Notes from the Overground

Illustration from the lecture notes for module 1, session 4, of 5.07 Biological Chemistry 1, showing how penicillin inhibits cell wall biosynthesis in bacteria by inhibiting the enzyme transpeptidase.

Illustration from the lecture notes for module 1, session 4, of 5.07 Biological Chemistry 1, showing how penicillin inhibits cell wall biosynthesis in bacteria by inhibiting the enzyme transpeptidase.

By Joe Pickett, OCW Publication Director

In the days of high resolution video, lecture notes may not seem like a flashy way to learn, but they represent one of OCW’s most valuable and portable learning resources.  Currently, almost 650 course sites in the OCW collection have complete lecture notes, and many other sites have selected notes. Another 67 courses have full online textbooks.

At their most robust, lecture notes can mimic textbooks, with clearly written prose, crisp mathematical notation, and graphs or illustrations.

A good way to zero in on class notes in a subject that interests you is to visit the Teaching Materials search on the OCW Educator portal. Here you can call up a specific subject area, and find all the courses within it that have lecture notes, complete or selected.

Teaching Materials Search

But see for yourself in this sampler of recently published courses with lecture notes:

This course discusses theoretical concepts and analysis of wave problems in science and engineering. Examples are chosen from elasticity, acoustics, geophysics, hydrodynamics, blood flow, nondestructive evaluation, and other applications.

This course examines the chemical and physical properties of the cell and its building blocks, with special emphasis on the structures of proteins and principles of catalysis.

This course provides students with the basic tools for analyzing experimental data, properly interpreting statistical reports in the literature, and reasoning under uncertain situations. Topics organized around three key theories: Probability, statistical, and the linear model.

This course studies information and contract theory, encompassing decision making under uncertainty, risk sharing, moral hazard, adverse selection, mechanism design, and incomplete contracting.

This course presents a computationally focused introduction to elliptic curves, with applications to number theory and cryptography. It works its way up to some fairly advanced material, including an overview of the proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem.

This is the first semester of a one year graduate course in number theory covering standard topics in algebraic and analytic number theory.

This course is the continuation of 18.785 Number Theory I. It begins with an analysis of the quadratic case of Class Field Theory via Hilbert symbols, in order to give a more hands-on introduction to the ideas of Class Field Theory.

New season of “Science Out Loud” sparks curiosity

Photo of woman in a lab coat being video'd, surrounded by lighting and camera equipment, with two production people assisting.

Left to right: Elizabeth Choe ’13, executive producer; George Zaidan ’08, director; and Whitney Hess PhD ’16 film “Choose-Your-Own-Chemistry-Adventure” for “Science Out Loud” from MIT+K12 Videos.

By MIT Office of Digital Learning

No equations allowed. This basic rule drives the thinking behind “Science Out Loud,” an original web series hosted and co-written by MIT students. The fun, engaging videos are geared towards middle and high school students and designed to bring scientific concepts to life through research, experiments, and demos performed by real scientists and engineers. No chalkboards. No textbooks. Lots of learning.

The new season of Science Out Loud – now live on YouTube – pushes the boundaries of video production to turn academic education into curiosity-sparking interactive experiences.

There’s a choose-your-own chemistry adventure where viewers can click through the video to change the ingredients of a chemical reaction (yeast, soap, and hydrogen peroxide) and create the best foam explosion.

Another video explores how virtual reality works, which viewers can watch in 360 degrees on YouTube and Google Cardboard. Yet another showcases MIT’s Scratch programming to make a video game, with the option to watch in English or Italian.

Science Out Loud is part of MIT+K12 Videos, an educational outreach program from the Office of Digital Learning that seeks to encourage a lifelong love of learning through original digital media and live programming. The program aims to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) literacy while opening the world of MIT to as many people as possible.

