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Early adopters: What are smartphones doing to children?

Early adopters: What are smartphones doing to children? Creative commons image Steve Paine under Creative Commons BY-ND 4.0 license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 09 Jun 2016
Children - very young children - are adept at using iPads and other touchscreen technologies. Should we worry? Probably not, says Olivia Solon.

Will a new European law mean YouTube has to monitor your uploads?

Will a new European law mean YouTube has to monitor your uploads? Creative commons image Erich Ferdinand under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license
Intermediate level Duration 10 mins Updated 01 Jun 2016
New proposals from the European Commission could force some internet hosting sites to proactively monitor everything posted to their sites. Daphne...

Are old voting machines a threat to democracy?

Are old voting machines a threat to democracy? Creative commons image Joebeone under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 26 May 2016
Although e-voting might seem like a modern way of running an election, in the US the current infrastructure is already sliding into obsolesence -...

A short history of the early days of artificial intelligence

A short history of the early days of artificial intelligence Copyright free image Copyright free: Archive.org
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 26 May 2016
Artificial Intelligence seems very much of our time - but as Jessica Riskin explains, history records many attempts to create machines that think.

How the stove changed the kitchen

How the stove changed the kitchen Creative commons image The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 21 Apr 2016
The introduction of the gas stove more than a hundred years ago completely changed the way we use the kitchen—and the rest of our homes.

OpenLearn Live: 21st April 2016

Featuring: Video Video
OpenLearn Live: 21st April 2016 Copyright free image Copyright free: National Institute of Standards and Technology
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 21 Apr 2016
A better way to measure time. Then more free learning through the day.

OpenLearn Live: 8th April 2016

Featuring: Video Video
OpenLearn Live: 8th April 2016 Creative commons image game boy band pepino under Creative Commons BY-NC 4.0 license
Duration 5 mins Updated 08 Apr 2016
The attempt to drag cassette tapes into the late 20th Century that unspooled. Then more free learning through the day.

Why has reaching the Chinese internet audience just got a little harder?

Why has reaching the Chinese internet audience just got a little harder? Creative commons image 陈 少举 under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 07 Apr 2016
The Chinese State is tightening rules on how foreign organisations reach its citizens online. Oiwan Lam explains.

OpenLearn Live: 7th April 2016

Featuring: Video Video
OpenLearn Live: 7th April 2016 Creative commons image Kārlis Dambrāns under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 07 Apr 2016
The specs couldn't save Google's digital specs. Then more free learning across the day.

Free OpenLearn courses.
OU course extracts and exclusive free courses

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Technology, innovation and management

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video
Technology, innovation and management Copyrighted image Copyright: David Parker / Science Photo Library / Universal Images Group
Advanced level Duration 10 hours Updated 29 Apr 2016
Develop a critical understanding of technological innovation and management. This free course, Technology, innovation and management, will provide...

Structural devices

Free Course Free Course
Structural devices Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 20 hours Updated 29 Mar 2016
Microelectronics has enabled designers of integrated circuits to exercise complete control over the electrical characteristics of each component...

Finding information in technology

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Audio Audio Activity Activity
Finding information in technology Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 9 hours Updated 22 Mar 2016
The internet provides a world of information, but how do you find what you are looking for? This free course, Finding information in technology,...

Structural materials in cells

Free Course Free Course
Structural materials in cells Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 20 hours Updated 17 Mar 2016
Where does the structure of our body come from? This free course, Structural materials in cells, looks at the structure of cells and how proteins...

Microelectronic solutions for digital photography

Free Course Free Course
Microelectronic solutions for digital photography Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 4 hours Updated 17 Mar 2016
The human eye is a fascinating and complicated device, but how do digital cameras capture images? This free course, Microelectronic solutions for...

Potable water treatment

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video Activity Activity
Potable water treatment Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 20 hours Updated 17 Mar 2016
Without it we are dead! Water is essential, but what processes must it go through to become fit for human consumption? This free course, Potable...

