May 022012


  1. M33YGV:Title: online- & higher-education groundbreakerannounced today: (edX=edXonline.Org=an organization of (MIT+Harvard+ideally more colleges) offering FREE to the world via the web (eventually all their courses, plus the software to teach&credential them, plus the usage data) and all in open-source. What will it mean?
  2. M33YH4:URL:
  3. MEMRU9:is currently very hard to read; better format coming.
  4. MEMROZ:has significant additional content in the comments.
  5. MAYCNN:is currently being updated ~1x/7mo; ID of last item is version ID.
  6. M87XAJ:MAY have all key details are in BOLD with most-essential & -timely first.

  1. M3COPV: Definition

    1. M3F95S: The title & its URLs provide a very compact & complete summary. You can also see the draft Wikipedia page.

    2. M3F7TV: Relevant background

      1. M3F8EL: MIT+Harvard. It would be hard to imagine more prestigious names in higher education, as these 2 are among the best colleges in the world, if not the 2 very best:
        1. M3F8B6: Regarding MIT, says a 2012.03 report: “QS World University rankings .. placed MIT second”; in graduate schools, “MIT School of Engineering [was ranked ]the best—for the 22nd year.”
        2. M3F8BDHarvard is probably the most prestigious university in the world.
          1. M3F8KW: For instance, the present US President, Obama, is a Harvard Law graduate.
        3. M3FJVN: While historic rivals (at least students think so!), the colleges are shockingly physically close (only 2 miles  apart, along the same road (Mass Ave) and along the same river (Charles), and in the same tiny city (Cambridge) yet combined are not only the best 2 colleges in the state, but quite likely in the country if not in the world.
    3. M3FAVE: Additional key details

      1. M3FB2P: (I will soon include the sources for these.)
      2. M3FAN7: When will it “open-for-business”?
        1. M3FAY5: The immediate predecessor MITxhas 1 course already available since its creation in 2011,
          1. M3FB0N: including MIT 6.002x (Circuits & Electronics), a freshman EECS course, which got ~120K students enrolling, almost as many students as MIT has living alums!
        2. M3FAPH: The 1st courses under this program will be offered starting 2012 August.
        3. M3FAQ6The software will be released “soon” apparently to general public and can be used & modified for virtually any purpose.
        4. M3FAQOThe usage data will be released “soon” apparently to at least education researchers including those outside this program.
      3. M3FCK1: Software will allow students to interact to help train each other.
      4. M3FBDD: Features known to be, or likely to be, inherited from MITx
        1. M3FBEZ: Gathered & developed software to do the training & certification the material, software, and releasing as free open-source software.
        2. M3FAS7: The online-courses have the same material & tests as used in the real-world courses, including the real-world courses point students to these online-courses for their materials.
        3. M3FAOP: Certification for an edEx course
          1. M3FBGQ: will cost a “nominal” fee and
          2. M3FBH2: will be a “edX certification”, giving “edX” credit, not credit for course in the native-school (MIT or Harvard).
        4. M3FAJM: The stated goals are, in order:
          1. M3FBXO: to help educate the world, notably students anywhere in the world “with only an Internet connection” and without having to pay a cent.
          2. M3FBYN: to develop better ways of education (both online & traditional) by gathering, analyzing, and sharing (even outside the organization) usage data of the system and collectively developing  better approaches
          3. M3FC5J: To develop & release the free open-source software especially so other organizations can do the same.
          4. M3FC0M: To raise  just enough money to cover its operating costs, which (it is suggested) will be minimal.
      5. M3FB8R: The leaders call this program “an experiment”
        1. M3G1GC: Well then might “the experiment” succeed? Well the last time I heard MIT leaders call a campus-wide project “an experiment” was MIT’s Project Athena “launched in 1983 … to produce a campus-wide distributed computing environment for educational use” just test & answer “questions”(!) as “Would that be useful?”. Well of course it was, hugely! (Including I wrote every term paper and thesis on it, and even my first C program, plus did all my email and more.) And so, not surprisingly, Athena “is still in production use at MIT”.
      6. M3FBP8: Leaders emphasize of the terms may change.
  2. M3FCFL: Online- & Higher-Education groundbreaker: as would be suggested,
    Starting 2012 Aug, assuming the necessary courses are put up,
    (1) Anyone in the world, with only a web browser, can get for free a MIT and/or Harvard education (plus hopefully more college options), plus, for only a nominal cost, certification/credentialing of that (as degrees) which may eventually be equivalent! Plus
    (2) there will be much more collaboration among these colleges & students in teaching!

