News & Announcements

Wellesley College teams up with online provider edX

The Boston Globe 4 Dec 2012 By Peter Schworm
Classes at liberal arts colleges bring to mind small groups of students bunched around a long wooden table, batting around big ideas with a professor. That tradition would seem at odds with the new trend in higher education, opening courses to the masses via the Internet. But now a new partnership involving Wellesley College is seeking to bridge these two worlds, in a test of how humanities classes will translate into the growing online arena. Read more about The Boston Globe | Wellesley College teams up with online provider edX

The Most Important Education Technology in 200 Years

Technology Review 2 Nov 2012 By Antonio Regalado
If you were asked to name the most important innovation in transportation over the last 200 years, you might say the combustion engine, air travel, Henry Ford’s Model-T production line, or even the bicycle. The list goes on. Now answer this one: what’s been the single biggest innovation in education? Don’t worry if you come up blank. You’re supposed to. The question is a gambit used by Anant Agarwal, the computer scientist named this year to head edX, a $60 million MIT-Harvard effort to stream a college education over the Web, free, to anyone who wants one. His point: it’s rare to see major technological advances in how people learn. Read more about Technology Review | The Most Important Education Technology in 200 Years

Classroom in the Cloud

Harvard Magazine 1 Nov 2012 By edX Staff
Even as David J. Malan enjoyed the news that Computer Science 50, “Introduction to Computer Science,” was the second-largest College course this fall, with 691 undergraduates, he was contemplating a “classroom” much vaster than Sanders Theatre. By mid September, well before the October 15 launch of CS50x, the all-online version (cs50.net/x), some 53,000 students had enrolled worldwide. The nonprofit Harvard-MIT learning venture edX, created last May (see “Harvard, Extended,” July-August), has begun by offering seven free, open-access, noncredit “massive open online courses”—MOOCs as they are known—in its first fall. Read more about Harvard Magazine | Classroom in the Cloud

How do you stop online students cheating?

BBC News 31 Oct 2012 By Sean Coughlan
Imagine taking a university exam in your own home, under the watchful eye of a webcam or with software profiling your keystrokes or your syntax to see whether it really is you answering the questions. Online university courses have become the Next Big Thing for higher education, particularly in the United States, where millions of students have signed up for courses from some of the most upmarket universities. Read more about BBC News | How do you stop online students cheating?

EdX platform integrates into classes

The Tech 26 Oct 2012 By Leon Lin
Nearly six months ago, Harvard and MIT announced the launch of edX, billed as a new online learning platform that would revolutionize education for students around the world seeking. But the universities associated with the nonprofit venture¬ — which now include the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Texas system schools — are also in it to improve their residential classes. This fall, several courses that MIT students are taking on campus — including freshman General Institute Requirement 8.01 (Physics I) — are also making use of edX software. MIT Professor and edX President Anant Agarwal is fond of saying that he sees edX as a “rising tide that will lift all boats,” that is, both for students attending an “X University” and those who aren’t. He envisions that those who are will benefit from “blended model” of education combining traditional classroom interaction with online content. Read more about The Tech | EdX platform integrates into classes

VMware Provides VMware Fusion® 5 and VMware Workstation™ 9 Free to Students on edX’s Not-for-Profit Online Learning Platform

Virtual Strategy Magazine 25 Oct 2012 By edX Staff
EdX, the not-for-profit online learning venture founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), today announced an agreement with VMware, Inc., the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, under which all students enrolled in HarvardX’s course CS50x: Introduction to Computer Science will receive VMware Fusion® 5 and VMware Workstation™ 9 to use for the duration of the course at no cost. Read more about Virtual Strategy Magazine | VMware Provides VMware Fusion® 5 and VMware Workstation™ 9 Free to Students on edX’s Not-for-Profit Online Learning Platform

Lone Star moots charges to make Moocs add up

Times Higher Education 25 Oct 2012 By David Matthews
The University of Texas system plans to offer degree credits for courses completed through the edX online-learning platform and charge for such courses - offering a potential new direction in the delivery of massive open online courses (Moocs). The move would make the confederation of nine universities and six health institutions the first to charge for courses delivered through the edX platform. Meanwhile, universities that "have rushed to offer" free online content have been called "irresponsible" by The Open University's vice-chancellor. Read more about Times Higher Education | Lone Star moots charges to make Moocs add up

VMware Offers Free Virtualization Software for EdX Computer Science Students

Campus Technology 25 Oct 2012 By Joshua Bolkan
VMware has partnered with not-for-profit massive, open, online course (MOOC) provider edX to deliver free virtualization software to students enrolled in a computer science course offered through the platform. Students enrolled in the HarvardX course CS50x: Introduction to Computer Science will receive free copies of VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation 9 to use during the course. Read more about Campus Technology | VMware Offers Free Virtualization Software for EdX Computer Science Students

The Future of Scholarship

The Harvard Crimson 23 Oct 2012 By THE CRIMSON STAFF
One of the most rapidly changing spheres of American society is the realm of education. Over the last generation, higher education has increasingly become a prerequisite to social mobility. The challenges of accommodating such an increase in appetite for learning have been profound. In the pursuit of expanding education beyond its gates, Harvard recently partnered with MIT to launch edX, a series of Massive Online Open Courses. Continually expanding and wildly popular, edX is built to become a comprehensive alternative to traditional education. So far the project bodes well. Harvard’s contribution to the project should be commended, and the overall trend toward affordable education continued. A non-profit venture, edX was created to further a mission of accessible education started by MITx in 2011. With $60 million in startup capital provided by Harvard and MIT, edX constitutes one of the largest investments made in online education. Evidence suggests it will need the money. Online, accessible education has so far proved a lethal industry for some of its entrants: Columbia attempted its own program that failed in 2003, and a similar effort by Yale, Oxford, and Stanford closed six years ago due to insufficient funds. We can only hope that edX does not suffer a similar fate, as the status quo is in desperate need of change. Read more about The Harvard Crimson | The Future of Scholarship

Free, high-quality and with mass appeal

Financial Times 22 Oct 2012 By Rebecca Knight
Edward Hess, professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, is teaching a “massive open online course” (mooc) starting in January on Coursera – the free online education platform founded this year by two Stanford University computer scientists. So far, more than 26,000 students have signed up. “I usually teach 120 or 130 students a year,” says Prof Hess. “Do you know how many years I would have to live before I could teach that many students?” Read more about Financial Times | Free, high-quality and with mass appeal

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