Archive for the ‘MIT’ Category

Harvard as Tipping Point

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Harvard University made IT news twice this week:

$60 Million Venture To Bring Harvard, MIT Online For The Masses


The new nonprofit venture, dubbed edx, pours a combined $60 million of foundation and endowment capital into the open-source learning platform first developed and announced by MIT earlier this year as MITx.

Edx’s offerings are very different from the long-form lecture videos currently available as “open courseware” from MIT and other universities. Eventually, edx will offer a full slate of courses in all disciplines, created with faculty at MIT and Harvard, using a simple format of short videos and exercises graded largely by computer; students interact on a wiki and message board, as well as on Facebook groups, with peers substituting for TAs. The research arm of the project will continue to develop new tools using machine learning, robotics, and crowdsourcing that allow grading and evaluation of essays, circuit designs, and other types of exercises without endless hours by professors or TAs. Although edx is nonprofit and the courses are free, Agarwal envisions bringing the project to sustainability by one day charging students for official certificates of completion.

Harvard Library to faculty: we’re going broke unless you go open access

Henry sez, “Harvard Library’s Faculty Advisory Council is telling faculty that it’s financially ‘untenable’ for the university to keep on paying extortionate access fees for academic journals. It’s suggesting that faculty make their research publicly available, switch to publishing in open access journals and consider resigning from the boards of journals that don’t allow open access.”

The avalanche of flagship education and open content has begun.

Arguments about online content/delivery not being “good enough” will no longer carry any weight, or not much.

The opponents of online content/delivery, who made those arguments, will fight to preserve systems that benefited themselves and a few others. They will be routed soon enough and their fate is not my concern.

Information systems to meet the needs of the coming generation of world wide scholars, on the other hand, should be the concern of us all.

MITx Experimental Course Announced

Monday, February 13th, 2012

MITx Experimental Course Announced by Sue Gee.

A free online course in electronics, the “prototype” for future courses being offered in MIT’s online curriculum, MITx, is now open for enrollment and will begin in March.

The first MITx course, 6.002x – Circuits and Electronics begins on March 5 and runs through till June 8. It is being taught by Anant Agarwal, Director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), with Gerald Sussman, professor of Electrical Engineering and CSAIL Research Scientist Piotr Mitros. An on-line adaption of 6.002, MIT’s undergraduate analog design course, it is designed to serve as a first course in an undergraduate electrical engineering (EE), or electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) curriculum.

As important at the course content itself this course will serve as the experimental prototype for MITx, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s new online learning initiative which offers classes free of charge to students worldwide.

I know topic maps are used in Norway’s educational system.

In what way would you use topic maps to enhance an online course such as this one?

One way to find out would be to take the course and explore the potential of topic maps to enrich the experience.