links 12-28-11

MIT launches online learning initiative - MIT News Office
"MIT today announced the launch of an online learning initiative internally called “MITx.” MITx will offer a portfolio of MIT courses through an online interactive learning platform that will:
  • organize and present course material to enable students to learn at their own pace
  • feature interactivity, online laboratories and student-to-student communication
  • allow for the individual assessment of any student’s work and allow students who demonstrate their mastery of subjects to earn a certificate of completion awarded by MITx
  • operate on an open-source, scalable software infrastructure in order to make it 
    continuously improving and readily available to other educational institutions."

    Stanford expands free, online information technology course offerings | ZDNet:
    "Now it is being reported that due to the great success of the program, Stanford plans to offer eight more computer science classes beginning in January, including Software as a Service, Computer Science 101, Machine Learning, Cryptography, Natural Language Processing, Human Computer Interaction, Design and Analysis of Algorithms I, and Probabilistic Graphic Models."
12 Dozen Places To Educate Yourself Online For Free:
is up at Marc and Angel Hack Life. Links are organized by topic: Science and Health, Business and Money, History and World Culture, Law, Computer Science and Engineering, Mathematics, English and Communications, Foreign and Sign Languages, Multiple Subjects 
and Miscellaneous.

Also well organized: 400 Free Online Courses from Top Universities | Open Culture:

Education is Silicon Valley's next Gold Rush - TNW Insider: "Already the epicenter of tech
innovation and venture capital investment, San Francisco is poised to become heart of a new industry that will be powered by the Internet. And unlike me-too food apps and daily deals websites, education is more than a hot fad. American taxpayers invested more than $536 billion on K-12 education between 2005 and 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Education, with an additional $373 billion in taxes going to fund higher education nationwide. The educational pie is enormous, and anyone who can get his or her hands on even a small 
slice can expect to reap huge returns."

College Students May Hold the Key to Redesigning Education - Education - GOOD:
"The initiative isn't limiting itself to students at Michigan, either. The group posted the project at and are actively recruiting other college-based groups to start rEDesign efforts on their campuses and help design "systemic transformations in K-12 education." They're also asking students to tweet their ideas using the hashtag #rEDesignMyEdu, and the ideas are starting to roll in. Student Alex Schiff tweeted that "students need more opportunities to create self-structured and self-initiated projects without fear of failure" and user Vwampage suggested more federal oversight, writing that "Standard wages for teachers would be equal, helping equalize opportunities." "

Why is the Government Saving Money by Driving Students Into Debt? » New Deal 2.0:
"Now news came out this week that the last-minute budget deal to fund the government and avert a shut down included cuts to Pell Grants. The maximum grant will be preserved at $5,550, but changes to the eligibility criteria will make as many as 100,000 recipients ineligible. The maximum amount a family can earn without contributing anything toward tuition will drop from $30,000 to $23,000. It also retroactively limits the number of semesters that a student can use grants, from 18 to 12. In sum, these changes will mean less money for fewer people to pay for a college education."

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