Open Education: Global Force for Good
By Ensign Brendan McCord, U.S. Navy
A free, virtual classroom is spanning the globe, from the depths of the Pacific Ocean to the mountains of Afghanistan. Conceived by Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003, a new model for dissemination of knowledge and collaboration among scholars internationally features thousands of courses complete with syllabi, class notes, homework problems, and exams. OpenCourseWare (OCW), hosted online for anyone to access, represents a remarkable paradigm shift in education. In the true spirit of a shared intellectual commons, self-motivated learners can take courses from the world's most knowledgeable and inspirational experts-for free, on demand. Some even include interactive web demonstrations in Java or MATLAB, complete textbooks written by MIT professors, and streaming video lectures.