Innovation That Matters

Free video lectures by top scholars

Publishing & Media

Video instruction is something we’ve recently seen applied to music, golf and cricket. Now, through Academic Earth, it’s being brought—for free—to virtually every scholarly topic under the sun. New York-based Academic Earth aims to make a world-class education available to everyone on the planet. Toward that end, it is building a user-friendly ecosystem that gives internet users around the globe the ability to find, interact with and learn from full video courses and lectures from the world’s leading scholars. More than 1,500 video lectures are currently available on the site, covering economics, entrepreneurship, history, law, medicine, religion and the sciences, among many other topics. A series of thematic collections, meanwhile, combine lectures to create courses such as “Understanding the Financial Crisis” and “Social Entrepreneurship 101.” Faculty for Academic Earth’s lectures are drawn from Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford and Yale, and courses are offered under a Creative Commons license through open course programs at the universities. Associated materials include lecture transcripts, handouts, reading assignments, tests and problem sets; some classes are also available as podcasts. Academic Earth’s courses cannot be used to get real academic credit, but they can be saved, rated and shared as favourites; they can also be used to gain status skills aplenty. The next step, it seems to us, will be to provide translations or variations that open it up to non-English speakers around the planet—and indeed, the site is actively seeking additional partners to expand its offerings. Educators, academic representatives and experts around the globe: one to get involved in? Spotted by: Judy McRae



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