MIT Open Courseware
by Aniko Zala, Staff Writer
MIT has done the unthinkable. They have opened their classrooms to the public,
making their courses available to anyone who is interested. Will an MIT education
become unimpressive, even passé?
MIT has not exactly gone crazy and opened its doors to the public, just the classes. As of this fall, MIT offers over 500 of its courses online. This means that on their own time, people can learn about anything from engineering to women's studies to linguistics and philosophy. The kid who is interested in Chinese literature gets the same syllabus and reading list that a student taking the course would receive. He can do anything on the list or just use it for suggested reading. That is the beauty of independent study. He will not have any sort of student-to-teacher interaction. That is not the point of Open Courseware. MIT does not want to create a substitute to attending the school. They just want to make the world a better place by making their Computational Methods in Aerospace Engineering course available to anyone with computer access.
Depending on the reaction that it fosters, MIT Open Courseware may expand over time. For now at least, everyone can satisfy him/herself with over 500 courses in almost any subject he pleases.
The mission of MIT is to, "...advance knowledge and education." If MIT Open Courseware is actually used, it may have a huge impact on the world. Anyone can learn whatever he or she wants. But will they use it?
See for yourself at www.ocw.mit.edu.