MIT officials have reported that the entire MIT curriculum will be freely available online by the end of the year. Through MIT's OpenCourseWare program anyone with access to the Internet will be able to download assignments, reading lists, lecture notes and even exams from any of its 1,800 classes for free. Yes, free.
Giving it away for free may sound like a crazy idea but this kind of knowledge sharing is becoming an essential tool in advancing access to education around the world not only for students and self-learners but for educators as well. A forthcoming (October 2007) MIT Press book, Opening Up Education: The Collective Advancement of Education through Open Technology, Open Content, and Open Knowledge edited by Toru Iiyoshi and M.S. Vijay Kumar, examines how open education tools and resources, like MIT's OpenCourseWare program, can improve the quality of education around the world. The contributors (from leading foundations and academic institutions, including those behind the MIT initiative) discuss the strategic underpinnings of their efforts first in terms of technology, then content, and finally knowledge.
In keeping with the spirit of open and free knowledge sharing and through the support of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, an electronic version of this book will be available under a Creative Commons license on The MIT Press website.