“The foundation of MIT+K12 is not video, camera work, or editing,” explains program director Elizabeth Choe. “It’s about what the videos enable. We want to leverage the amazing community of students and people at MIT to challenge people’s notions of what scientists and science look like while sparking curiosity and agency among young people.”

Originally launched by the School of Engineering in 2011, MIT+K12 Videos has produced more than 150 videos that have garnered close to 10 million views on YouTube. The program fits within MIT’s larger pK-12 vision to bring the university’s immersive, hands-on approach beyond the campus and deliver STEM education to pre-kindergarten through grade-12 learners and educators.

For MIT students participating, the program is about developing the skills not just to make a video but to clearly communicate their research and share their passion with a non-STEM audience. All to complement what they’re learning in the classroom.

“K12 Videos gave me such a variety of practical experience,” says K12 Videos Educational Media Fellow and recent graduate Ceri Riley ’16. “Every project was different so I got to try out new skills — from producing and editing to animating and filming. It really acted as a springboard for me.” Post-graduation, Riley is already working for SciShow, an extremely popular science channel on YouTube.

“I’m proud of putting myself out there. It challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone, to try new things, and to appreciate the process as much as (or more than) the final product,” says Whitney Hess PhD ’16 and “star” of the choose-your-own chemistry adventure video.

MIT students can get involved with MIT+K12 Videos in a variety of ways, from hands-on hosting and writing to behind-the-scenes education outreach or content consultants to becoming an Educational Media Fellow. For Science Out Loud, students can either directly pitch a video idea or enroll in 20.219 (Becoming the Next Bill Nye) to earn course credit. Volunteers from freshmen to graduate students are always welcome. MIT faculty can also play a role — hosting the #askMIT Q&A series, supporting student-run videos, or collaborating on new projects.

Curiosity sparked? Watch the new season of Science Out Loud or email mitk12videos@mit.edu to get involved. You can also explore materials from previous seasons on PBS Learning Media (including teacher supplementary resources), Khan Academy, iTunes U, and Curiosity.com. All videos are freely available and downloadable under a Creative Commons license.

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 This Course at MIT 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

Explore a few of our latest OCW Educator videos:

Share

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!

MIT announces new learning research initiatives

Photo of student in a library working on papers and her laptop.MIT’s committed efforts to understand learning and improve it at all levels of education took a big step forward yesterday. As reported by MIT News:

MIT President L. Rafael Reif announced today a significant expansion of the Institute’s programs in learning research and online and digital education — from pre-kindergarten through residential higher education and lifelong learning — that fulfills a number of recommendations made in 2014 by the Institute-Wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education.

Most notably, Reif announced the creation of the MIT Integrated Learning Initiative (MITili), to be led by Professor John Gabrieli, and a new effort to increase MIT’s ability to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning by students from pre-kindergarten through high school (pK-12), to be led by Professor Angela Belcher. The announcement also included a program to support faculty innovations in MIT residential education and new work to enhance MIT’s continuing education programs. Read more >

What does this mean for OCW and other MIT open educational resources? We look forward to providing better opportunities for learners, and sharing MIT’s latest teaching methods through initiatives like OCW Educator. The accompanying FAQ: Reshaping MIT’s programs in online and digital education states that

Research out of MITili will inform MIT’s digital learning and open education efforts, such as MIT OpenCourseWare, MITx, and the new MicroMaster’s program, and seeks to further improve these online learning platforms by applying latest developments in learning scholarship and educational technology. Read more >

Exciting times!

As an OpenMatters blog post wouldn’t be complete without some related OCW content, we heartily recommend MITili founding director John Gabrieli’s popular 9.00SC Introduction to Psychology. This OCW Scholar course takes you on an engaging scientific journey through human nature, including “how the mind works and how the brain supports the mind.”

Over one billion works use Creative Commons

Graph of # of work vs. years, showing dramatic increase.

Creative Commons licensed works have nearly tripled in the past 5 years, recently exceeding 1 Billion total works. (Image courtesy of Creative Commons, license CC BY 4.0)

Open sharing? We couldn’t do it without you, Creative Commons.

