Opinion: Education as a Marketing Tool for Software Companies

By Miguel Amigot II

Education is a genius and growing form of marketing for software companies, especially those with developer communities.

Lower the learning barriers for newcomers and deepen the expertise of those who are already familiar with your platform.

If you can also provide micro credentials with your courses, then you’ll generate leads as people share them on social media in order to advance their careers.

You’ll also be able to drive up usage at your client companies as more team members understand your platform (thereby achieving internal network effects).

Databricks follows this strategy by issuing Apache Spark certifications, Microsoft with Azure and NVIDIA via its Deep Learning Institute at https://courses.nvidia.com


        Miguel Amigot II is the CTO at IBL Education (Open edX)         

Columbia Releases a MOOC to Help Veterans Transition to College

For veterans, making the transition from active service to school isn’t always straightforward.

Columbia University has released a free and open course on edX.org to help veterans transition smoothly to college and maximize their success.

“University Studies for Student Veterans” is the title of this 6-week, self-paced course produced by Columbia’s Center for Veteran Transition and Integration.

The course can also be utilized as a library/toolkit resource to academic success strategies, as well as a tool for flipped classroom pedagogy, or a companion text for on-the-ground transition courses.

EdX Will Participate in Cyber NYC, an Initiative Intended to Dominate Cybersecurity

edX Inc. will join the Cyber NYC initiative, a $30 million investment from the New York City Development Corporation (NYCEDC) designed to rapidly grow the city’s ecosystem and infrastructure for cybersecurity.

“The financial industry has been the lifeblood of this city for our entire history, and the costs of cybercrime are rising quickly,” explained James Patchett, CEO at NYCEDC to TechCrunch.  Currently, there are roughly 6,000 cybersecurity professionals employed in New York City. Through these programs, the number could increase by another 10,000, and a community for cyber professionals in New York City will be created.

Companies who have made commitments to the program include Facebook, Goldman Sachs, MasterCard, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and edX.org.

The Cyber NYC program is made up of five new startup programs intended to dominate cybersecurity:

  • Partnering with Jerusalem Venture Partners, an accelerator called Hub.NYC will develop enterprise cybersecurity companies by connecting them with advisors and customers. The program will be hosted in a nearly 100,000 square ft building in SoHo.
  • The city will create a new, 15,000 square ft Global Cyber Center co-working facility in Chelsea, where talented individuals in the cyber industry will be able to hang out and learn from each other through event programming and meetups.
  • With Fullstack Academy and Laguardia Community College, a Cyber Boot Camp will be created to enhance the ability of local workers to find jobs in the cybersecurity space.
  • Through an “Applied Learning Initiative,” students will be able to earn a “CUNY-Facebook Master’s Degree” in Cybersecurity. The program has participation from the City University of New York, New York University, Columbia University, Cornell Tech, and iQ4.
  • With Columbia University’s Technology Ventures, NYCEDC will introduce a program called Inventors to Founders that will work to commercialize university research.

In terms of the educational initiative, the NYCEDC’s programs will allow students to take classes at any university in the five-member consortium, and transfer credits freely — a concept that the NYCEDC bills as “stackable certificates.”

Meanwhile, Facebook partnered with the City University of New York to create a professional Master’s degree program to train a new class of cybersecurity leaders. The idea is to provide a pathway to a widely-respected credential without having to take too much time off of work.


Microsoft and edX Will Produce Courses on Education Transformation

Microsoft and edX.org teamed up to design and offer five online courses intended to help guide K-12 school leaders on challenges and opportunities of education transformation.

These on-demand courses will include the latest research, current technologies, and proven approaches to learning design from MIT professors and other educators from two other top universities. Registration is open for new school leadership online courses with edX.

EdX Launches Nine Master’s Degree Programs at $10K-$23K

The edX organization achieved an important milestone yesterday on its expansion strategy by announcing the 2019 launch of nine online Master’s degree programs at a “disruptive price” between $10,000 and $23,000. The average Master’s degree costs between $30,000-$120,000.

These programs, in areas such as data science, cybersecurity, computer science, analytics and supply chain management, will be developed by Arizona State University, Curtin University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Indiana University, University of California San Diego, University of Queensland, and University of Texas at Austin.

