The link above is to a superb collection of the best that’s currently available when it comes to ‘free’ online material for learning. It includes a number of links to other webpages that compile details of free content ‘out there’. Beyond the obvious, MIT, Khan Academy or Curriki there were many here that I wasn’t aware of.
It also seemed clear to me reading this article and others recently that this is an area that’s really heating up with many start-up internet companies also getting in to the realm of free content for education (their business models look at various other ways to make their money rather than charging for the content).
If I was in the business of publishing text books or paid online content this wealth of material being made free of charge would have me decidedly uncomfortable. However, sitting on the other side of the fence I am filled with optimism to see what’s transpiring. Not only does it offer so much scope for learners to take ownership of their own lifelong learning without being held back as much by financial limitations (getting online still costs, of course!), but also, as I’ve written in a couple of articles recently I see it changing the perspectives fundamentally about how teachers perceive themselves, their roles and how they best add value to students as learners. This could lead to enormous positive strides in education.