Feeds

Google chucks code into MOOCs mix

Chocolate Factory can't beat 'em, joins Harvard and MIT in the Open edX project

High performance access to file storage

Google has decided it will join the Open edX project, an effort to create a platform on which to host massively online open courses (MOOCs).

MOOCs took off a couple of years back when some universities started offering free courses online. While the courses did not lead to a degree, the mere fact that institutions of the calibre of Stanford, MIT and Harvard gave away content that's not a million miles away from their on-premises undergraduate courses got all sorts of people muttering about the internet disrupting another previously cosy industry.

Anecdotally, the courses have proven very popular among folks in the developing world who struggle to access any university never mind the likes of Harvard. Universities offering MOOCs quickly realised a common platform to deliver the courses would mean less repeated work. MIT and Harvard eventually helped to create edX, a not-for-profit organisation that shepherds the development of an eponymous open source MOOC platform.

For its part, Google caught MOOC fever last year and gave the world its own MOOC-like platform, Course Builder. That effort has now been offered up to edX, with Google's announcement about its change of direction says it will provide an upgrade path for those who worked with Course Builder to help them move to edX.

Just why Google has joined edX is hard to discern. Google's statement says, in part, “An open ecosystem with multiple players encourages rapid experimentation and innovation, and we applaud the work going on in this space today.” Just how removing itself from the ecosystem, at least in terms of offering a platform, enhances innovation is anyone's guess.

Google and edX will work together to create a new service, mooc.org, that will be open to a anyone that wishes to create a MOOC. The new site “will be built on Google infrastructure”, according to edX's canned statement. Again, it's hard to see how that will boost innovation, although it will doubtless prove a nice proof of concept for The Chocolate Factory's cloud platform. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Microsoft: Windows version you probably haven't upgraded to yet is ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of Windows 8.1 will no longer support patches
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.