SocialEDU is collaborating on a new project with Internet.org, Facebook, and mobile technology companies to provide internet access to more than 60 percent of the world’s population.

socialedu-facebook-rwandaFacebook and edX are collaborating to give free access to online education to students in Rwanda through the SocialEDU initiative, Facebook announced Feb. 24.

SocialEDU will incorporate aspects of free content, free data, inexpensive smart phones, localized education, and a “government that supports innovation” in its launch to help the African nation, according to an announcement.

EdX will work with Facebook to build a mobile app allowing Rwandan students to access edX’s free MOOCs from universities like Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of California (UC) Berkeley.

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This initiative will rely on telecommunications companies to deliver free mobile education to Rwanda. Airtel will provide free data to any Rwandan student who participates in the new program for a year and Ericsson will produce a simulation to see if the app functions in a 2G environment.

Nokia will also supply “affordable” smart phones for the initiative.

“Nearly half of our 2 million students come from developing countries and 10 percent of our students live in Africa. We’ve heard their stories about the impact edX courses have had on their lives and our vision is to impact many more,” said edX Vice President of Marketing Matthew Malloy in an edX blog.

SocialEDU is collaborating on a new project with Internet.org, Facebook, and mobile technology companies to help provide internet access to more than 60 percent of the world’s population.

“Internet.org is about working together to remove barriers to access and give billions of people the power to connect to the knowledge economy,” said Facebook’s Vice President of Growth and Analytics Javier Olivan.

Facebook is becoming more prevalent throughout the world each day, with more than 1 billion users in over 60 countries. Its extension to SocialEDU is not the first attempt to expand digital learning on a global scale.

The social networking service’s head of global policy development Matt Perault spoke of the “opportunity in education” to connect MOOCs with networks like Facebook to impact a larger group of users at the Transform Africa 2013 Summit in Rwanda, according to Wired.

EdX was even able to expand its course services to China in October 2013.

Mike Siegel is an editorial intern at eCampus News.


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