From:         Patrick Crispen 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 03 May 2007 - OpenCourseWare / Screencasts


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, where western sky meets western sea, our college stands in majesty. In what could be the biggest mistake in its 127 year history, the University of Southern California has accepted me into their higher education administration doctorate program. That's right: I are a college student. :P

MIT OpenCourseWare / OpenCourseWare Search

Talking about higher education, I have been a fan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's OpenCourseWare project for quite some time. Back in April of 2001, MIT announced the ground-breaking, ambitious, and some would say unrealistic 10-year goal of posting the materials for all of MIT's courses online. Syllabi. Course calendars. Lecture notes. Assignments. Exams. Everything. Available to the entire online world. No charge.

You can find MIT's OpenCourseWare site at

Five years and 1,800 courses later, I'm still a fan. As are several other institutions of higher learning that have followed MIT's lead, now posting their own course materials online:

In fact, there are now so many free, online courses out there that finding the right course for you can involve a bit of cybersleuthing. Or you could just go to the OpenCourseWare finder at

If you've used the advanced features inside of Apple's iTunes music store, you already know how to use the OpenCourseWare finder. And if you've never used iTunes, well ... the OpenCourseWare finder is just like the advanced features inside of Apple's iTunes music store. :)

Seriously, though, just choose and subtopic in the tag browser and the OpenCourseWare finder shows you, at the bottom of the page, a list of OpenCourseWare courses that discuss that particular topic. Click on the course's title to be taken to the course's homepage.

The OpenCourseWare finder doesn't search through all of the world's free, online courses, but it does include courses from

* Carnegie Mellon University * Foothill De-Anza Community College * Johns Hopkins School of Public Health * Tufts University * MIT * Utah State University

So, does this mean you can now get a free, online degree from MIT? Not on your life, Chester! While educators are encouraged to borrow MIT's course materials for their own curricula, and while everyone in the world is encouraged to use the OpenCourseWare materials for self- study, MIT has absolutely no plans to offer credit for the online versions of their courses.

Besides, what makes MIT MIT isn't its course documents. As I have said many times in the past, covalent bonding works the same in Cambridge as it does in Irvine [the home of the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood], and the second derivative of 2x squared is the same along the banks of the Charles River as it is at the confluence of the 5 and 405 freeways. What makes MIT MIT -- and what makes MIT worth $33K a
year -- isn't its course documents. It's its faculty. And that you can't put online.

Two Screencasts

I need your help. I created two screencasts, one with TechSmith Camtasia and one with Adobe Captivate. If you have a free moment, can you please take a look at both and tell me which one you prefer? You can ignore the content; I'm more interested in knowing which video you think is more usable/accessible. Thanks in advance.

Camtasia screencast

Captivate screencast

Have a safe and happy week, and we'll talk again soon.

.~~~. ))
(\__/) .' ) )) Patrick Douglas Crispen
/o o \/ .~
{o_, \ {
/ , , ) \
`~ -' \ } )) AOL Instant Messenger: Squirrel2K
_( ( )_.'
---..{____} Warning: squirrels.

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
OpenCourseWare Screencasts, viruses, hoaxes, urban legends, search engines, cookies, cool sites
TOURBUS Site Search