MIT Open Learning
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MIT Open Learning

2021 in Review: OCW’s 20th Anniversary Year

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Open Matters | MIT OpenCourseWare

The clock is ticking, and soon 2022 will arrive with all the fresh resolutions, hopes, and plans for what a new year will bring.

This year you helped us celebrate 20 years of open sharing, and in big ways and small showed up with generosity on behalf of OpenCourseWare. Whether you volunteered your time, donated your money, helped grow our online community, or shared your learning journey with us, we are deeply grateful to everyone who helped make this milestone year one to remember.

So before we turn the page on 2021, here’s a look back on some of the year’s best moments here at OCW:

  • 446 users signed up to preview the NextGen OCW platform and give feedback that will help us enhance the site for learners everywhere before it launches in 2022.
  • Over 1,000 supporters gave back to OCW with a donation during our 20th anniversary crowdfund campaign this spring.

Your support helps us share knowledge. If you haven’t yet, please consider making your gift before the year ends to help us keep OCW growing with new courses, new learners, and new ambitions for what the future of knowledge can be.

  • OCW joined the open community at Open Education Week to discuss the origins of OCW, the pathways it’s forged, and the possibilities for further democratizing education with open educational resources (OER).
  • Patrick Winston’s legendary How to Speak lecture surpassed 5 million views on YouTube.
  • More than 1,500 people tuned in for live events with our team to learn about the Magic Behind OCW , OCW Reaching Out to the World , and of course, to help us celebrate 20 Years of OCW .
  • You helped us cruise past our goal of reaching 10,000 followers on Instagram-if you haven’t already, give us a follow @mitocw!
  • You told us what 20 years of OCW means to you , and inspired us with over 100 heartfelt memories and stories about OCW on our virtual birthday card .
  • Chalk Radio released 8 episodes taking you behind the scenes of how MIT instructors are teaching climate change, aerospace engineering, civic engagement, and more. Season 3 is underway, so be sure to subscribe to catch the latest episodes in the new year.
  • Two videos beautifully captured the impact of 20 years of OCW for teaching here at MIT and learners around the world.
  • 35 generous fans served as OCW ambassadors to help us raise awareness and support for OCW resources during our 20th-anniversary campaign.
  • In an OCW first, the global public was invited to watch and comment on videos for Prof. M. Amah Edoh’s 21A.S01 Reparations for Slavery and Colonization: Contemporary Movements for Justice at the same time as MIT students in a creative experiment in making open education more of a two-way street .
  • We answered learner questions in a series on our blog about the making of OCW, working with MIT faculty, and everything in between. See what’s on your fellow learners’ minds .
  • OCW leadership Curt Newton and Krishna Rajagopal laid out a vision for the future of open learning at MIT in a Technology Day presentation for MIT alumni at this year’s Tech Reunion.
  • We added 14 educator resources in 2021, including an interview with Professor Justin Reich on Envisioning the Graduate of the Future .

None of this would have been possible without our terrific learner community. Thanks for joining us this year, and for everything you do to support free access to knowledge. Here’s to a new year of learning together!

The MIT OpenCourseWare team

Originally published at on December 21, 2021.




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