GOOD

Open Source Platform Allows Anyone to Create Online Courses

A new nonprofit project started at Stanford called Class2Go brings a collaborative, open source ethos to online learning.


Online learning options like Coursera, EdX, and Udacity have made classes previously accessible only through enrollment at one of the nation's top universities available to the world. But what happens to colleges and universities not partnering with these so-called Massively Open Online Course providers? A new nonprofit project developed by eight Stanford engineers called Class2Go might have a solution. They let anyone in the world use their open source platform to run their own online course for free.

Like many MOOC's, Class2G0 allows users to learn via videos and interactive quizzes. But because the creators "believe strongly that valuable course content shouldn't be tied to any one platform," the videos are housed on mobile device-friendly YouTube. That ethos of portability is at the heart of their Khan Academy-style practice exercises, too. Instead of the exercises "being trapped in a propriety database," they can be used anywhere, the founders say on their site. The creators simply "don't want to built or maintain more than we have to."

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

YouTube's Looking for the Next Education Superstar

Move over Justin Bieber, the next superstar to emerge from YouTube could be a teacher!


Back in 2008 Justin Bieber was just another fresh faced singer posting videos on YouTube. The rest—as millions of screaming teen girls around the world can attest—is history. Can YouTube transform educators into superstars, too? That's the goal of the Next EDU Gurus contest, which hopes to turn 10 video-savvy content creators into "the next generation of educational YouTube stars."

In the past year viewers spent 50 percent more time watching YouTube's 700,000 existing education videos and the number of subscribers has doubled. That means there's a real need for fresh, high quality educational content on the site. To fill the gap, YouTube says on their blog that they're looking for finalists from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand "with a talent for explaining tough concepts in compelling ways, and the passion and drive to assemble a global classroom of students.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Khan Academy Wants to Teach You Coding

Now you really have no excuse for not learning how to code.


Can the world's most popular virtual classroom, the Khan Academy, bring the same magic to learning computer science that they've brought to brushing up on math and science concepts? With the launch of the new Khan Academy Computer Science project, founder Sal Khan and his team are certainly giving it a shot.

The head of the initiative, John Resig, wrote on his blog that the platform is designed for "people with no programming knowledge" and they intend to give coding newbies "an engaging and fun environment to learn in." Because coding is such an interactive process, the tutorials on the platform facilitate an organic process of exploration and figuring out how things work. Resig says that instead of "explicitly teaching how a computer works or fundamental programming concepts" the lessons "emphasize creativity and exploration."

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Harvard and MIT Team Up to Educate a Billion People Online

The new online learning platform edX will bring a Harvard and MIT education to the planet.


Last December MIT took its decade-old Open Course Ware initiative to the next level when it announced the launch of MITx, a nonprofit online platform that would allow students anywhere in the world to take MIT classes for free. Now MIT has joined forces with its neighbor, Harvard, to launch a new online learning platform, edX, that aims to share knowledge with an even greater number of learners.

Harvard provost Alan Garber says MITx was such a game changer—over 120,000 students from around the globe signed up for the first class, slightly fewer than the total number of living MIT alumni—Harvard knew they wanted to be a part of it. As a result, the schools are investing $30 million each to jumpstart edX as an umbrella organization that will oversee MITx and the just-announced HarvardX.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Curated Learning 'Playlists' Make It Easy to Share Knowledge Online

More reliable than a search engine, more accessible than a textbook, MentorMob crowdsources knowledge on a wide range of topics.


When you want to learn something new, you usually start with a search engine. But many of your search results may not be relevant or reputable. A new service called MentorMob aims to make it easier to learn new information and skills by offering curated "playlists"—collections of links to the best articles, videos, and websites on a particular topic.

Like on Wikipedia, anyone can create or moderate playlists: Simply upload your links, then submit them to MentorMob. Users can rate the quality of the playlist so everyone else can see whether it teaches what it promises.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

New TED-Ed Platform Aims to Bring TED Talks Into the Classroom

By harnessing the expertise of educators to build out its video library, TED sends the message that teachers matter.


Hundreds of millions of people around the world have learned about more than 1,000 topics thanks to the genius that is TED Talks. With this week’s launch of TED-Ed, the organization that’s spent the past six years providing free YouTube access to "ideas worth spreading' is merging short lessons from excellent teachers with high-quality video production and animation in order to engage a new generation of learners.

While many savvy educators already use TED talks in their classrooms, at 19 minutes each, they're a bit long for the average 50-minute high school class period. Each TED-Ed video, which will also be hosted on YouTube, clocks in at 10 minutes or less, enabling educators to communicate a powerful idea to students in a short, easily digestible format.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles