“Stanford University will soon begin offering a series of 10 free, online computer science and electrical engineering courses. Initial courses will provide an introduction to computer science and an introduction to field of robotics, among other topics. The courses, offered under the auspices of Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE), are nearly identical to standard courses offered to registered Stanford students and will comprise downloadable video lectures, handouts, assignments, exams, and transcripts. And get this: all the courses’ materials are being released under the Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.”
It is with great anticipation that I await the development of this trend. The Internet is capable of unlocking the “ivory tower” and it has been a question in my mind about whether educational institutions would start to abandon their monopoly on traditional learning environments and begin to truly make educational opportunity available to anyone who can access the Internet.
update: via Slashdot on September 22, 2008:
mjasay writes “As if the proprietary software world needed any help, two business professors from Harvard and Stanford have combined to publish ‘Divide and Conquer: Competing with Free Technology Under Network Effects,’ a research paper dedicated to helping business executives fight the onslaught of open source software.
The professors advise ‘the commercial vendor … to bring its product to market first, to judiciously improve its product features, to keep its product “closed” so the open source product cannot tap into the network already built by the commercial product, and to segment the market so it can take advantage of a divide-and-conquer strategy.’
The professors also suggest that ’embrace and extend’ is a great model for when the open source product gets to market first. Glad to see that $48,921 that Stanford MBAs pay being put to good use. Having said that, such research is perhaps a great, market-driven indication that open source is having a serious effect on proprietary technology vendors.”