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IIT Joins MIT’s OpenCourseWare Initiative; What Next?

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) has agreed to join Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s (MIT) OpenCourseWare community, thereby enabling MIT students to access IIT’s lectures and classroom content online, reports The Times of India. The report further states that these lectures will also be available in iTunes Store soon, enabling users with an iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) to view these lectures. Note that these lectures are already available on YouTube under the National Programme for Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) initiative and it seems to have a healthy 91,809 subscribers and 57.74 million views, according to Youtube’s channel information (TOI reports it as 63.64 lakh viewers as of December 2011).

MIT’s OpenCourseWare currently has over 250 universities onboard and the prominent members include Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore; Yale University; Peking University; Harvard Law School; University of Notre Dame; Tufts University; University of California, Irvine and Utah State University. The consortium claims to have published materials from more than 13,000 courses in 20 languages, available through its website. MIT had reportedly invited IIT to join its OpenCourseWare consortium in 2007 but IIT had apparently declined the invitation then, stating that their initiatives are still young to join the Open Source learning bandwagon, as stated by TOI.

What’s Next?

Sakshat: Indian Government had launched an similar education portal called Sakshat which was meant to offer high-quality educational content in form of e-books, e-journals and video lessons to facilitate self-learning and open sharing of free, high-quality educational content to students, teachers and others. It was intended to offer learning materials across all fields of study including vocational education and learning for life skills from Kindergarten up to College. How about if IIT also offered its videos under this scheme so that it enables students and self-learners to learn IIT’s course materials and hone their skills. However, we don’t quite know if Sakshat is still operational and frankly, even being used by people. Anyone?

Aakash: The Aakash Tablet was partly developed by IIT Rajasthan, so it would be odd to not have any integration with IIT’s lectures and classroom content. How about if the tablet is pre-loaded with these videos or there is a TED-like app preloaded on the Aakash tablet which will allow students to view these videos?

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