Google To Build Online Education Platform With MIT, Harvard

Google formed a partnership with EdX, the not-for-profit online learning initiative, to jointly develop the edX open source learning platform dubbed MOOC.org (shorthand for massive open online courses). This new site for online learning will provide a platform for colleges, universities, businesses and individuals around the world to built and host high-quality online and blended courses. MOOC.org will be built on Google infrastructure. The chances are services will combine Google+ and YouTube for live conferences and videos.

The project involved doing research on the way students learn and how technology can transform learning and teaching on and off campus to build the best tools and platform. Google plans to develop the core technology with consortium members at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, U.C. Berkeley, Stanford, University of Western Australia, University of Queensland, and Tsinghua University.

Google last year launched Course Builder, an open-source platform for creating online courses. EdX Research Director Dan Clancy wrote in a blog post that Google plans to take what it has learned from Course Builder and apply it to Mooc.org. He explains that Google will continue to maintain Course Builder, but focus development on Open edX. The company will eventually provide an upgrade path to Open edX and MOOC.org from Course Builder.

On Monday, Udacity announced the launch of the Open Education Alliance to provide students worldwide with skills and knowledge to pursue successful careers in technology. Aside from Google, companies participating in the alliance include AT&T, Autodesk, Cloudera, Cadence, Intuit, Khan Academy, NVIDIA, and 23andMe.

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