Since OCW adopted a Creative Commons license in 2004, we’ve shared materials from thousands of MIT courses with hundreds of millions of people around the world. All those pageviews, file downloads, remixes and translations, and passing along to friends and colleagues have been enabled by Creative Commons’ clear and widely-accepted terms of use.

Today, Creative Commons announced a major milestone: over 1 billion works have been licensed using Creative Commons since the organization’s founding, and the size of the commons has nearly tripled in the past five years alone. Read more about Creative Commons’ impressive growth and impact in their just-released 2015 State of the Commons Report.

Creators are choosing to share many of their works with the world, free of or with limited restrictions, to support global collaboration. MIT OpenCourseWare is proud to support the Creative Commons’ vision of the world, and proud of our contributions to this vibrant community powered by collaboration and gratitude. The benefits are a world of free and open content that creates more equity, access, and innovation for everyone.

Congratulations OPENPediatrics, a Tech Awards 2015 Education Laureate

Image of a computer screen with image of a young patient connected to ventilator, and simulation of the ventilator displays.

Screen shot from a video overview of the OPENPediatrics Virtual Ventilator. (Courtesy of OPENPediatrics.)

The Tech Awards is an annual program run by The Tech Museum of Innovation in Silicon Valley to honor a select group of innovative projects and high-impact young companies working in education, healthcare, economic development and the environment. In 2005, MIT OpenCourseWare was named a Tech Awards Education Laureate.

The 2015 Laureates have just been announced, and as always they’re an inspiring group. See the full list.

Congratulations in particular to OPENPediatrics, a fellow member of the Open Education Consortium that provides “free, online medical education content to pediatric health care providers and is used by more than 800 hospitals worldwide.”  Highlights of OPENPediatrics’ content include:

  • The virtual ventilator, an interactive mechanical ventilation training tool. In the coming weeks, the virtual ventilator will be joined by a new peritoneal dialysis simulator that has already received recognition.
  • A recently released Nursing Cardiac Intensive Care Unit guided learning pathway, including 36 videos and associated assessments, available on their clinician community site.
  • World Shared Practice Forum series of videos that feature world experts on the forefront of pediatric care, structured to foster global asynchronous discussion.
  • A public multimedia library of animations and illustrations drawn from OPENPediatrics’ videos, openly licensed and available for free download.

A Masterwork in Simplicity: The Story of the CC Logo (CreativeCommons.org)

Photo of a museum exhibit hall, with the on/off symbol and Creative Commons logos on the wall.

Creative Commons logo and installation view of MOMA’s exhibit “This Is for Everyone: Design Experiments for the Common Good” by Jim.Henderson. Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.

New York’s Museum of Modern Art has a new exhibit, “This is For Everyone: Design Experiments for the Common Good,” that’s close to the heart for all of us in the open education movement.  The Creative Commons blog reports:

Displayed on the white walls next to the internationally embraced symbols for the on/off button, recycling, and the @ symbol, one will find a mark of equally great significance: the “double-C in a circle,” or simply, the “CC,” Creative Commons mark.

This most visible icon of the free culture movement is on view in the exhibit, but the MoMA took even further steps to recognize the impact and importance of the “CC” logo and its accompanying ShareAlike, NonCommercial, Attribution, and NoDerivatives icons. On March 4, 2015 MoMA Senior Curator Paolo Antonelli announced that the Creative Commons logo had been formally acquired as part of the museum’s permanent collection. It is both a symbolic and very practical kind of acquisition. As part of the collection, the icons and their history will enjoy perpetual protection and recognition by MoMA. But their work is far from complete: like so many of the other instantly-recognizable icons in the MoMA collection, the “CC” logo will continue to be used and appreciated by millions of people in millions of situations, and for many years to come.

Read the full story of the CC logo here, written by Jay Walsh in collaboration with Creative Commons staff.