Academic Earth: What the Internet is all about

I'm optimistic that we will continue to realize the amazing potential of the Internet for doing good. What Academic Earth is trying to accomplish is one reason why I feel that way.

Normally I'm alerting you about networking security issues or new technology in the networking world. For this one article, I humbly beg your indulgence as I'm diverting from the norm. Recently, I was made aware of Richard Ludlow in a BusinessWeek article that mentioned his nomination as a finalist for America's best young entrepreneurs in 2008.

Free for the viewing

Ludlow is a bright young entrepreneur with an academic bent. His idea is to amass world-class (Harvard, MIT, Yale, and other powerhouse university) lectures and course material in video format and publish them via the Internet. Ludlow's intention is to provide the university classes at no charge. Eventually, he hopes to make money by offering content from think tanks, advertising deals, subscriptions, and even for-pay tutoring.

My curiosity was piqued enough that I went to Ludlow's Web site, Academic Earth. After I perused the Web site, the cliché "So many books and so little time" immediately popped into my head. It seems that Ludlow is serious about providing an educational service.

IT-related courses

Academic Earth has 10 courses and three guest lectures related to computer science and digital communications. Needless to say, these were the courses that got me excited, especially since the professors are all well-known experts. For instance, in my research, I've read several of Harvard professor David Malan's papers, and he has four courses on the Academic Earth Web site.

Final thoughts

I've become acutely aware that TechRepublic members are learning aficionados of IT and even non-IT related subjects. Knowing that, I hope that Academic Earth and its valuable resources may be of some use.

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