Official MIT OpenCourseWare 1800 Event Video(MIT)

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Announcer: In the year 2000, an MIT faculty committee on lifelong learning proposed a program that was as straightforward as it was revolutionary.

Dick K.P.Yue: The idea is simple. Just to publish our teaching material, our course content online, on the internet, and make it widely available to everyone to, to use it for free.

Announcer: Open Courseware, OCW, is MIT’s web-based initiative that offers open access to the core teaching materials, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and exams from 1800 courses, free of charge for educators and learners worldwide.

Shigeru Miyagawa: The idea that we came up with Open Courseware, ah, was really a revolutionary idea, particularly at the time, because in 1999, it was the heyday of the dot com era, and everyone was thinking of a for profit line. Although we considered it, we felt that for MIT, the right thing to do, the right model is to give away the teaching materials.

Thomas Magnanti: Some faculty thought that it was the dumbest idea ever, but MIT were giving away all their intellectual property to the world for free and no one would use their textbooks anymore, no one would come to the classes anymore, etc, etc, and other people thought it was the best social good they had ever heard of.

Announcer: Through the generous support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Ab Initio Corporation, MIT has published materials from virtually all MIT undergraduate and graduate courses on the OCW site, representing 33 academic disciplines. In addition to the core teaching materials, the site includes animations, simulations, and more than one thousand hours of classroom instruction on video.

Shigeru Miyagawa: It’s important to keep in mind, that we are not offering MIT education through Open Courseware. So for example, you don’t register for credits, you don’t get a degree. A true MIT education is something where students come on campus, they live here, and they learn with fellow ah students and with the faculty.

Announcer: More than ninety percent of the MIT faculty, and hundreds of other MIT community members, voluntarily share their knowledge and teaching materials on OCW, demonstrating the institute’s widely held commitment to openness.

Daniel Hastings: A core value of MIT for a long time has been public service. We should be in the business of disseminating this knowledge to help, you know, the world. In a sense that’s what books do, right? So this is, if you want, is the modern equivalent of that.

Announcer: In the four years since the site’s launch, Open Courseware materials have been accessed by 35 million individuals from more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. Rogelio Morales, a PHD candidate at the Central University of Venezuela, is a metallurgical engineer and a licensed commercial diver. For Morales, OCW is a valuable resource for new information that improves underwater inspections and testing.

Rogelio Morales: I often download information from different topics and give it to our professors. Sometimes we discuss the information. Other times they use the slides from the OCW site in class. It’s a great resource.

Anne McCants: I want to be part of OCW because I believe in the spirit of the thing. I think the concept is dead on right. And we don’t feel proprietary about it, we want you to know what it is. We want you to be able to tap into it at some level, even if it’s a fairly static level. Ah, and, and that’s reason enough to do it as far as I’m concerned.

Announcer: At the University of San Carlos, Guatemala’s center of higher education for more than 300 years, professor Waleska Aldana Segura teaches a course for physics instructors.

Waleska Aldana Segura: When you try to teach certain subjects and you don’t have labs or equipment or any kind of visualizations, the students end up lacking the expertise necessary for their future success as physics professors. The fact that MIT provides their materials without cost is simply extraordinary.

Walter Lewin: I think the most wonderful thing about this is that MIT was in a way, almost, to most people outside MIT, like the Forbidden City. They had no idea what happened inside. And with OCW, the bridge was lowered. They now see MIT in a completely different way.

Announcer: Triatno Yudo Harjoko, head of the Architectural Department at the University of Indonesia at Depak was amazed that a university, as renowned as MIT, would give access to virtually all of it’s educational information. Harjoko believes that there is great value in MIT’s free and open sharing.

Triatno Yudo Harjoko: It’s not simply the information that’s valuable, but also the glimpse OCW offers into how MIT has structured it’s teaching and research.

Announcer: The reach of Open Courseware goes far beyond the site itself. Other organizations have now translated nearly 600 OCW courses into other languages including Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese and Thai. These translations have been accessed by 14 million visitors to date. There are also more then one hundred mirror sites, locally hosted versions of the OCW site, in low bandwidth areas. The majority are located in sub-Saharan Africa.

Clinton Blackburn: I traveled to Africa and I found that the people there were very receptive to OCW and, ah, the mission of OCW, which is to spread knowledge around the world. Many of the universities in Africa, they don’t have books, or the budgets are just really low compared to the United States, and so, whatever little help they can get with setting up curricula or, umm, just more information about a subject, it really helps.

Dick K.P.Yue: Another area that many of us, umm, had an aspiration for was that Open Courseware would not be just something that MIT does, but by setting an example and a model, ah, it would become something that many other institutions would also do. Not just in the areas that we are good at, like science or engineering or management, but in all kinds of fields of knowledge. And today there are over a hundred and fifty universities around the world who are doing their own Open Courseware, and I think the, the dream that in fact Open Courseware would be truly a very, very broad base movement that will impact knowledge, information and education worldwide, I think it’s coming to fruition even as we speak now.

Announcer: Open Courseware has grown from a bold experiment, to a global movement. With the complete MIT curriculum now available on the site, Open Courseware has reached an important milestone, but is only at the beginning of the journey. MIT will continue to enhance and update OCW materials, develop new programs and features and collaborate with others seeking to share their won knowledge, helping to create a truly global network of open educational resources.

Dick K.P.Yue: I came from a family, ah, in fact we were refugees in Hong Kong, ah, somewhat sort of financially restricted, ah, with very few options, and when I grew up, I remember my father valuing education, would bring home, ah, old second, third-hand volumes of MIT books. I remember flipping these books and seeing the dome, the picture of the dome on the front cover and just aspiring, one day, ah, to go to MIT. And the fact that today I’m a professor at MIT and so forth, ah, it’s a testimony to the fact that MIT has an impact way beyond it’s immediate borders. And I think that’s at the heart, in some sense, of the idea of Open Courseware, that an institution like MIT, has a responsibility, has an opportunity to impact students way beyond our immediate walls in Cambridge.

Announcer: MIT Open Courseware, unlocking knowledge, empowering minds.