EdX Partners with Google to Create New Online Education Site

mooc_org.png.CROP.rectangle3-largeEdX, the online education nonprofit backed by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is teaming up with Google on a new website that will offer tools for a wide swath of educators and the public to create their own digital courses.

The site, Mooc.org, broadens the reach of both edX and Google in the increasingly competitive business of providing online coursework. The name MOOC is shorthand for Massive Open Online Courses.

Previously, edX limited its course offerings to content from partner institutions, including MIT, Harvard, University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford. On the new site, edX is welcoming courses from other universities, the public and even businesses.

“We want to be the YouTube for Moocs,” Anant Agarwal, president of edX, said in an interview. “Anyone can create a course – we are all learners and teachers.”


Classes available on edX.org are already used by 1.2 million students. Agarwal said edX offerings are “curated” and offer the quality control guarantees of the consortium’s brand-name universities. The Mooc.org classes, though, will be much more diverse, including offerings from companies and nonprofits.

“It will enable instructors and organizations to really experiment much more rapidly with new kinds of courses,” Agarwal said.

Mooc.org will launch in the first half of 2014. Details like how it will earn revenue are still being worked out, Agarwal said. “We do want to be self-sustaining,” he said.

Google will host Mooc.org on its cloud-computing service and plans to run courses on the site. The company offered few specifics on what its business hopes to get out of the partnership.

“We support the development of a diverse education ecosystem, as learning expands in the online world,” wrote Dan Clancy, Google’s director of research, in a blog post. “An open ecosystem with multiple players encourages rapid experimentation and innovation, and we applaud the work going on in this space today.”

This isn’t Google’s first foray into online education. A year ago, it introduced Course Builder, an online system for creating classes. Google says it will now bring that technology and a team of engineers to its partnership with edX, where they will help develop a new open-source course creation system called Open edX.

As online education attracts more startups and venture money, established players have been in a race to sign up more partners.

In May, rival service Coursera opened its doors to professors at 10 major university systems to create their own online courses. And Monday, Udacity launched an Open Education Alliance with a number of tech companies (including Google) to help students pursue careers in technology through curricula that are affordable, and sometimes free.

Credit: WSJ


Jeddy Genrwot

Jeddy "The Jedi" is a budding professional with extensive conceptual knowledge in Web Development technologies and Computer Systems. "In like" with the Internet Startup space and cloud computing. A passionate gamer and social media enthusiast.
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