Open Courseware is the next big thing.

With more and more people going to college, ordinary degrees mean less. In the ’60s, if you had a Bachelor’s degree you were pretty much guaranteed a job. But things have changed and, nowadays, you pretty much need a Master’s to have the same job security. Maybe even a PhD. Some might argue that it’s because college education is not as good. Some say that it’s because everyone has that education, so it’s not as special. If you want to hear more about this topic, watch this entertaining TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson. He’s a great speaker. 11:59 is where it starts to get really focused, but the whole talk is worth listening to.

But the point is that with ordinary degrees meaning less, us as student should spend (waste?) less time getting the basics down. Instead, college should be about using those basics to learn something complex.  Why throw money at a school to learn calculus for an engineering degree, when you can learn calc yourself? Can you? Are the resources even available?

Actually, they just might be. Check out this website: MIT Open Courseware (OCW)—here, MIT has uploaded a lot of educational material (even full-on lectures). And it’s all free. View and download it, and learn all the basics. That way, you can spend your tuition money and time in school learning the hard stuff.

The cool thing is that this is becoming a trend. A few big things have happened recently in America—US Stimulus spending and a lot of educational foundations—which have helped push more colleges to start releasing their own online education resources, and OCW resources. The Wikipedia  OCW article says that OCW only really got momentum when MIT released their OCW page, linked to above. But now it’s starting to spread.

Read this interesting news article the OCW trend for more info. Some cool links there!


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