Google is getting more involved in the open, online education game with it’s recent partnership with edX. Together, the two plan on launching MOOC.org. This site will give anyone the ability to create an online course and easily share it with the world. The current launch date is scheduled for the first half of 2014.
Are we going to end up with ad supported online education? They already see our mail, our web activity, our entertainment. Next is homework, formative thoughts and grades? Oh my.
Check out this article from TechCrunch for more details:
For edX, MOOC.org represents another step towards going beyond the boundaries of its current model, which includes partnership with institutions like Harvard, MIT, Stanford and other elite universities. In April, the organization merged with Stanford University-based startup Class2Go to build an open-source version of its platform that can be used by any institution around the globe. The goal has been to allow developers access to edX’s code to allow any institution to host and distribute digital courses for on-campus and distance learners — both online and offline — and create better ways to collect student data.
With today’s partnership, edX is expanding that mission, as its partnership with Google will enable any institution or business to post courses on MOOC.org and presumably open the doors to public access of edX’s content. It will also offer a more diverse range of content from non-profit institutions to higher education institutions and businesses, edX President Anant Agarwal said.
However, while edX has been building out its own open-source platform, Google said in its blog post today that it will be hosting MOOC.org in its own cloud and — not only that — it will also be lending a team of developers to the partnership to help develop Open edX, the organization’s aforementioned open-source MOOC platform.
In turn, for Google, its partnership with edX represents yet another step in its own foray into digital education — one that includes Google Play for Education, Google Apps for Education, and the launch of its own open-source course building platform, Course Builder, in September of last year.
In its blog post today, Google explained that, over the last year, Course Builder has served as as an experiment in how to build and optimize an open, digital course platform at scale. Since launching, Google said that the platform had become host to a variety of courses on “everything from game theory to philanthropy” and is now being used by both universities and non-profits alike to experiment with MOOC content and “make education more accessible … enabling educators to easily teach at scale on top of its cloud services.”
As to Google’s role in the MOOC movement and digital education, the company says that it will continue to “make contributions to the online education space, the findings of which will be shared directly to the online education community and the Open edX platform.” Of course, this partnership, like the Open Education Alliance, is still a work in progress. Details on what type of content, how it will be structured and just what businesses and teachers will be able to get out of the platform remains unclear.
Google did, however, choose to comment on the state of MOOCs and their role in the future of online education, saying, “our industry is in the early stages of MOOCs, and lots of experimentation is still needed to find the best way to meet the educational needs of the world. An open ecosystem with multiple players encourages rapid experimentation and innovation, and we applaud the work going on in this space today.”