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  • How the ZX Spectrum and ZX81 shaped Frank Sidebottom Creative commons image Icon James / The Being Frank Movie under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license

    How the ZX Spectrum and ZX81 shaped Frank Sidebottom

    By Rhys James Jones

    Rhys James Jones traces the legendary Frank Sidebottom's roots back to the early days of home computing. (When ...

    New content

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    Video

    5 mins

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    19 Apr 2017

  • How the ZX Spectrum and ZX81 shaped Frank Sidebottom

    Featuring: Video Video
    How the ZX Spectrum and ZX81 shaped Frank Sidebottom Creative commons image Icon James / The Being Frank Movie under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license New content
    Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 19 Apr 2017
    Rhys James Jones traces the legendary Frank Sidebottom's roots back to the early days of home computing. (When "computing" was a thing you did, and doing it...
  • Hands-free phone tech is dangerous - so why do car firms still promote it? Creative commons image Icon amish.patel under Creative Commons BY-ND 4.0 license

    Hands-free phone tech is dangerous - so why do car firms still promote it?

    By Dr Gemma Briggs

    Using a hands free phone while driving is as dangerous as holding a phone - and yet they're marketed as a desirable...

    New content

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    Article

    5 mins

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    13 Apr 2017

  • Hands-free phone tech is dangerous - so why do car firms still promote it?

    Hands-free phone tech is dangerous - so why do car firms still promote it? Creative commons image Icon amish.patel under Creative Commons BY-ND 4.0 license New content
    Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 13 Apr 2017
    Using a hands free phone while driving is as dangerous as holding a phone - and yet they're marketed as a desirable extra. Dr Gemma Briggs wonders why.
  • Virtual reality, 19th Century style: The history of the panorama and balloon view Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: Rudolph Ackermann

    Virtual reality, 19th Century style: The history of the panorama and balloon view

    By Dr Lily Ford

    Across the late 18th and 19th centuries, the public embraced the magic of the panorama - a clamour which owed a lot...

    Updated content

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    Article

    5 mins

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    13 Apr 2017

  • Virtual reality, 19th Century style: The history of the panorama and balloon view

    Virtual reality, 19th Century style: The history of the panorama and balloon view Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: Rudolph Ackermann Updated content
    Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 13 Apr 2017
    Across the late 18th and 19th centuries, the public embraced the magic of the panorama - a clamour which owed a lot to the popularity of hot air ballooning.
  • Are robots about to take jobs from the poor? Creative commons image Icon Steve Jurvetson under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license

    Are robots about to take jobs from the poor?

    By Aisling Irwin

    A new generation of robots could be expanding their career options - and that could be catastrophic news for the...

    Read more about Managing projects through people

    Article

    5 mins

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    20 Mar 2017

  • Are robots about to take jobs from the poor?

    Are robots about to take jobs from the poor? Creative commons image Icon Steve Jurvetson under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license
    Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 20 Mar 2017
    A new generation of robots could be expanding their career options - and that could be catastrophic news for the poorest in the world, says Aisling Irwin.
  • The Switch tells us a lot about Nintendo Creative commons image Icon Elvis untot under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license

    The Switch tells us a lot about Nintendo

    By Dr Brendan Cassidy

    Nintendo's new console, the Switch, makes perfect sense in light of the company's history, says Brendan Cassidy.

    Read more about Managing projects through people

    Video

    5 mins

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    08 Mar 2017

  • The Switch tells us a lot about Nintendo

    Featuring: Video Video
    The Switch tells us a lot about Nintendo Creative commons image Icon Elvis untot under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license
    Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 08 Mar 2017
    Nintendo's new console, the Switch, makes perfect sense in light of the company's history, says Brendan Cassidy.
  • Project Fear: Fear is coming Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Simon Bell, Charles Cutting & The Open University

    Project Fear: Fear is coming

    By Professor Simon Bell

    An uncertain world. Can systems thinking free us from fear? Simon Bell & Charles Cutting's graphic novel asks the...

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    Activity

    5 mins

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    07 Mar 2017

  • Project Fear: Fear is coming

    Featuring: Video Video Activity Activity
    Project Fear: Fear is coming Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Simon Bell, Charles Cutting & The Open University
    Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 07 Mar 2017
    An uncertain world. Can systems thinking free us from fear? Simon Bell & Charles Cutting's graphic novel asks the question.
  • What is inclusive design and how are Microsoft using it to make the XBox better? Creative commons image Icon ViperSnake151 under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license

    What is inclusive design and how are Microsoft using it to make the XBox better?

    In this short video, Microsoft's XBox team explain how they used inclusive design to improve everyone's social gaming...

    Read more about Managing projects through people

    Video

    5 mins

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    15 Feb 2017

  • What is inclusive design and how are Microsoft using it to make the XBox better?

    Featuring: Video Video
    What is inclusive design and how are Microsoft using it to make the XBox better? Creative commons image Icon ViperSnake151 under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license
    Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 15 Feb 2017
    In this short video, Microsoft's XBox team explain how they used inclusive design to improve everyone's social gaming experience.
  • If a pig gives you a new liver, do you give the pig rights? Creative commons image Icon Liquid emulsion under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license

    If a pig gives you a new liver, do you give the pig rights?

    By Joshua Shepherd

    Science is pushing ahead developing human-animal chimera creatures. Ethicists need to keep up to be ready for them,...

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    Article

    5 mins

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    13 Feb 2017

  • If a pig gives you a new liver, do you give the pig rights?

    If a pig gives you a new liver, do you give the pig rights? Creative commons image Icon Liquid emulsion under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
    Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 13 Feb 2017
    Science is pushing ahead developing human-animal chimera creatures. Ethicists need to keep up to be ready for them, says Joshua Shepherd.
  • City in The Sky Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The BBC

    City in The Sky

    This three-part OU/BBC co-production on BBC Two investigates the 'City in the Sky'. You will never look at your time aloft in the same way...

