Open Source Education: Wave of the Future? Hope So!

What if the current problems I’m always ranting about in the public education system in Kentucky were suddenly gone? What if there was a way to provide an excellent online alternative and what if that alternative was free?

Consider the current new wave of “open source education” options online…A group of universities, worldwide have joined together to form the Open Courseware Consortium a group of higher education organizations willing to share their coursework, syllabuses and class notes online — for public view — for free. Pretty amazing new turn in the formerly un-shared information from universities and institutions including Harvard Law School, MIT, Notre Dame, Johns Hopkins, etc.

In addition, I’ve found the following online, opensource educational resources:

Software for Starving Students (Update 4/2011 – this link is defunct.) – an amazing collection of open source and special issue software in both Windows and OSX platforms that makes it easier and much cheaper for college students (and the rest of us) to access the cream of the crop software for all your needs. It even includes advanced graphics packages, games and security software. Pretty hot stuff!

I’ve also located online textbooks, also free, in the form of wikis.

In a perfect world, all the best educational resources would be free, would be readily available to all, and would be updated “open source” style by the best minds and the most innovative individuals from each culture. A global, educational economy… now THAT’s a goal!

Now, if only online education was a viable option, according to the Kentucky Department of Education.