Stanford's Class2Go to Offer Free Courses This Fall

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 13, 2012

Many universities, including U.C Berkeley and M.IT. have been involved in e-learning for a long time, and, not long ago, M.I.T. and Harvard teamed up to deliver online learning to millions of people around the world, through their new edX initiative. Not to be outdone, Stanford University is going to offer 16 courses and two new, interactive e-learning platforms this fall. Here are details.

The name of Stanford's new e-learning platform and initiative is Class2Go, and it comes from a team of eight engineers at Stanford's Computer Science Department. Class2Go is open-source, nonprofit, and is designed to be portable. A new computer networks class starts on Oct. 8.

According to Stanford's announcement:

"Two of the 16 free online classes offered by Stanford this fall will be available on the Class2Go platform: "An Introduction to Computer Networks," taught by Nick McKeown, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and Philip Levis, associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering, and "Solar Cells, Fuel Cells and Batteries," taught by Bruce Clemens a professor in the Materials Science and Engineering. Several more online classes will be offered on Class2Go in winter and spring; early likely candidates include nanotechnology and a class at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. Class2Go also is being used for portions of courses taught on-campus to Stanford students."

 "We are huge supporters of free, public online classes and we're eager to learn from our first experience," said Nick McKeown, professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University are gung-ho about their new edX initiative. The edX partnership between MIT and Harvard will extend MIT's existing work on using open source platforms and tools to deliver online courses, and there is a video and an FAQ available here.  According to the FAQ, the edX effort may expand out via partnerships with other universities.

Make no mistake: Free e-learning is a trend that is here to stay, and you can start attending meaningful classes from some of the top universities in the world, right from your computer.