Thursday, May 13, 2010

The World's Great Teachers Available from Your Desktop--Now What?

We appear to be entering a golden age when it now possible for free to view the best teachers and professors on line. Thanks to the wonders of You Tube and great Web 2.0 Technologywe can share the delights of what a great teacher can bring in terms of understanding of the material, ability to transmit their knowledge and what is often so very important infect their love of learning with their audience. Here are a few examples of what I mean--we will be following up with others in later posts.

The following video was referenced by the New York Times article by Katie Hafner, An Open Mind,

" At 83, Marian C. Diamond has been teaching anatomy at the University of California, Berkeley, for 50 years. Her class is so popular that it’s difficult for students to get in, though she holds court at the campus’s largest lecture hall, with room for 736. She begins by opening a colorful hatbox. Dressed in an elegant suit and scarf with her hair swept back into a chig¬non, Professor Diamond pulls on a pair of latex gloves and reveals the box’s contents: a human brain. It is in alcohol, she says, “because alcohol will preserve the brain. Need I say more?” The students laugh as they take this in. She has the room in the palm of her hands."

The implications of this are truly enormous. We are only just at the beginning here as the Open Courseware movement takes off--initiated by MIT but having initiated the movement with their desire to place some (as it turns out a quite limited set of materials on line). Now we have an extensive set of other places on the web to gather great educational materials Take a look at the directory the New York Times managed to put together.

We need a discussion of the ways we can best use these materials--in schools, college and for online learning.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if I really agree. I've watched lectures/courses on Montgomery Public access, and those are some good teachers, but something about broadcasting versus physical presence detracts from the experience. It certainly feels less hands-on.

    Plus, I never really felt like I learned much from large lectures anyway, so the ability to watch one on Youtube may not be helpful to me after all.

    Just some thoughts, though...