In the Spirit of Open

Logo graphic for Open Education Week 2016.By Sarah Hansen, OCW Educator Project Manager

OCW is participating in Open Education Week 2016 (March 7-11)!  We’re sharing a video to introduce you (and your teaching colleagues around the world) to our new OCW Educator portal, which allows users to now search OCW content by instructional approach and teaching materials.


Use the portal to find new examples, explanations, and simulations to make concepts in your classroom come to life. Enrich your students’ experiences with OCW images, lecture slides, and video. All of these resources come straight from the classrooms of MIT’s leading researchers and teachers. Because OCW is Creative Commons licensed, these materials are made for sharing. Download files for later. Share with students. Modify, remix, and reuse in your teaching.

Through Instructor Insights pages, MIT faculty share their thinking, methods, and tips about the art and science of teaching with the global educator community. Use the portal to discover new ways to motivate your students with active learning. Get students more deeply engaged in problem solving. Help your students learn to work in teams. Weave communication skills into STEM subjects. Refresh your approach to large-class lectures.


Explore a few of our latest OCW Educator videos:


Help us share this resource. Tell a teacher about OCW Educator. Share resources you find on OCW with students and colleagues. Let’s keep open going!

Learn, Cure, Fuel, Make: MIT launches “Solve” (MIT News)

Graphic of four colored squares with the words Learn, Cure, Fuel, Make.

The four pilliars of Solve. (Source: MIT Solve website.)

MIT launches “Solve” to galvanize action on solving the world’s great challenges
Leaders to gather for keystone event at MIT next October
Technology Review | December 12, 2014

MIT will convene technologists, philanthropists, business leaders, policymakers, and social-change agents Oct. 5-8, 2015, for the launch of “Solve,” an initiative to galvanize these leaders to drive progress on complex, important global challenges that MIT has singled out as urgent and ripe for progress. Curated by distinguished members of the MIT community, this highly collaborative event will take place at Kresge Auditorium and at various labs, classrooms, and facilities across the MIT campus.

Solve will organize challenges into four content pillars, identified by MIT as strategic targets for interdisciplinary research, problem solving, and collaboration:

  • Learn, curated by Anant Agarwal, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and CEO of edX, will focus on access to education, and digital and distance learning.
  • Cure, curated by Phillip Sharp, Institute Professor at MIT and an affiliate of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, will examine the affordability of care, and advanced diagnostics and therapies.
  • Fuel, curated by Angela Belcher, the W.M. Keck Professor of Energy at MIT, will focus on environmental sustainability, food and water security, and renewable energy.
  • Make, curated by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and founder, chairman, and chief technology officer of Rethink Robotics, will delve into manufacturing, global infrastructure, and the future of work.

The curators will assemble challenge teams to address specific global issues in the developing and developed worlds, with short- and long-term goals for tackling pressing issues where serious progress is possible…

Read the full article.

We certainly agree that learning is one key to solving the world’s most pressing problems, and look forward to this initiative.

Celebrating 50 years of computer science at MIT

The first real-time digital computer (Project Whirlwind)…the first multiplayer video game, “SpaceWar!”…Arpanet, Ethernet, email, TCP/IP, the World Wide Web…and of course, OCW and edX.

These are among 50 ways that MIT has transformed computer science, a list compiled by MIT CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory).

On May 28-29, 2014, the MAC50 symposium at MIT celebrates the 50th anniversary of item #4 on this list: Project MAC. Project MAC (Multiple Access Computer and Machine Aided Cognition) set about developing a computing system that would allow individuals to access computational power much as we are able to access electricity for our homes. The result was time-sharing and a new paradigm of interactive computing, which laid the foundation for many of today’s basic design concepts for software systems.

OCW has several hundred courses on computer science topics. Here are a few notable courses by past directors of CSAIL and its predecessor AI Lab:

Game Studies in OCW: Welcome back to Boston, PAX East!

An MIT video game controller. Courtesy of Brett Paci.

Games Studies in MIT OpenCourseWare. Courtesy of Brett Paci.

PAX East, one of the largest gaming events in North America, returns to Boston April 11-13 2014.

