Here’s how to make college ‘free for all’

What if the federal government took all of the money it spends on student aid, and instead just used that money to pay for every students’ college education?

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Source: The New American Foundation

According to the New America Foundation, the federal government spent $69 billion on grants, loans, and tax benefits for student aid in 2013.

If the same money was spent on paying tuition at public universities instead, then every student currently enrolled in those colleges could do so for free. The cost of tuition collected by universities last year was just $62.6 billion, according to the Department of Education.

Web-based education would likely play a vital role in such a radical change in higher education.…Read More

Udacity drops free certificates

MOOC certificates could cost students up to $150 per month

brokeresizedThe massive open online course (MOOC) platform Udacity will no longer offer completion certificates for free, the company announced this week.

While students can still take the courses for free, Udacity is discontinuing its “non-identity-verified” certificates. Anyone hoping to earn a certificate proving they mastered material in a MOOC must instead pay for a verified certificate. Students can keep the certificates they have already earned.

The change, effective May 16, is to help employers take MOOCs more seriously, Udacity’s founder Sebastian Thrun said in a blog post Wednesday.…Read More

1 million students to get free textbooks

OpenStax College will provide more than 1 million students a free textbook

openstax-college-textbookThis fall, over 1 million students will have access to the free textbook, Principles of Economics, provided by OpenStax College.

Founded in 2012, OpenStax College is a nonprofit organization developed by Rice University and supported by numerous foundations, which provides free textbooks and learning materials.

The organization has produced six textbooks that have been downloaded over 480,000 times, estimating students have saved about $8 million.…Read More

10 new, free ed-tech MOOCs for March

These March MOOCs cater to faculty, IT admin, and your STEM students

MOOC-March-freeWith all the MOOCs available today, including the number of platforms and higher-ed institutions offering courses, it’s sometimes difficult to navigate the most credible—and most interesting—MOOCs that can cater to your institution.

In the interest of saving you time, the editors of eCampus News have aggregated 10 new, free (and often generating a lot of buzz) MOOCs that apply to not only students interested in topics such as digital imaging and robotics, but to IT staff looking to integrate the best mobile apps for campus, and faculty looking to develop their online teaching skills.

For example, this list includes MOOCs, all available in March, that range from “Google Ninja,” which helps attendees become masters of all Google programs, to “Teaching Online,” which discusses the challenge of designing and facilitating online courses with a diverse student population. Look for other courses on Computer Science 101, Gamification Design, and much more.…Read More

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