Wednesday, April 23, 2008

You can't beat free

Last night at the Everett school district technology advisory board meeting we were discussing the development of some new programming classes. I reminded everyone of a site for high school computer science instructors that I had posted some time ago. Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) is an organization that supports K-12 teachers in the computing disciplines. It is an offshoot of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) which is one of the best known and most respected academic and scientific computing societies. CSTA has a variety of resources, model curriculum and teacher development programs (check their fact sheet for more details).

In addition to CSTA, their is a growing movement of open courseware, much like open source software. You might want to start at the Open Courseware Consortium. Here is what they have to say about the topic:
An OpenCourseWare is a free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials, organized as courses. The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a collaboration of more than 100 higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model. The mission of the OpenCourseWare Consortium is to advance education and empower people worldwide through opencourseware.
Click their USE link and you will see a listing of schools from around the global that have published course content free for your use in your programs. The best known of these is MIT's OpenCourseWare site. Yes, there are materials, notes and exams for over 1,800 MIT courses available at the site.

But wait....there's more! If you order in the next 10 minutes you'll get access to the MIT OpenCourseWare Highlights for High School, which focuses on that content most useful for high schools students and teachers.

Hopefully all these resources will make the job of building new or expanding existing coursework a little easier for you.

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