While MIT doesn’t have an official game design degree program, it’s consistently ranked as a top school for game design studies. There’s a vital gaming community centered around the renowned MIT Game Lab, and plenty of relevant coursework and research on topics such as:

  • the design and history of games and how people play and learn with games
  • solving the computational and technical challenges of developing digital games
  • psychological games and behavioral change
  • business practices required for creating your own game company

In honor of PAX, and inspired by the Game Lab’s recommendations for MIT students, here’s a selection of MIT’s best game-related courses available online in OCW and MITx.

Game Studies Introductions

Other Recommended Background

Game Design

Practicum: Opportunities to Make Video Games

Writing for Games

Educational Software & Games

Management & Production

Programming & Software Engineering

Art Direction & Visual Design

Audio Design

Culture & Society

MIT OCW at USA Science & Engineering Festival

The logo of the USA Science & Engineering Festival

MIT OCW will be at the USA Science & Engineering Festival to share our site Highlights for High School, which got a facelift earlier this year.

We’ll have magnets, bookmarks, and other Highlights swag to give away. We’ll also be doing a few giveaways at the event, so be sure to stop by our booth and say hello! We can’t wait to see you there.

The free expo is in Washington DC at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on April 26th & 27th. If you can’t make it to the event, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We’ll be Tweeting with the hashtag #MITatUSASEF.

OpenEdJam Conference in San Antonio, Summer 2014

Readers of Open Matters may be interested in OpenEdJam. The conference is in San Antonio on July 25th-27th. Here is how they describe themselves:

OpenEdJam is a 3-day international event that brings together activists, developers, educators, engineers, librarians, and makers from all fields. We will provide a hands-on environment where participants can collaborate on innovative creations and uses of free and open education resources.

Considering the cultural, ethical and technical implications of free and open education resources, we’ll come together to discuss, demonstrate and support the future of free and open education.

There will be workshops and demonstrations on software, hardware, and curriculum, all related to open education. On Days 2 and 3, there will be a hackathon to develop new open education resources. This sounds like a fun one. Visit their website to learn more or submit a proposal by April 1st.

Learning with MOOCs: A Practitioner’s Workshop – Call for Papers

lwmooc-header-bMOOCs have gone from a distant idea to a global phenomenon in less than five years. During this period MOOCs have innovated at a dazzling speed in content creation, delivery, feedback, testing and other aspects of the knowledge delivery process. The excitement of MOOCs has been the promise of learning at scale. As a result, the primary focus of the design of MOOCs to date has been on “scale”. We believe it is now time to focus our attention on the design for learning.

This workshop plans to bring together the educators, technologists, researchers, learning scientists, entrepreneurs, and funders of MOOCs to share their innovations, discuss the impact on education and to answer questions such as: How to best support students to learn in an online environment? How can MOOCs be successfully integrated with the traditional classroom experience? For which students and in what contexts are these courses most effective? What can we learn from the rich data streams generated by these platforms? How do we structure the learning activities to produce data streams that better support research?

Topics include, but are not restricted to:

· Creating and teaching with MOOCs
. Open content /open licensing and MOOCs
. Novel pedagogical processes with MOOCs
. Tools for collaboration, feedback, testing and content delivery
· Best practices in MOOCs
· Learning from experiments with MOOCs (including both successes and failures)
· Metrics of success for learners and instructors of MOOCs
· On campus use of MOOCs
· Evaluation of MOOCs
· Learning analytics and MOOCs
· Interactive activities in MOOCs
· Challenges facing MOOCs
· Expanding the learner community with MOOCs
· Learning research based on MOOCs
· Key research challenges

We invite practitioners interested in coming together to discuss these issues to submit a one page description of work they have done in a MOOC including something interesting that they have learned through their work that they believe would be valuable to share with others and/or a question or challenges that they confronted that they would like to have others discuss.

Key Dates:
Monday, March 31, 2014: Submission deadline (midnight, PST)
Monday, April 21, 2014: Acceptance notification
Thursday, May 1, 2014: Preregistration opens
Tuesday-Wednesday, August 12-13, 2014: Conference

The submissions procedure will be available soon at