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MIT looking for African open courseware partners

By   |  June 27, 2006

MIT OpenCourseWare is looking for African educational institutions to offer mirror sites for its free, Web-based teaching materials. The Open Courseware programme includes materials from 1 400 MIT courses from the 33 MIT academic disciplines and has be used globally by millions of learners and educators.

Unfortunately, says MIT OpenCourseWare’s Farnaz Haghseta, the OCW materials are largely underutilised in many African regions where Internet connectivity is limited. To overcome this limitation, MIT OCW is looking to collaborate with educational institutions that are interested in hosting a mirror site, or a local copy of the MIT OCW materials.

Through the MIT OCW in a Box programme, MIT OCW has received support to distribute MIT OCW in a Box packages for free to African institutions. Each package includes an external hard drive that contains an copy of the entire MIT OCW Web site (including videos), software tools, user documentation, and marketing material.

Haghseta says the goal of the programme is to have 100 mirror sites installed at African educational institutions by the end of 2006.

Interested institutions should contact Haghseta at


4 Responses to “MIT looking for African open courseware partners”

  1. Andrew Alston
    June 27th, 2006 @ 12:00 am

    Hi All,

    Just a note that OCW can be locally accessed in South Africa at Users are also free to rsync this content from rsync://

    Anyone who wants more information may contact TENET with regards to this mirror, and the other mirrors seen on


    Andrew Alston
    TENET – Chief Technology Officer

  2. MailMan
    June 28th, 2006 @ 12:00 am

    MIT does not mention OLPC initiative !!!

    As far as i can see quickly no word about
    OLPC which stands for ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD
    usd 100,- which is a basic portable notebook
    developed by MIT\’s Mr.Negroponti.The 100 usd
    benchmark is still impossible, apparantly at this stage around 145,- or so, no mentioning of taxes and transport costs,.VAT and so on.quantities of 6 million or so needs to be sold in order to achieve a low price as mentioned above.

    The children apparantly have to take the little notebook each day to school and home.

    Other initiatives by giants such as Microsoft,Intel, AMD, do have their own initiatives to digitalize counties like Brasil, India, China, Nigeria, South Africa.

    I fully agree with the necesity to role out
    as soon as possible the telecom infrastructure by cable and wireless all over the country,technically today a piece of cake,BROADBAND INTERNET is by far out the
    best opportunity to allow the poor acces to
    the information flow of the www, a small browser and a VOIP phone, which allows for practical free phonecalls and basic internet acces is what is needed,. it provides possibilities and opportunities for all, women, children,men,jobs, i can give a 100 examples, its mindblowing.

    My reservations with all the initiatives such as indicated above is that it would be much more effective when everyone who wants to add something team up as for instance why each child a laptop ? much more convenient, safe,cheaper to have fixed pc\’s at school with a strong server which allows the teacher
    to controle the tuition related issues.

    To give acces to children to the web and not to the whole family .i.e.parents as well is not clever.A massive amount of children, especially on the countryside are at the age of 4 – 5 years old already sofar behind in their overall development that they don\’t
    succeed to hang in or catch up at school where at this stage in time a level of education and quality is achieved of an emberrasing low level.
    BROADBAND INTERNET by sable,fibre,satellite
    is the way to go and at this moment \”exploding\” in the USA and other countries.The phones can be used at home and
    everywhere you offers possibilities like using it for payment like a creditcard,alarm button combined with GPS,browser which allows for TV reception, music, healthcare management and tons of other things.It will rapidly become affordable but for specific needs you have to
    [pro actively involved as government, because otherwise others will decide again what is good and what you need and what make sense.To fight poverty, malnutrinional habits,poor education, low productivity,abuse,ignorance,corruption,mismanagement by authorities is an uphill fight and a lack of coordination , planning, managing, commiting, has sofar consumed a staggering amount of development aid with
    practically no results.

    Education is the only way out, the PC can be of great added value for individual tuition and individual development.

    The above is probably on some points not correct and an over simplification of the situation, written by a european foreigner
    living here since 4 years.Those who predict and claim things go better and will improve the years to come close their eyes for the stagnation which becomes very visable on a day to day basis.A progressive,aggresive, pro active implementation of a solid modern infrastructure can make be the beginning of a positive vibe.

    The MailMan

  3. Jayalakshmi Chittoor
    July 3rd, 2006 @ 12:00 am

    We have to think of making the platform and content work on thin clients, refurbished computers, and with terrible connectivity, and with dial-up too.

    There may be tools like web2mail service which makes it possible for requests for information sent via email be downloaded by a help-desk server and content sent in smaller email attachments. Of course, in many places in India, the concept is making use of live CDs, and CDROM collections of resources. (which can be periodically updated).

    I appreciate the idea of MIT planning a mirror site or a supporting organisation in Africa to take the concept of Open Courseware and content to be better used.

    Please take a few moments and review our publications \”\” and \”\”

  4. Kevin
    July 16th, 2006 @ 12:00 am

    MailMan said:
    BROADBAND INTERNET by sable,fibre,satellite

    It\’s a good idea to get internet connectivity to rural areas, but Broadband Sable Internet? Don\’t know how fast Sable run…

Comments are closed