Big News For Online Ed

How about going to Harvard for free? Or MIT? A joint Harvard-MIT venture announced today may soon make free online classes from those schools available worldwide through a new non-profit organization called edX.

We’ve been keeping a close eye on digital learning, including this recent look at the rise of online high schools, and YouTube phenom Salman Kahn. We’ve also flipped through the latest digital textbooks that might be coming to a classroom near you.

The digital classroom may not replace the brick and mortar Ivy League anytime soon, but it is part of a major online push by colleges. Earlier this month, Stanford, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan announced their own partnership for online teaching with a company called Coursea.

Last summer, we talked with Google’s Peter Norvig, who with Stanford University professor Sebastian Thrun, taught a course on artificial intelligence that attracted 58,000 students worldwide. This year, Thrun quit his tenured job and launched Udacity, to offer more such courses.

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