BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol, has been embraced by Stanford University in distributing its online engineering courses. Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE) launched back in September, offering its open courseware under CC BY-NC-SA. Thanks to Ernesto at TorrentFreak for the tip:
“While some universities restrict the use of BitTorrent clients, others embrace the popular flilesharing protocol and use it to spread knowledge. Stanford University is one of the few to realize that BitTorrent does not equal piracy. They use BitTorrent to give away some of their engineering courses, with some success.”
Why does BitTorrent make sense for Stanford Engineering courses? Because unlike some of their OCW (Open CourseWare) counterparts, SEE offers more than just video lectures; Stanford Engineering Everywhere “provides downloads of full course materials including syllabi, handouts, homework and exams. Online study sessions through Facebook and other social sites are encouraged” (Stanford News Service). In addition to BitTorrent, the courses are also available via iTunes and YouTube.
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