For AP Calc Teachers, a MIT OCW + OpenStudy Course to prepare you!

Where is a teacher to turn when he or she is assigned to teach an AP course, in Calculus.  Well, try one of the OpenCourse ware courses says, Susan Gilleran, a seasoned educator from Ann Arbor Michigan.  She recommends MIT OCW’s Introduction to Calculus.  (

What is OpenCourseWare you ask? The concept of sharing educational resources freely around the world, referred to as “open education resources (OER)” or “open courseware“, is now gaining mainstream acceptance both inside and outside of the academy and has been adopted by over 200 higher education institutions worldwide.   According to the OpenCourseWare Consortium (OCW), open education has three main advantages: access and distribution of knowledge to regions of the world where higher education is not readily available; recruitment and retention of students, as well as curriculum development and research collaboration among faculty; and sustainability of interest in and access to higher education.  The OCW Consortium offers thousands of free, high-quality courses, developed by hundreds of faculty, used by millions worldwide. OCW is attractive to students (42%), self-learners (43%), and educators, with large numbers (46%) of users from the US.

The largest OER provider is the OpenCourseWare (OCW) Consortium, which includes over 200 universities that are making thousands of courses and other materials available online via web sites, iTunes U, and YouTube EDU. Some of the world’s best institutions of higher learning offer their courses on OCW, MIT, Yale, Berkeley, University of Korea, Johns Hopkins, U Michigan, U. Delft to name a few. These courses are immensely popular; MIT’s well-known OCW site gets 9 million unique visitors.  About 40 to 45 percent of OCW users are traditional students (15-24 years old), another 40 to 45 percent are professionals and independent learners, and the rest are teachers, educators, and others.

For the K-12 community, Open Educational Resources and the OCW content offer educational enhancement opportunities at several levels.  Course material on all manners of subjects is freely available and downloadable in different formats and can help teachers better prepare themselves or improve and enhance their instructional content.   Consider this:

  • For teachers being asked to teach a relatively new subject or just reenergize, (a Math teacher being asked to teach Physics- does it ever happen?)
  • For students wishing to prepare for AP exams or college level courses
  • For high school students wanting to explore a new subject, anthropology?
  • For college-bound students in the process of applying, wishing to learn about the institution and its academic environment, well, you have the insider’s view now.

What is missing on OCW courses are the people to answer questions and chat with.  Recently, OpenStudy, a company that I co-founded, offers way for learners on OCW to meet and chat and learn together and fills that  very need.  Why study alone when you can study together?  There are 5000 others like you studying Single Variable Calculus on OpenStudy’s study group for this course.  Check it out and let me know. (


About Preetha Ram

I am an educator (Dean for PreHealth and Science Education at Emory), social entrepreneur (Cofounder of OpenStudy, a global study group to connect learners) and visionary (let's build a classroom for the world to study together). A chemist by training (Yale), I like to solve problems by building bridges at the edges and interstices of disciplinary boundaries.

Posted on January 12, 2011, in E-learning, Science Education. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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