SiteofWeek052610It’s no surprise, really, but it turns out Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates is a strong supporter of the open-courseware movement that has swept through education in the last few years. On a new web site that Gates launched earlier this year, he discusses some of his favorite sources for online lectures and other learning materials. He also offers his thoughts on education reform and a host of other topics. “There are some great examples of how technology can enable almost anyone to learn from the world’s greatest minds,” he posted to GatesNotes.com. “A lot of people ask me what I’m reading, and how I learn about new topics that interest me. I am fortunate to have time to read a lot, and I also like to view courses online from MIT’s OpenCourseware, Academic Earth, and others.” GatesNotes is designed to share the technology icon’s thoughts and start discussions about a range of topics, from education and philanthropy to world health, energy, and the environment. In an interview with technology news source CNET, Gates said he plans to post content to the web site about three times a week, with some posts being brief and others being more in-depth. Gates says he’ll be writing soon about some of his favorite courses from MIT’s OpenCourseware project, as well as other good sources for online educational material. In another post dated Jan. 18, Gates indicates his support for the KIPP (“Knowledge Is Power Program”) model of K-12 education, which is new reflected I more than 60 U.S. middle schools. There’s also a video with Gates discussing what he sees as the strengths and weaknesses of American public education on CNN, although you need Microsoft Silverlight to watch it.
http://www.gatesnotes.com

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Jeff Festa