Development of massive open online courses (MOOCs) is taking a new direction with the creation of BostonX, a partnership between the City of Boston and edX to offer free online courses available at community colleges and libraries throughout the city.
The partnership would make MOOCs more available to residents of and visitors to Boston, providing courses for those who don’t have high-speed Internet connections or computers at home by creating mini campuses throughout the city. Mayor Thomas Menino is also hopeful BostonX will increase the city’s standing in the nation and world as a leader in education innovation.
“Higher education is at a point of transformation, and our city should be at the center of that,” Menino told Boston Magazine. “Colleges and universities are tackling the big questions of cost, of quality, and of how to make use of a wave of new technology. In Boston, we have always led in higher ed, and we should lead to its reimagination.”
Boston could be considered a logical starting point for the initiative because of the many colleges and universities already in and around the city, including Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both founding members of edX.