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Transcending Tuition: The Rise of Massive Open Online Courses

EdX, an online learning platform created by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is rolling out 26 Massive Open Online Courses. According to edX CEO Anant Agarwal, these free courses are part of an effort to provide “high-quality, engaging, and interactive courses to specifically meet the needs of this student population.” Developed through the collaborative effort of 14 institutions, including The University of California Berkeley, Georgetown University and Rice University, these 28 courses allow anybody to experience state-of-the-art education from their computer screen.  But the work is far from over; now that the universities have finished putting them together, interested high schools must figure out how to integrate MOOCs into their curriculum. Some schools have offered non-academic credits to students who complete MOOCs. Nikhal Chopra took edX classes when he was at Andover High School and said that the experience “ prepares you to teach yourself how to learn.” But it’s not just the college bound who can benefit from MOOCs. These classes are open to everybody, and although it’s a small step, this effort is an example of how education can be spread freely and openly.

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