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Friday, February 01, 2008

Open Course Ware! Be a student online, free and at any time!

The concept of Open Courses is not so new. You've probably stumbled across some course package that is both free and online, but that is just not doing anything for you. A good example is the Microsoft courses, which need that annoying passport registration, you need to take the html based courses in a specific amount of time and they spam you with all the email reminders. What you actually wanted was information, quickly summarized, indexed maybe, and a video/audio stream that would demonstrate what the theory is all about. You don't want to register, have restrictions or even do it online. You want to download stuff and run it locally whenever you feel like it.

I am glad to say I found exactly what I wanted in the MIT Open Course Ware site. They have a huge list of classes, most have only PDF materials, but some have video recordings of the actuall class! With PDF notes! Even MP3 materials for your mp3 player! No registration required and everything you have there you can also find on YouTube! And the videos are profesionally shot, not some web cam in the back thing.

Interested yet? Access the site and browse about. You might want to use this link to get to the audio/video only courses or use Google to find only the courses that have video. You won't get MIT to say you studied with them, but you will learn what they teach if you make the effort!

One thing you need to be able to run the .RM files is Real Alternative, a package that allows you to play Real Media without installing the annoying and not free Real Player.

And MIT is not the only one doing that. You can access the links of:
Open Courseware Consortium
OpenContentOnline
Open Courseware finder

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