From Yale to Coursera

Coursera, the largest MOOC platform, announced today that Richard Levin will be coming on board as CEO. Levin was president of Yale University for 20 years before stepping down in 2013. “Technology,” Levin said in the press release, “now gives us the means to extend the reach of high quality education around the world and to […]


MOOC platform Coursera falls afoul of US sanctions

At least since MIT Open Courseware started in 2001, users around the world have been enjoying free and open digital educational resources. It’s consistently reported that around three-quarters or more of users of MOOC platforms Udacity, Coursera and edX come from outside the US, from nearly every country on the planet. Until now. Coursera, which […]


The Top 10 Digital/Edu Stories of 2013

I took over this blog in March 2013 and it’s been an incredibly enjoyable–and educational!–experience so far. Thanks to all of you who have read, linked, and commented on the blog. I hope you’ll stay with us into 2014! At the suggestion of my editors at the Hechinger Report, I’ve compiled a list of the […]


The Gates Foundation is the $36 billion gorilla of education

In the circles in which I move, there has been a lot of talk this week about a major article published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, taking on the Gates Foundation‘s outsized power in education policy. As a former Gates Foundation contractor I spoke at length to the authors of the piece and am […]


MOOCs: A path to early college

Today the MOOC platform Coursera announced a new partnership with 10 major state flagships and state university systems. While Coursera’s existing university partnerships focus on professors at elite institutions producing and sharing online versions of their courses, these partnerships are different. The focus is on incorporating existing MOOCs and newly created MOOCs– covering basic intro […]


MOOCs Come To K-12

A couple of announcements this week point to a growing role for massively open online courses in K-12. The Saylor Foundation, the most interesting nonprofit in open education that no one seems to have heard of, launched a program of Common-Core aligned K-12 courses. And Lumen Learning, David Wiley’s startup which I wrote about earlier […]


The five most important ed-tech trends at SXSWedu

I’ve been on the ground in Austin for the South By Southwest Education Conference & Festival for 22 hours. In that time, I’ve interviewed six people, chatted with many more, and hit the Java Jive in the Hilton four times. Here’s what I see as the biggest trends coming out of the conference. Data and […]


A wonk’s take on the MOOC crash

There’s a vibrant discussion in the blogosphere about the lessons learned from the MOOC crash that I’ve been writing about. Slate’s Will Oremus wrote about how the debacle may be heralding an anti-MOOC backlash. (Thanks for the hat tip Will). Will also cites a wonky blog by Debbie Morrison, who is an instructional designer, and […]


Addendum to MOOC crash

An hour after I posted about the MOOC crash, a spokesman for Georgia Tech, Matt Nagel, emailed a response. Nagel made clear it was a Georgia Tech’s decision to kill the class because of both quality and technical issues. “With any experiment, sometimes one has to press pause and reset, which we are doing,” Nagel […]


My first MOOC: Online class about how to create online classes failed miserably

This story also appeared at: At a recent event, a bigwig at McGraw-Hill, the textbook publisher, urged the audience to take an online course so that we’d have a sense of the future. As a journalist who covers online education, I was embarrassed not to be enrolled in one. So, a couple weeks ago, when […]