A year ago, we released Course Builder, an experimental platform for online education at scale. Since then, individuals have created courses on everything from game theory to philanthropy, offered to curious people around the world. Universities and non-profit organizations have used the platform to experiment with MOOCs, while maintaining direct relationships with their participants. Google has published a number of courses including Introduction to Web Accessibility which opens for registration today.  This platform is helping to deliver on our goal of making education more accessible through technology, and enabling educators to easily teach at scale on top of cloud platform services.

Today, Google will begin working with edX as a contributor to the open source platform, Open edX. We are taking our learnings from Course Builder and applying them to Open edX to further innovate on an open source MOOC platform.  We look forward to contributing to edX’s new site, MOOC.org, a new service for online learning which will allow any academic institution, business and individual to create and host online courses.

Google and edX have a shared mission to broaden access to education, and by working together, we can advance towards our goals much faster. In addition, Google, with its breadth of applicable infrastructure and research capabilities, will continue to make contributions to the online education space, the findings of which will be shared directly to the online education community and the Open edX platform.

We support the development of a diverse education ecosystem, as learning expands in the online world. Part of that means that educational institutions should easily be able to bring their content online and manage their relationships with their students. Our industry is in the early stages of MOOCs, and lots of experimentation is still needed to find the best way to meet the educational needs of the world. An open ecosystem with multiple players encourages rapid experimentation and innovation, and we applaud the work going on in this space today.

We appreciate the community that has grown around the Course Builder open source project. We will continue to maintain Course Builder, but are focusing our development efforts on Open edX, and look forward to seeing edX’s MOOC.org platform develop.  In the future, we will provide an upgrade path to Open edX and MOOC.org from Course Builder. We hope that our continued contributions to open source education projects will enable anyone who builds online education products to benefit from our technology, services and scale. For learners, we believe that a more open online education ecosystem will make it easier for anyone to pick up new skills and concepts at any time, anywhere.

By Dan Clancy, Director of Research