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EmTech Preview: Anant Agarwal on Overhauling Education

How MIT and Harvard hope to reach a billion students with the online learning initiative edX.

Anant Agarwal, president of edX, recently stopped by the Technology Review studio in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to discuss the new online learning platform that MIT and Harvard announced in December. The first courses will be launching this fall.

“Education hasn’t had any real innovation for centuries,” Agarwal commented.  The open-source edX platform will leverage machine learning and emerging Web technologies that he anticipates will truly transform online learning.

In addition to democratizing the availability and accessibility of education online, edX is also expected to enhance the learning experience on traditional campuses.  With such a large student body participating around the world, educators will gain an unprecedented view into effective learning practices. Agarwal talks about this in the video below.

Professor Agarwal will speak at Technology Review’s annual EmTech MIT conference this October, where he will participate in a plenary session on the dramatic impact that emerging technologies are having in education worldwide.  EmTech MIT will also feature other leading voices on this topic, including Nicholas Negroponte and Idit Harel Caperton. 

Can’t wait until October? Jump over to the Solve for X site to see Negroponte’s presentation on his current project, which is exploring whether children might be able to teach themselves to read. We’ll be hearing more about this at EmTech.

Register today for EmTech 2012, coming up October 24-25 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Learn more about edX online at www.edxonline.org.  

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