Creating musical sounds

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video Audio Audio Activity Activity
Creating musical sounds Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 20 hours Updated 27 Jan 2015
How do different instruments produce the sounds we classify as music? How do we decide whether something whether a piano or a vacuum cleaner is...

Sound for music technology: An introduction

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Audio Audio
Sound for music technology: An introduction Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 20 hours Updated 26 Sep 2014
Whether you're a professional musician, play music with your friends on the weekends or just like to listen to CDs, music technology affects your...

Revolutions in sound recording

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Audio Audio Activity Activity
Revolutions in sound recording Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 12 hours Updated 13 Sep 2012
Since the invention of the phonograph in 1877, the recording and playback of sound has been a key element of life in the western world. This free...

Theories in Technology Evaluation

Free Course Free Course
Theories in Technology Evaluation Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 20 hours Updated 06 Sep 2012
This free course, Theories in Technology Evaluation, is devoted to exploring and analysing the theoretical and political nature of evaluation and...

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Change your life with a qualification

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Certificate of Higher Education Open

Course Course
Certificate of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Copyright: Irochka | Dreamstime.com
Duration 1200 hours Updated 26 Jul 2016
If you’re keen to try university study and want to keep your options open, this certificate course is ideal. It’s part of our unique Open...

BA/BSc Open degree

Course Course
BA/BSc Open degree Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Duration 3600 hours Updated 26 Jul 2016
Over 40 per cent of OU students who graduate do so with an Open degree. It’s a statistic we’re proud of – the BA/BSc Open is one of the most...

Diploma of Higher Education Open

Course Course
Diploma of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 2400 hours Updated 26 Jul 2016
Studying at university level is not just about gaining a degree. We also offer a range of other qualifications, including Certificates and Diplomas...

Strategic capabilities for technological innovation

Course Course
Strategic capabilities for technological innovation Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University/Karen Parker
Advanced level Duration 300 hours Updated 26 Jul 2016 Register by 30 Sep 2016
This module draws on a range of theoretical perspectives from both strategic and innovation management to produce a multi-layered, practical,...

Engineering small worlds: micro and nano technologies

Course Course
Engineering small worlds: micro and nano technologies Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Advanced level Duration 300 hours Updated 26 Jul 2016 Register by 08 Sep 2016
This module examines the development of micro- and nano-scale devices in terms of their engineering and operation, through detailed study of real...

Structural integrity: designing against failure

Course Course
Structural integrity: designing against failure Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University/Karen Parker
Advanced level Duration 300 hours Updated 26 Jul 2016 Register by 08 Sep 2016
This engineering module covers design and assessment of components and structures under load – exploring stress analysis, materials behaviour, and...

Cisco networking (CCNA)

Course Course
Cisco networking (CCNA) Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Intermediate level Duration 600 hours Updated 26 Jul 2016 Register by 08 Sep 2016
This module provides the skills needed to configure a LAN/WAN using Cisco equipment, and prepares you to sit the industry-standard CCNA...

Engineering in action

Course Course
Engineering in action Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Intermediate level Duration 100 hours Updated 26 Jul 2016 Register by 28 Apr 2017
This one-week residential school module will help you develop a range of essential practical and intellectual skills relevant to engineers and...

Problem solving and improvement: quality and other approaches

Course Course
Problem solving and improvement: quality and other approaches Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University/Karen Parker
Advanced level Duration 300 hours Updated 26 Jul 2016 Register by 30 Sep 2016
This module focuses on the practical application and deeper understanding of many of the methods and techniques associated with modern quality...

Engineering: mechanics, materials, design

Course Course
Engineering: mechanics, materials, design Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Intermediate level Duration 600 hours Updated 26 Jul 2016 Register by 08 Sep 2016
Explore how engineers find solutions for technical problems, studying aspects of the mechanics of solids and fluids and the structure and...