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M.I.T. Offers Open Courseware To Everyone

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Hi All,

Have you ever looked back and wished that you could have attended one of the premier schools in the country on a 100% scholarship when you were younger? Maybe you'd wanted to earn an engineering degree as a young'un but it just wasn't in the cards?

Well, what would you say if you could have access to much of the coursework for a host of subjects from a major institution of higher learning, and get those resources free? Well, read on frustrated engineers or whatever, because there might be some hope for you yet, because one of the worlds most respected technical universities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, yeah, you read that right - M.I.T. - is placing course materials for literally thousands of its courses on the internet.

It's known as OpenCourseWare and the aim is to share lessen plans and content from M.I.T. courses with other schools and self-learners from around the globe. With this new resource, teachers from colleges around the world can use M.I.T.'s new gift to everyone to develop their own curricula. Better yet, self-learners who know how to motivate themselves will be able to work their way through Opencourseware on their own.

Theoretically, a self-learner who really applies himself, could derive enough knowledge from this source to be able to challenge end-of-course exams at local colleges, and thus, by only paying a small exam fee, eliminate thousands of hours of sitting in classrooms listening to lectures, spending a small fortune on tuition costs and room and board and eliminate the constant transportation and scheduling hassles associated with attending schools nights and weekends while making a living.

This is a brave experiment for a major university. One might be tempted to scorn the idea, except for one fact - this is M.I.T. fer cryin' out loud! If anyone knows how to put together top shelf learning materials and help one take advantages of what the internet has to offer those who want to study at home, M.I.T. does.

Will folks who take advantage of this resource obtain a degree from M.I.T.? No, for that they'd have to attend the real McCoy, but folks completing some of these courses might might just find themselves able to obtain some type of degree from a local education of higher learning with a fraction of the cost normally involved and that's nothing to scoff at.


Mike O'Handley

Editor - TIJ

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