A few weeks ago, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) announced they would be launching an online learning initiative called M.I.T.x, which will offer courses free of charge to anyone in the world.
Although this initiative won’t allow everyone to earn an M.I.T. degree, M.I.T.x students will be provided with a certificate as proof that they have completed all of the material in a particular course.
This development furthers the trends within higher education towards a “democratization” of learning content. Indeed, M.I.T.x will join a burgeoning number of organizations offering free online education. Although M.I.T. has been using its own OpenCourseWare for a decade now, M.I.T.x promises to offer users a more interactive experience. Of this ilk is Khan Academy, which has been making waves across the globe and attracted investment from Google for its innovative content whereas Academic Earth has been providing lectures from the world’s leading professors. These providers are sure to increase in number and scope in the coming years.
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