Patt Morrison for April 19, 2012

Elite colleges move online, give the goods away for free

Blair Hall at Princeton University

Sindy Lee/creative commons/flickr

Blair Hall at Princeton University

Princeton, The University of Pennsylvania, The University of Michigan, and Stanford are now offering online courses…for free. The classes will open doors to people who wouldn’t have had them opened otherwise. Silicon Valley CEO Ben Nelson is pooling $25 million to start an online “Ivy League,” The Minerva Project.


At a time when public education institutions are slashing funds, could these moves be the great equalizer? Could an online-only instruction ever really compete with a top American institution?


Daphne Koller, co-founder, Coursera (an online platform that courses will run on), and computer science professor, Stanford University

Sean Bennett, teaching assistant, (a similar online course system) and former online student

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