Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have recently teamed up to form edX, a not-for-profit online education initiative that aims to teach millions worldwide and reinvent campus-based learning. Anant Agarwal, edX president, told Washington correspondent Ashish Kumar Sen in a freewheeling phone interview that he is confident this partnership will transform education. Excerpts:
Let’s start at the beginning. What is the edX model?
The idea is for edX to create an open source online learning platform on which we can offer courses to people around the world. Our vision is to educate a billion people. We also want to reinvent education on our campuses. We haven’t really had any huge innovations in education in centuries. Our aim is to bring computing technology to bear on learning. With the amazing progress in computing and Internet technologies, we believe that we can reach millions of people around the world who do not have access to a high-quality education. edX will be a creating a platform which will be open source, not for profit, and a portal for a website where universities will offer their courses. For example, mit courses will be offered as MITx and Harvard courses as HarvardX. Over time, other universities will also be joining us.