    1. M3FGRE: The potentially biggest advancement in Higher-Education (that I’m aware) since the introduction of the world-wide-web

      1. M3FHLBThe biggest & most-real & true solution I’ve seen towards solving the crisis of the higher-education bubble. comments
        1. M3FRAI: As it costs the student nothing or seemingly very little.
      2. M3FSNL: A seemingly big milestone in world education (on at least the undergraduate level)
        1. M3FSNY: MIT’s initial tests suggest this as MIT got almost as many students for their 1 first EECS undergraduate course as all their living alums (of all majors) combined!
    2. M3FQZC: A huge milestone in free education (else very inexpensive)

      1. M3FRDR: as it’s free or costs seemingly very little.
      2. M3FR1S: as it’s  a huge endorsement of it by MIT+Harvard, not only world-leading universities but also institutions which historically are not only private but among the most expensive in the country if not the world.
    3. M3FHFX: Big news in online education

      1. M3FQUH: as it’s a huge endorsement of it by MIT+Harvard, not only world-leading universities but also institutions which, until recently, have done only on-site training.
      2. M3FQXW: as it takes suggests it’s best being free and even open-source.
      3. M3FGIX: and “[Online education for students around the world ]is the single biggest change in education since the printing press.” says the edX President in the promo video minutes 0:40-0:44.
    4. M3FQGO: A seemingly major milestone in new & growing open-source education

      1. M3FQNB: -since it’s education developed collaboratively by 2 schools & potentially more, plus shares both the usage data and the software to further improve general teaching.
      2. M3FHII: Indeed, seeing these most prestigious & competitive schools instead cooperate might encourage other colleges, even other private ones, to cooperate in this remarkable way
    5. M3FGNA: The biggest-by-far joint effort I’ve ever seen MIT+Harvard do (since attending decades ago), and shockingly cooperative

      1. M3FRPC:  -indeed joining & combining their very courses! (indeed open-source education) -at least online -shocking especially when the schools have mostly been rivals.
      2. M3FRRB: –Why? -now Women presidents? —Why? Women presidents?


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  1. M3F9CE: Some relevant history, in order:

    1. M3F994: This apparently is mostly MIT‘s idea & work (–agree?):
      1. M3F9EV: Since at least 1980’s, MIT had on staff, to do whatever he liked, Richard Stallman who “In September 1983, he launched the GNU Project[2] to create a free Unix-like operating system” (which subsequently became Linux, now likely the world’s most popular operating system in terms of devices) and with that “he initiated the free software movement; in October 1985[3] he founded the Free Software Foundation.” including he was “the main author of several copyleft licenses including the GNU General Public License” which then seems to be the largest starter of the very & increasingly popular open-source software.
      2. M3F9Q0: MIT established itself the home of the Word-Wide-Web Consortium which determines the main standards of the web, founded & staffed by the founder of the web himself,  Tim Berners-Lee.
      3. M3F9VQ: 2002 October, MIT started MIT OpenCourseWare notably the MITOpenCourseware site, “to put all of the educational materials from its undergraduate– and graduate-level courses online, partly free and openly available to anyone, anywhere”
        1. M3FTA4: MIT thus caused the OpenCourseware movement to take off.
        2. M3G2HL: “As of November 2011, over 2080 courses were available online. ..”*
      4. M3F9Y8: In 2011, MIT released MITx site which extended its OpenCourseware with associated free online training & quizzes & even effectively-free certification for the courses (at least for 1 course), plus included these features.
    2. M3FA6K: In the meantime, Harvard also had also put some of its courses, or at least parts of them, online, and with some success, too, but not all for free and (it sounds like) not even close to the degree MIT had done.
      1. M3FFMU: In this video, Alan Garber gives some details in minutes 17:05-17:50.
      2. M3FFR9: Note though I may be biased (as an MIT grad, and one not nearly as impressed with Harvard when I saw it during my own MIT attendance).
    3. M3FEMS: Combined efforts
      1. M3FE81Khan Academy. Not working for either school but a graduate of both (“a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School“), Salman Khan famously invented & built Kahn Academy which creates & “supplies a free online collection of more than 3,100 micro lectures via video tutorials stored on YouTube teaching” what seem to be elementary thru high-school subjects, which reports say are wildly successful & popular.
        1. M3FEYY: CNN GPS on Fixing Education featured Kahn Academy as the future hope of America’s otherwise seriously deteriorating education; excerpt.
        2. M3FEON: In MIT’s announcement & press-release for edX, they (as here edX Anant Agarawal at 21:57-23:39) say this:
          1. M3FETU: was the most world-wide influential of all online education to-date
          2.  M3FEUU: pioneered the training style (“Khan-Style Videos=KSV”) which they typically used for the MITx and  MITOpenCourseware
          3. M3FG7L: heavily pioneered & popularized the idea of of giving the online education away free.
      2. M3FA1K: Then MITx was generalized to include courses from Harvard and potentially other schools, so was renamed “edX
        1. M3F9AQ: Both universities invested $30 million each to create the non-profit edX to do this.(M,H)
        2. M3FGAY: It’s been headed by an MIT guy, Anant Agarwal, Director of MIT CS & AI.
        3. M3FABC: As Harvard is even more arrogant than MIT (to be sure, bothare arrogant), MIT may be downplaying its seeming much greater role in the creation of edX to get Harvard’s buy-in, especially given Harvard has the much more famous name outside Engineering & Sciences.
          1. M3FGE8: Indeed in all announcements, it is being announced “Harvard and MIT”, not “MIT and Harvard”.