    Read more: City in The Sky

    TV Programme

    Updated on:

    29 Jan 2017

  • City in The Sky

    City in The Sky Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The BBC
    Updated 29 Jan 2017
    This three-part OU/BBC co-production on BBC Two investigates the 'City in the Sky'. You will never look at your time aloft in the same way again…
  • Desert Island Discs at 75: An OpenLearn listening list Creative commons image Icon StagiaireMGIMO under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license

    Desert Island Discs at 75: An OpenLearn listening list

    By The OpenLearn team

    This weekend, BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs celebrates its 75th anniversary. Join us for a rummage in the...

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    Audio

    10 mins

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    27 Jan 2017

  • Desert Island Discs at 75: An OpenLearn listening list

    Featuring: Audio Audio
    Desert Island Discs at 75: An OpenLearn listening list Creative commons image Icon StagiaireMGIMO under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license
    Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 27 Jan 2017
    This weekend, BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs celebrates its 75th anniversary. Join us for a rummage in the archives.

    Free OpenLearn courses.
    Free extracts from OU course materials

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  • Design thinking

    Are you ever frustrated with something that you thought you could design better? This free course, Design thinking, will show you how to structure...

    Try: Design thinking now

    Free course

    10 hours

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    01 Jan 2017

  • Design thinking

    Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video Activity Activity
    Design thinking Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission
    Introductory level Duration 10 hours Updated 01 Jan 2017
    Are you ever frustrated with something that you thought you could design better?...
  • Manufacturing

    How are designs turned into products? What resources, materials and methods are used and what set of activities goes under the heading of ...

    Try: Manufacturing now

    Free course

    20 hours

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    12 Aug 2016

  • Manufacturing

    Free Course Free Course
    Manufacturing Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission
    Introductory level Duration 20 hours Updated 12 Aug 2016
    How are designs turned into products? What resources, materials and methods are...
  • Innovation through representation

    Innovations are realised through design, and some of the most useful tools in the designer's toolbox are the representations that are used to move...

    Try: Innovation through representation now

    Free course

    15 hours

    Level: 3 Advanced

    Updated on:

    23 Mar 2016

  • Innovation through representation

    Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video
    Innovation through representation
    Advanced level Duration 15 hours Updated 23 Mar 2016
    Innovations are realised through design, and some of the most useful tools in the...
  • Invention and innovation: An introduction

    This free course, Invention and innovation: An introduction, is for designers, engineers, technologists and anyone interested in designing and...

    Try: Invention and innovation: An introduction now

    Free course

    55 hours

    Level: 3 Advanced

    Updated on:

    23 Mar 2016

  • Invention and innovation: An introduction

    Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video
    Invention and innovation: An introduction Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission
    Advanced level Duration 55 hours Updated 23 Mar 2016
    This free course, Invention and innovation: An introduction, is for designers,...
  • Introduction to finite element analysis

    What is finite element analysis (what is it and why do we carry it out? This free course, Introduction to finite element analysis, introduces the...

    Try: Introduction to finite element analysis now

    Free course

    7 hours

    Level: 3 Advanced

    Updated on:

    23 Mar 2016

  • Introduction to finite element analysis

    Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video
    Introduction to finite element analysis Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: Red Bull Racing
    Advanced level Duration 7 hours Updated 23 Mar 2016
    What is finite element analysis (what is it and why do we carry it out? This free...
  • Seeing the light

    This free course, Seeing the light, will teach you about how the Sun affects your home, both in terms of light and warmth and the energy it...

    Try: Seeing the light now

    Free course

    10 hours

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    21 Mar 2016

  • Seeing the light

    Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video
    Seeing the light Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © audioundwerbung/iStockphoto.com
    Introductory level Duration 10 hours Updated 21 Mar 2016
    This free course, Seeing the light, will teach you about how the Sun affects your...
  • People-centred designing

    Designed products surround us all and range from bus tickets to buildings. This free course, People-centred designing, focuses firmly on usability...

    Try: People-centred designing now

    Free course

    12 hours

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    17 Mar 2016

  • People-centred designing

    Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video Activity Activity
    People-centred designing Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission
    Introductory level Duration 12 hours Updated 17 Mar 2016
    Designed products surround us all and range from bus tickets to buildings. This...
  • Design

    This free course looks at the process of design, from assessing the complexity of design as an activity to exposing the difficulty in making...

    Try: Design now

    Free course

    28 hours

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    17 Mar 2016

  • Design

    Free Course Free Course
    Design Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission
    Introductory level Duration 28 hours Updated 17 Mar 2016
    This free course looks at the process of design, from assessing the complexity of...
  • Introducing engineering

    Engineering encompasses a broad range of disciplines from design to manufacturing. This free course, Introducing engineering, introduces a number...

    Try: Introducing engineering now

    Free course

    15 hours

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    29 Jan 2015

  • Introducing engineering

    Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video
    Introducing engineering Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: VIADGRIN shutterstock
    Introductory level Duration 15 hours Updated 29 Jan 2015
    Engineering encompasses a broad range of disciplines from design to manufacturing....
  • Design for beginners

    How do you create depth and tone on paper? How do you create a cd case from scratch? Steve Garner, Professor of Design at The Open University answers these...

    By The iTunes U team

    Watch now: Design for beginners

    Video

    20 mins

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    27 May 2011

  • Design for beginners

    Featuring: Video Video
    Design for beginners Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2011
    Introductory level Duration 20 mins Updated 27 May 2011
    How do you create depth and tone on paper? How do you create a cd case from...