Thursday, January 10, 2008

Self Learning: John Kubiatowicz's CS 162 Class: iTunes U a reality?

John Kubiatowicz has put up a CS class to iTunes U. I've listened to the introduction and am hooked, Im going to keep listening. I then did some googling and found this (presentation slides etc) I *think* (but am not sure) that I can get pretty much get everything I need to sort of "take the course," except that I actually have no one to ask questions to, I do not have a group for the work.

What Prof Kubiatowicz and UC Berkeley have done with this sort of "independent learning" using iTunesU, is create an "Open Source" like class; akin to Prof. Humphrey's class I took last semester. Where John talks about Operating Systems, Dave et. Mozilla Devs talk about Firefox/Mozilla, Dave does not have audio of himself, but he does have videos of mozilla devs talking about subjects like debugging, XPCOM and Extensions.

Dave also taught about the "process of open source," where a programmer uses tools like wikis, irc, and blogs to strengthen the learning and development process (a practice I will continue to use for my classes, with the exception to IRC)

Could I take Kubiatowicz's class like I was a student with severe mobility imparement and unable to go to class "in the flesh?" Lets see. Over the course of my last semester here at Seneca, I will also attempt to treat Kubiatowicz's lectures/homework/assignments like my other classes lectures/assignments I'll even attempt to fairly administer the midterm/exams to myself (if I fail... I'll lie and tell you I did great :P). I'll blog, keep work on the wiki, and listen to lectures 2ce a week (I have time on wednesdays & mondays).

Perhaps people will read my blogs and we can form some sort of work group?

Anywho. There are risks involved here, I'll look pretty silly if I start doing a class and stop doing it because I have too much other work. I also have 5 other "real life" classes which will demand serious time and effort to get assignments and projects complete. We shall see I guess.

Note: I lack some of the prerequisite knowledge for his class this may cause me to stumble in later situations
"C, Java, and data structures (at the level covered in CS 61B/61C), have done some MIPS assembly language programming, and that you know about series and products, logarithms, advanced algebra, some calculus, and basic probability"

Note 2: Im going to give this a few weeks before I buy the text.

1 comment:

Jesse said...

I imagine these open courses are hard to get going and hard to stay motivated with without a 'user group' of some sort. For instance see - something I would have been interested in but a couple years too late. The lack of math skill is also a hurdle to any real CS self-study. Personally I've been interested in doing something similar myself but I'm not sure I have the discipline to treat it like a real course. If you can do that on top of keeping up with your "real work", then hats off to you.