What the edX Acquisition Means for the Future of Higher Education
EDX is an American massive open online course (MOOC) created by Harvard and MIT. If you are interested in university-level online courses, EDX is probably going to pop up in your mind once or twice. EDX is an online learning-based, multiple course-holding platforms that invites students to learn skills that would benefit them in either their personal or career life.
EDX deals with professional education courses, has exclusive services for high schools, is partnered with some huge corporations, and is focused on allowing people to learn anytime, anywhere. EDX certificates are one of the quality ones in the online course market today. It hosts online university-level courses in a wide range of disciplines to a worldwide student, including some courses at no charge. It also conducts research into learning based on how people use its platform.
Tech company 2U recently announced an agreement to but EDX’s assets from Harvard and MIT for $800 million.
How will this transform the business of education?
Three recent developments are noteworthy. First, digital technologies has impacted almost every aspect of life today, and education is no exception. Technology is changing the way of leaning and teaching. For centuries, the principal mode of college education – the classroom model – required students to come together at a scheduled time and location to be taught at an instructor-led pace. Books were the only source for learning, but now, a huge amount of information and data can be accessible. Various online courses providers like (khan Academy and Coursera) and EdTech startups (outlier.org, udacity, and edX) have changed that model.
Second, tectonic shifts in society and business take place when unexpected events force widespread, experimentation of new ideas. COVID-19 comes with various experiments, especially in the educational sector. Everything went digital just because of lockdown. But this pandemic also proves that it’s possible to provide education without all of the massive infrastructures that have come to be considered an integral part of the university experience, like lectures, laboratories, performance theaters, administrative buildings, etc.
The third development is that when many universities or colleges are facing a financial crisis, the valuations of EdTech disruptors have skyrocketed, and they’re awash with funds.