We are seeing more and more Open Education and eLearning opportunities on the Internet these days. MIT and Stanford have been pioneers in the Open Courses available to anyone who has a computer. YouTube and iTunes have also gotten involved in the educational realm with iTunesU and YouTubeEDU that warehouse video lectures for anyone who cares to sit still long enough to watch. One can stay on the couch and receive a thorough education, everything but the diploma, free for the taking.
A good way to take advantage of this plethora of educational information is to use them as a never-ending resource of guest lecturers for your students. Imagine hearing Dr. Jane Goodall, world renowned scientist speaking to your class. A quick click on a hyperlink will transport you to Harvard@home to see her and many others. Or, stop in at MIT’s open courseware site and view one of their 1,900 course offerings.
It may be hard to narrow down the amount of information that you want to include in your course. A good way to start using these resources is to plan a project or assignment based on one of the lectures or presentations you find. The students can view the video clip and then report, debate or discuss the information or point-of-view that the presenter addressed.
I have gathered a short list of possibilities that include a variety of open eLearning resources for you to start with, and if you have a favorite drop me a line, and I will add it to my list.
MIT Open Course Ware : http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/home/home/index.htm
University of California-Berkeley : http://webcast.berkeley.edu/
iTunesU : http://www.apple.com/education/mobile-learning/?ref=http://itunes.com
YouTubeU : http://www.youtube.com/education?b=400
Nobel Lectures for 2009: http://nobelprize.org/award_ceremonies/lectures_2009.html
Online Books: Librivox’s http://librivox.org/