Through a series of slideshow presentations, HippoCampus covers a wide range of subject areas, from the Civil War to biopsychology.
By Sara Bernard
For students seeking study guides and educators needing specific content, here’s another robust online resource: HippoCampus, a project of the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education (MITE), provides multimedia homework and study help to high school and community college students and instructors free of charge.
As part of MITE’s National Repository of Online Courses (NROC), HippoCampus content focuses on general education topics like algebra and biology and is largely donated by universities and other educational institutions.
“Teachers work hard; they don’t have a lot of time,” says Gary Lopez, executive director and co-founder of both the Monterey Institute and HippoCampus. “If you put in a search online for the Boston Tea Party, ninety percent of the stuff that turns up is irrelevant. The purpose of HippoCampus is that we do the work for you. We make sure that it’s relevant to your needs and your curriculum, that it’s vetted so you don’t have to go through all the craziness [on the Web] to find the right stuff.”
I spoke to Lopez about the site, who uses it, and HippoCampus’ next steps.
Q. How did HippoCampus start?
A. The Open Educational Resources (OER) movement started in about 2001. There are a number of projects out there, such as MIT OpenCourseWare Project, Carnegie Mellon, and Yale. Then we came along about four years ago. We wanted to build an OER site for high school and community college students, a repository for general education curriculum — algebra, U.S. history, biology, that sort of thing. Most other OER sites out there were for research universities. HippoCampus is a way to get material out to students and teachers who need it. Any student in the country can find course content here that supports a lot of the courses they take.
Q. Who uses HippoCampus?
A. It’s used by students, but even more by high school and community college instructors who use the content in their classrooms, sometimes by itself, sometimes alongside a textbook. If you have a textbook, you can search specific pages and up comes HippoCampus content that’s relevant to that page’s assignment. Continue reading