Online education isn't particularly new. It has been around in some form since the 1990s, but what is new is the speed and scale in which online learning is growing.
In barely a year, many of the most prestigious research universities in the world – including Stanford, Caltech, Oxford and Princeton — have started to jump onto the online bandwagon.
Those universities now offer classes through consortiums like Coursera, a tech company that's partnered with more than 30 of the top universities in the world to offer online classes from its course catalogue — for free. Other companies offering online courses include Udacity and edX.
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