Google's big list of open source projects just grew by one -- the company has introduced a new online learning platform called MOOC.org. Despite the name, it's not a website about cows -- MOOC stands for "massive open online courses," and it's a product of the marriage between Mountain View and edX, an educational website by MIT and Harvard. However, while edX only features free courses from affiliated universities, MOOC.org will accept material submitted by other institutions, governments, businesses and even individuals. In short, just about anyone can pitch in -- edX's president even revealed that they want the site to eventually become the "YouTube for MOOCs." The companies have yet to reveal how they'll screen submitted courses for quality and how contributors can earn money, but we'll likely find out when the site launches in mid-2014. Self-motivated folks eager to learn will have to hang out around libraries, campuses and TED talks until then.
EdX Announces Partnership with Google to Expand Open Source Platform
Google will collaborate with edX on MOOC.org, new destination and hosting site for online learning
CAMBRIDGE, MA – Sept. 10, 2013 – EdX, the not-for-profit online learning initiative, today announced its partnership with Google to jointly develop the edX open source learning platform, Open edX, and expand the availability of the platform and its learning tools to individuals and institutions around the world. In collaboration with Google, edX will build out and operate MOOC.org, a new site for non-xConsortium universities, institutions, businesses, governments and teachers to build and host their courses for a global audience. This site will be powered by the jointly developed Open edX platform.
Google will work on the core platform development with leading experts from many edX partner institutions, including MIT, Harvard, UC Berkeley, Stanford, University of Western Australia, University of Queensland, and Tsinghua University. In addition, edX and Google will collaborate on research into how students learn and how technology can transform learning and teaching on campus and beyond.
"We have long admired Google's commitment to open access to information, and we believe they will be a perfect partner to work with as we shape the next generation of open education and learning," said Anant Agarwal, president of edX. "Google shares our mission to improve learning both on-campus and online. Working with Google's world-class engineers and technology will enable us to advance online, on-campus and blended learning experiences faster and more effectively than ever before."
This new site for online learning will provide a platform for colleges, universities, businesses and individuals around the world to produce high-quality online and blended courses. MOOC.org will be built on Google infrastructure.
"We envision that the site will become an ideal way to develop and refine novel online learning experiences. Faculty, for example, new to online learning could get their feet wet, and learners who may not want to take a full course could also just get a taste. Moreover, we will be able to learn how to improve our platform by having more individuals build and use content," said Agarwal.