Dear Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Greetings from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Thank you very much for considering writing a story about WUaS in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Like Wikipedia, WUaS is seeking to generate a group knowledge approach to an open, free university and school, where we can all teach to each other, with a focus on excellence. WUaS has already aggregated some of this open teaching and learning content from the Web (e.g. http://khanacademy.org is spread throughout WUaS, and Jimmy Ruska's helpful, fun, web design tutorials are here: http://worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/Web_Page_Design_and_Production; both are fascinating examples of individuals teaching to the Web, and are WUaS models) . And like the open, free, excellent MIT OCW (I enjoyed your article Eleanor here: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07322/834852-298.stm), Yale OYC, Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE), etc., WUaS would like to facilitate access to, conversation with, and building upon great universities' open course ware for its academic standard, making this wiki-available to everyone, and eventually for free degrees.
Thank you, too, for your helpful overview of a city's educational foci, Eleanor, in Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/Eleanor_Chute.
What can World University and School offer Pittsburgh? (... at this point, as a free, open teaching and learning wiki resource, which thrives on group knowledge production, and people clicking 'edit this page,' and making good edits, and adding great content?). There's a free, doctoral degree from Harvard (http://worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/Courses#Free_Ph.D), for one. And as a growing, educational meta-directory, creative commons, free and open source, there are already a great many resources linked at WUaS, for the self-directed learner
(e.g. online Libraries -
online Museums -
Free educational software -
the beginning of an all instrument Music School -
with online jamming possibilities, and much, much more.)
What can it offer Pittsburgh in the future? Free degrees (vis-a-vis your article on the costs of education here, Eleanor - http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11041/1123032-298.stm - for example), and a developing, learned and focused conversation about almost any fascinating subject (e.g. anyone can add a subject they are interested in, both 'academic' and 'open,' and MIT OCW courses anchor the academic subjects). As an aggregator of free, educational resources, especially online degrees and certificate programs from all over the world, I hope WUaS will become a rich resource for all for free, online credentialed learning. This 'Subject Template' is important for understanding WUaS's future, as well: http://worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/SUBJECT_TEMPLATE.
None of the other free, online university projects (http://worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/Courses#Course_listings.27_aggregates) focus both on Wiki (editable web pages) and great universities' open course ware (this is WUaS's list of great universities' whose open course ware WUaS will focus on aggregating with time - http://worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/Courses#University_course_listings), where you or I can also teach to our web cameras or in virtual worlds, that I have seen. This distinguishes WUaS from all other online university projects, as far as I can tell. And education hasn't taken advantage of the distributed nature of the web - a real time worldwide communication network, in its infancy - where we are all producers and consumers of teaching and learning resources, for very, very low costs.
In what ways could WUaS benefit from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette coverage? Credibility / legitimacy, visibility and fund-raising contacts are key benefits, besides helping to build a community of Universitians - a group of teachers, learners and editors - like Wikipedians. Getting / Google committee decision-making process, as we expand. And WUaS would like to scale up to the size of an Intel, for example - potentially in all 3,000-8,000 languages and nation states).
Thank you again for considering the possibility of writing a story, and let's stay in touch. I may return to Pittsburgh for my mother's birthday (on April 2nd), and a favorite Shady Side, high school, English teacher, Bill Tadler's 75th birthday (on April 9th), and would love to talk with you in person, Eleanor, if you might be available (and if I come). WUaS is also curious what open, free resources both of you would suggest adding?
I think WUaS's open teaching and learning wiki will benefit Pittsburgh significantly, and also be a great scoop for the Post-Gazette.
All the best,
(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2011/03/western-pennsylvania-colors-newspaper.html - March 11, 2011)