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ERIC Number: EJ840382
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1040-1350
OpenCourseWare Resources for Advanced High School Study
Carson, Steve
Understanding Our Gifted, v21 n1 p3-5 Fall 2008
In 2000, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) faculty first proposed putting the course materials from all 1,800 MIT classes online, free of charge. The idea behind MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) was to use the Internet for more than just distance learning. When MIT began placing the course materials online in 2002 and 2003, the audience accessing the site turned out to be somewhat of a surprise. Educators and students from universities were visiting in large numbers, and a significant number of high school teachers and students were also using the information. Roughly 16 percent of the educators and 8 percent of the students accessing the MIT OCW site were teaching or studying at high schools. Building on the long history and the success of OCW, MIT set out to make the OCW publication as useful as possible to high school related audiences. OCW interviewed hundreds of high school teachers and students and did an extensive survey of online resources available to the secondary education community. Based on this input, OCW designed a site intended to make its resources more accessible to secondary education audiences and to make science and technology more appealing to high school students. The concept for this open courseware for high schools came as the confluence of three themes. One is a national need. It's been well documented in "Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future" (2007) the need to invest more in K-12 education, particularly in the STEM field (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). The second is that MIT as a leading institution of science and technology has an obligation to contribute. And third would be to do something that's scalable and has a large impact. The result of this effort, a portal called "Highlights for High School," was launched in November, 2008. The "Highlights" portal ( includes accessible lists of introductory courses from the MIT curriculum in a format that provides extended descriptions and guidance. "Highlights" also maps more than 2,600 OCW learning resources for the AP physics, biology, and calculus curriculum--a structure already familiar to high school students and educators. Through these maps, students and educators can easily access videos, demonstrations, and assignments that illustrate specific AP topics. This article presents some examples of ways educators use or plan to use "Highlights" content and some feedback from students and parents regarding their use of the site.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts