By the end of the year, MIT will put its entire catalogue of course materials online for free access. Only 5 years old, MIT's OpenCourseWare already contains complete information from 1,550 out of 1,800 total courses. Materials available online include lecture notes, assignments, podcasts, and videocasts.
What impact might this have on the education gap? Will only the highly literate and connected benefit? Perhaps, as internet access becomes cheaper and more widespread, free and highly reputable academic repositories such as OpenCourseWare will make education accessible to more of the population.
Should universities and schools be concerned about being replaced by electronically available informtaion? I doubt it. I think such repositories will act as an additional resource, a parallel service to the in-person and community-based teaching offered on college campuses.
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Related: How the Open Source Movement Has Changed Education: 10 Success Stories from Online Education Database