MIT & Harvard Begin the Education Revolution

Not fearing this age's breakneck technological change, two of the nation's most prestigious universities are set to offer their classes to anyone in the world with an Internet connection. 

What's the Latest Development?


In a new venture called edX, MIT and Harvard University are set to offer interactive courses to anyone in the world with an Internet connection, regardless of age, background or financial resources. Despite the courses' relatively challenging subject matter, access to the classes have already been met with high demand, said Anant Agarwal, who is currently teaching the pilot course of MIT’s online-education program. Agarwal's course on circuits and electronics has attracted more than 120,000 registrants, which is more than all of MIT's living alumni combined. 

What's the Big Idea?

Besides its primary goal of making higher education available to the entire planet, edX courses provide an opportunity to examine fundamental questions about how we learn. The venture will gather data on "how long students spend on each lesson segment, which parts they need to repeat, and which problems they struggle with." Michael D. Smith, dean of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, said: "We’re a research institution, and we’re interested in the power of technology in education. [A key goal of edX] is researching how technology can improve education, both on campus and off campus."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com


How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less
Sponsored

James Patterson on writing: Plotting, research, and first drafts

The best-selling author tells us his methods.

Videos
  • James Patterson has sold 300 million copies of his 130 books, making him one of the most successful authors alive today.
  • He talks about how some writers can overdo it by adding too much research, or worse, straying from their outline for too long.
  • James' latest book, The President is Missing, co-written with former President Bill Clinton, is out now.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less