When a Harvard professor converted his course on Greek heroes into a MOOC, the enrollment went from a few hundred Ivy League students in Cambridge, Mass., to 31,000 students around the globe, Gigaom reports.

For years universities have recognized the power of MOOCs, but high tech is only now embracing the format that it helped make possible. After all, cloud computing and global content delivery networks are at the heart of a MOOC’s massive scalability.

Recently MongoDB, the leading NoSQL database, began offering two MOOCs to developers around the world. And Google is now collaborating with edX to build a platform where anyone can put together and offer a freely available course.

In 2014, it’s clear that MOOCs have well and truly left the confines of the university hedgerows.

MOOCs are a natural choice for companies that support the open-source movement. Like open-source software, MOOCs are driven by a desire for openness, transparency, collaboration and free access to knowledge and technology.

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