A new MOOC Platform: Class2Go, Stanford’s New Open-Source Platform
MOOCs are still quite new, so it’s not surprising that more platforms are coming out. It’s a little surprising that this is the third one to come out of Stanford. Why is Stanford ground-zero for the MOOC movement? Because Stanford is so entrepreneurial or innovative? Because of the Silicon Valley culture which encourages exploring use of technology to solve problems, like education? Because Stanford has deep enough pockets that they can afford to experiment? I really don’t know, and do find it fascinating.
To unpack that a little: When Class2Go says it’s portable, it means that it wants to be platform agnostic. Its documents are already portable, its videos already live outside its system on YouTube, its assets can be repurposed as professors see fit and the platform’s exercises and problem sets are in the Khan Academy format (meaning they’re not in a proprietary database) and can be used anywhere.
In terms of interoperability, Class2Go’s website reads, “we don’t want to build or maintain more than we have to,” so it stands on the shoulders of, or relies significantly on, other services to run, like Khan, Piazza, YouTube, Python Django, Amazon AWS, Opscode and Github. Furthermore, designing the platform for both teaching and research means that the platform will leverage data to inform and evolve pedagogy, as well as to give them a glimpse into the efficacy of lessons, teaching style, tech tools, etc.