MDE167:POST TODO, roughly in order:

  1. MEJ3CH:Further define each of the requirements.
  2. see TODO in content.

-end of POST TODO


  1. MEMS57:(section to be further developed; see also ADDITIONAL DETAILS)
  2. MEMS46:mostly MIT
  3. MEMS4H:Harvard
  4. MEMS4O:Others?

-end of CREATORS


  1. Just ask.



  1. none


M31R7R:POST HISTORY, in order:

  1. M3F8U4: Today as a MIT grad I got the 7:09 AM email to all alums of and felt this was so significant it was worth a post.
  2. M3F4NHVersion 1.0: I create this by:
  3. M37OOV: on (the most similar recent one= latest “Version 0.1″, do New Draft
  4. M37OP0: then there: created this entry, give this a new ID, then updated content to fit.
  5. M3FFU2: Version 1.1: added Kahn Academy , additions to M3FCFL (which I’ve cross-referenced in comments), plus some lesser stuff. Saved prematurely as Chrome started corrupting.
  6. M3FIHZ: Version 1.2: fixed the things unsaved from the last version: missing links.
  7. M3FK93: Version 1.3: added MIT-Harvard relation M3FJVN.
  8. M3FKMD:  Version 1.4: Small cleanup edits by Glyph
  9. M3FQ2K: Version 1.5: rewrote, expanded, & seriously improved M3FCFL and added the draft Wikipedia page.
  10. M3G1CH: Version 1.6: minor updates, most notably put “significant additional content in the comments; simply create an account to comment.”; added Athena details M3G1GC.
  11. MEMEMI:About to refer to this on a comment on this event about Google cloud education but realize it’s very hard for the avg person to read due to the complex formatting, so: downsized titles; update heading plus later sections matching /3888#MEIY9M latest release MEMQS3, cutting q(M33Z0T:Additional document history, in order:); title fr(online- & higher-education groundbreaker: (edX=edXonline.Org=(MIT+Harvard+ideally more) offering worldwide, online, & FREE: their courses+in open-source the software to teach&credential them+the usage data) announced today! What will it mean?); pst2012.12.06thu1458.


  13 Responses to “online- & higher-education groundbreaker: announced today: (edX=edXonline.Org=an organization of (MIT+Harvard+ideally more colleges) offering FREE to the world via the web (eventually all their courses, plus the software to teach&credential them, plus the usage data) and all in open-source. What will it mean?”

  1. Will it be self-paced and/or group-paced?

  2. When will certification & and a degree here be equivalent to that of the real-world college?

  3. What will be the long-term future & impact?

  4. Who & what all is credit for this and how much for each?

  5. […] Businessliberty universityLease Options University.Music school shock: Walter off to Hong Kong jobonline- & higher-education groundbreaker: (edX=edXonline.Org=(MIT+Harvard+ideally more) offering… /* Settings for Syon Policy */ #syon-privacy { font-family:Arial; font-size:12px; […]