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There's something very non-MIT-like about edX. It's not just the fact that it's online education. OpenCourseWare, with its simple interface and quirky grad classes sprinkled among the .00n favorites, felt like a grassroots movement to democratize knowledge; edX, although I am glad that it's open-source and a not-for profit, feels slick, top-down and corporate. Read the terms of service and privacy policy; students in edX classes "hereby grant to edX a worldwide, non-exclusive, transferable, assignable, sublicensable, fully paid-up, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to host, transfer, display, perform, reproduce, modify, distribute, re-distribute, relicense and otherwise use, make available and exploit [their] User Postings, in whole or in part, in any form and in any media formats and through any media channels." Their information can be used for "communications about products or services of ... selected business partners that may be of interest to [them]." Will it improve access to education? Yes and no. American students are already being told to downsize their higher education dreams from research universities to to community colleges based on financial situation rather than academic talent. Now we don't have to worry when students of MIT caliber can't afford to attend four-year institutions; they can just go to community college and take some edX classes on the side. After all, with names like "6.002x", MIT seems to think that they're almost the same as being there.

A New Financial Model, Improving accessibility and affordability, Global Implications of EdX, Global implications of edX