line of thinking.
The Teaching American History podcast will provide subscribers with a weekly seminar from a leading history scholar from our extensive audio archive. These seminars are designed to encourage teachers to seriously examine significant events in American history in light of the principles of the American founding, and also to encourage the use of primary source materials in the classroom.
With this post, I am starting a new blog category on the lower right hand navigation list. I’m calling it “Social Change” and I will publish posts to that folder that relate to technology that is having a positive social change or impact in society.