Take Ivy League Classes Virtually Free

ICTMN Staff
5/4/12

Ever dream of taking classes at an Ivy League college? Think you can’t afford it? Feel like attending class from home? Well, now’s your chance.

In an effort to research how students learn and how technologies can facilitate effective teaching on-campus and online, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have teamed up and created edX.

The two institutions of higher learning have each contributed $30 million to edX, what they are calling “a transformational new partnership in online education.”

Harvard President Drew Faust said in an announcement that, “edX gives Harvard and MIT an unprecedented opportunity to dramatically extend our collective reach by conducting groundbreaking research into effective education and by extending online access to quality higher education.”

Participating students who complete courses will not do so for credits or degrees, but for certificates of completion.

There won’t be an admissions process; classes are open to anyone around the world with a computer and an Internet connection “for a modest fee.” The site currently doesn’t say what the fee will be.

A YouTube video (below) announcing the project makes it clear that the classes won’t be watered down, they will be the same as what would be offered if you were paying to attend Harvard or MIT.

“I expect our faculty to develop very ambitious approaches that will likely have a video component but there may be other features, there’s even a possibility of having virtual laboratories,” Harvard Provost Alan Garber told CNN.

“Online education for students around the world will be the next big thing in education,” said Anant Agarwal, edX president in the video. “This is the single biggest change in education since the printing press.”

If you’re interested in enrolling, keep an eye on edXonline.org for more information. The first courses are expected to start this fall.

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