Reinventing Education

Monday, March 07, 2016
6:00 AM to 7:00 AM
POB 2.302
Open to UT Faculty only

Digital technology has transformed countless areas of life from healthcare to workplace productivity to entertainment and publishing.  But education hasn’t changed a whole lot.  edX is a non-profit MOOC (massive open online course) initiative that aspires to reinvent education through online learning.  edX’s mission is to dramatically increase access to education for students worldwide through MOOCs, while substantially enhancing campus education in both quality and efficiency through blended online approaches. edX has also made its platform available as open-source so that anyone can contribute to the codebase, while using the software to launch their own online initiatives.

This talk will provide an overview of MOOCs and edX, and share student stories that reveal how they are increasing access to education worldwide. Using campus examples, the talk will also discuss how MOOCs can enhance campus education. Following the overview, the talk will discuss where MOOCs are headed now that the initial hype had died down. This phase called MOOC2.0, includes recent trends on new MOOC credentials such as MicroMasters and university credit. The move to meaningful credentials and credit is causing edX’s MOOC focus to shift away from numbers, rather towards quality, accountability and cheating prevention, and small group interaction.

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Anant Agarwal

Anant Agarwal


Anant Agarwal is the CEO of edX, an online learning destination founded by Harvard and MIT. He is also a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. Anant taught the first edX course on circuits and electronics from MIT, which drew 155,000 students from 162 countries. He has served as the director of CSAIL, MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and is a successful serial entrepreneur, having founded several companies including Tilera Corporation and Virtual Machine Works. He holds a Guinness World Record for the largest microphone array.  Scientific American selected his work on organic computing as one of 10 World-Changing Ideas in 2011, and he was named in Forbes' list of top 15 education innovators in 2012. Anant, a pioneer in computer architecture, is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the ACM.