DIYComputerScience.com is a sustainable social venture started with core principles of openness, equality, empowerment for students, and peer supported communities. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's principles of education among others, it aims to make content, community, and credentials available to students, teachers, and enthusiasts of Computer Science on the open Internet. ?
The current state of education and institutions is a far call from what it ideally should be. Education institutions should be shared spaces where any aspirant can come for meaningful discourse, and gain knowledge as well as skills, to earn a livelihood, and lead a good, productive life. However, to the contrary, our present educational institutions are more concerned about building walls which only the elite can cross, and then in branding these elite for the industry. This along with the shortage of good institutions causes a huge demand supply gap among the seekers and providers of learning. These are very often the cause of several ills such a rote learning, disinterested approach to learning, high stress and suicide among students, and inequalities in sociey.?
A possible answer to these problems is peer based, mentor facilitated learning using the open Internet. Very high quality content for learning is already available for free on the Internet, in form of open courseware, and several other resources. Technology makes it possible to build online spaces for peer collaboration and review. DIYComputerScience is an online space where students can learn Computer Science for free in a hands on, self paced manner, with supportive peers and mentors and finally create a portfolio of their work and interactions to serve as their credentials. ?
The peer based nature of learning makes it possible to achieve scale well beyond what is possible in a traditional classroom. The portfolio based learning makes it possible for students to learn at a comfortable pace, learn in the context of real projects, and show different facets of their capabilities. It also allows employers to get a full view of a learner's capabilities rather than just a grade point.
The long term vision of DIYComputerScience.com is to make hands on, project based, Computer Science learning, and credentials, available to any student with the desire to learn, regardless of their financial status, prior grades, or geographical location. ?
However, there is a lot of work to be done. Right now we have a few supporting courses, and one applied course (The Elements Of Computer Science) where a student builds an entire computer in simulation from the ground up, starting with basic logic gates, and going all the way to an assembler, programming language, and game. In time to come we will be adding several more hands on courses, especially for learning how to build web based applications, and for learning operating systems fundamentals.