MIT and Harvard launch a ‘revolution in education’

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 | MARK MCGUIRE | No Comments

Several high profile open course initiatives have attracted a lot of attention in recent months. These include Stanford Engineering Everywhere, (especially Sebastian Thrun’s popular Artificial Intelligence course), the internet start-up spin-off – UdacityMITx, Coursera (Princeton, Stanford, Michigan and Pennsylvania) and now  edX, a collaboration between MIT and Harvard. Class Central lists 53 ongoing or upcoming open courses from top institutions. Clearly, collaboration between several institutions, and between traditional universities and private providers, is a trend.

The following is from MIT News (2 May 2012):

Online edX courses will open both universities’ classrooms to the world while enhancing on-campus learning.

“MIT President Susan Hockfield and Harvard University President Drew Faust, accompanied by top officials from both institutions, announced on Wednesday a new collaboration that will unite the Cambridge-based universities in an ambitious new partnership to deliver online education to learners anywhere in the world.

The new venture, called edX, will provide interactive classes from both Harvard and MIT — for free — to anyone in the world with an Internet connection. But a key goal of the project, Faust said, is “to enhance the educational experience of students who study in our classrooms and laboratories.”

Continue reading this article here.

Enabling universal access to higher education via openness and collaboration? Open webinars, March 6-7

Friday, February 10th, 2012 | MARK MCGUIRE | No Comments

Assuming that “UK” time equates to London (which is 13 hrs behind us) the New Zealand time and speakers for these free webinars are as follows:

Tues 6 March, 10:30 pm-12:00 am NZ time (6 March, 9.30-11:00 am UK):

Jim Taylor (University of Southern Queensland, an OERu Anchor Partner), Grainne Conole (University of Leicester) and Vasi Doncheva (Northtec Polytechnic, New Zealand – an OERu Anchor Partner)

Wed. 7 March, 4.30-6:00 am NZ time (6 March, 3.30-5:00 pm UK):

George Siemens (Athabasca University)

Wed 7 March, 10:30 pm -12:00 am NZ time (7 March, 9.30-11:00 am UK):

Martin Weller and Patrick McAndrew (both from the Open University, UK), Sandra Wills (University of Wollongong, Australia)

To find out more about this series of 3 1-1/2 hour free online seminars, and to register, visit the Toucans Project Blog, (which is where I copied the following text):

The UN has noted that there are approximately 100 million adults in the world, mostly in developing countries, who are eligible to enter higher education, but cannot afford the enrolment fees. As part of our contribution to Open Education Week (5-9 March), we are hostng a series of three Webinars entitled “Enabling universal access to higher education via openness and collaboration?” at the University of Leicester. Speakers will exchange ideas on how the emerging culture of open access, combined with the existence of new collaborative partnerships such as the OERu (Open Educational Resources university), OERtest and others, might enable access to higher education – and accreditation – on a massive scale that would previously have been unthinkable. Initiatives such as the OERu are actively piloting new models for the sharing of resources and expertise in higher education, to enhance the quality of their existing provision and address needs beyond the boundaries of their traditional constituencies. To find out more, see the “Five things you should know about the OERu Network Plan”.