Pulling Back the Curtain: MIT OCW Educator Takes Teachers Behind the Scenes with MIT Faculty

Concurrent Session 8

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Learn how MIT OpenCourseWare is helping educators find teaching resources through their recent OCW Educator innovation. Presenters demonstrate how to use OCW Educator, engage participants in guided practice, and facilitate small group discussions about how to improve this innovation for educators in online and blended environments. 


Sarah Hansen began her career as an elementary school teacher. After earning her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, she taught new teachers at the university level. She now helps teachers across the globe gain access to free and open educational materials through MIT OpenCourseWare.
As OCW’s Publication Director, Joe Pickett leads the team of people who recruit MIT instructors to share their course materials with the world and who assemble those materials into websites. Before coming to OCW, Joe was Executive Editor for many years at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where he led the dictionary editorial group in its efforts to identify new words and meanings, investigate word histories, and monitor changes in English usage. He was Executive Editor for both the fourth and fifth editions of the The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language and oversaw the creation of many other word-related reference books during his tenure. Prior to this work, he was an associate editor on The Middle English Dictionary project, a major scholarly work on the vocabulary of English from the Norman conquest of English in 1066 to the introduction of printing in 1470. Joe holds a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan. He lives in Salem, Massachusetts.

Extended Abstract

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a free and open publication of material from thousands of MIT courses, covering the entire MIT curriculum and used by millions of learners and educators around the world. OCW’s latest innovation is the development of OCW Educator, a collection of resources designed “pull back the curtain” on MIT teaching. It takes secondary and post-secondary teachers behind scenes with MIT faculty and shares creative commons licensed content and instructional approaches that teachers can re-use and remix in their own classrooms. The purpose of our presentation is to inspire teachers in blended and online learning environments to use OCW Educator to identify resources from MIT that can inspire and reinvigorate learning experiences for their students. We also hope to collect teachers’ insights about how to improve OCW Educator specifically for teachers facilitating online and blended learning experiences.

Session Outcomes

As a result of attending our session, participants will:

1) Learn about the latest MIT OpenCourseWare innovation designed especially for secondary and post-secondary teachers and become inspired to access and find teaching resources for their own online and blended learning environments.

2) Understand how to use the OCW Educator search tool to identify open and free teaching approaches and materials for use in their own classrooms.

4) Collaborate with others to identify ways to improve future iterations of OCW Educator for the benefit of secondary and post-secondary educators teaching in online and blended environments.

Presentation Format and Participant Engagement

In the first 10 minutes, we will orient participants to MIT OpenCourseWare, explain the purpose of OCW Educator, and briefly share how educators around the globe use our resources in their teaching. Next (in 10 minutes), we will share examples of OCW Educator teaching insights and materials (spotlighting examples from blended courses), and demonstrate how to find these resources using the OCW Educator search tool. Participants will then engage in 10 minutes of guided practice in using the OCW Educator search tool to identify resources for their own online and blended classrooms.

We will conclude with a 15-minute interactive discussion (leveraging the think-pair-share strategy in small groups) about how we might improve OCW Educator in future iterations so as to specifically benefit educators teaching in online and blended environments. Our focus will be on leveraging the expertise of the participants to develop solutions for common challenges and to identify new ways to move our work forward.

Materials to be Disseminated

  • Presentation notes
  • Sample OCW Educator instructional insights
  • Sample OCW teaching materials
  • Customized teaching resource lists