This is the full offering:

Arizona State University – Master of Science in Supply Chain Management

– Curtin University – Master of Marketing

  • Tuition: $22,254
  • Regular decision deadline: August 15, 2019

– Georgia Institute of Technology – Master of Science in Analytics

  • Top 10 Ranked
  • Tuition: $9,900
  • Early decision deadline: March 1, 2019

– Georgia Institute of Technology – Master of Science in Cybersecurity

  • Top 10 Ranked
  • Tuition: $9,920
  • Early decision deadline: March 1, 2019

– Indiana University – Master of Science in Accounting

  • Top 10 ranked
  • Tuition: $21,000
  • Initial deadline: July 1, 2019

– Indiana University – Master of Science in Information Technology Management

  • Top 10 ranked
  • Tuition: $21,000
  • Initial deadline: July 1, 2019

– University of California, San Diego – Master of Data Science

  • Tuition: $15,000

– University of Queensland – Master of Leadership in Service Innovation

  • Tuition: < $18,500
  • Regular decision deadline: June 15, 2019

– University of Texas at Austin – Master of Science in Computer Science

  • Top 10 ranked
  • Tuition: $10,000
  • Priority decision deadline: April 1, 2019

University of Edinburgh (Upcoming)

This Master’s degree offering, available at www.edx.org/masters, builds upon edX MicroMasters program.

“Workplace is changing more rapidly than ever before, and employers are in need of highly-skilled talent, especially in fields most impacted by advances in technology,” explained Anant Agarwal, CEO at edX, in a blog post to announce edX’s Masters.

The launch of the Master’s programs follows the success of an initial pilot program with the Georgia Institute of Technology in Analytics, which demonstrated the impact of offering disruptively priced Master’s degrees from top-ranked institutions at scale. The program started with 250 students in Fall 2017 and has grown to more than 1,200 in Fall 2018. Tuition for Georgia Tech’s Online Master of Science in Analytics (OMS Analytics) degree is available for less than $10,000. The residential program ranges from $36,000 for in-state students to $49,000 for out of state.


edX BlogFully Online, Top-Ranked Master’s Degrees Now Available on edX

Press Release: edX Launches New Master’s Degrees in Partnership with Top-Ranked Universities

ForbesEdX Announces A New Set Of Graduate Programs In Analytics In Partnership With Major Universities

A Harvard Course on edX Will Teach to Build a Machine Learning Algorithm

Harvard’s “Data Science: Machine Learning” course will be launched today, October 11 at edX.org .

It will be an open, self-paced, 4-week course, which will teach popular machine learning algorithms and principal component analysis, with a practical case in mind: building a movie recommendation system.

The most popular data science methodologies come today from machine learning and how it builds prediction algorithms using data. Many popular products, from spam detectors and speech recognition systems to handwriting readers implemented by the postal service include machine learning.

Taught by Rafael Irizarry, Professor of Biostatistics at Harvard University, “Data Science: Machine Learning” will be part of this institution’s Professional Certificate Program in Data Science.

Opinion: Artificial Intelligence Will Reshape Education

By Mikel Amigot

We are walking into an AI-empowered era. And not only self-driving cars and robots are performing repetitive tasks.

Nearly all industries, including education, will eventually be affected by AI (Artificial Intelligence).

Today we are seeing the impact on customer attention, where machine learning algorithms using data are making decisions.

Machine learning, a subset of AI, is the new weapon in education, too. Personalized learning, adaptive pathways, and predictive analytics will be the most visible outcome.

We’re already seeing how data is helping to track student knowledge and recommend next steps.

We all know IBM Watson, ALEKS, and Knewton. Even us, at IBL Education, we’ve implemented these algorithms in some online lessons, and we’ve deployed predictive analytics on the Open edX platform.

However, we need much more data to improve our algorithms.

Machine learning in education is in the early stages.

Students, parents, and advisors will continue to make decisions about learning pathways, but data will play an increasing role in guiding recommendations.

In a way, the AI tsunami has not even started.


        Mikel Amigot is the CEO of IBL Education (Open edX) and IBL News        


MIT – edX MicroMasters Adds Harvard Extension School and Four More Institutions

The list of universities that recognize the MITx / edX MicroMasters credential has grown to 19 pathway institutions in 11 countries and 58 different pathways to a Master’s degree.

The last five institutions joining the MicroMasters are:

Delivered on edX.org, MITx MicroMasters courses offer the same learning experiences as MIT courses.


Restarting the Platform and other Advice Managing Open edX

Manually configuring and maintaining the Open edX platform is a challenging task.

To help in difficulties, a freelance developer based in Mexico, Lawrence McDaniel, has posted in this blog a basic troubleshooting guide with solutions.

Interestingly, McDaniel says that “the cure-all is restarting the platform”. “When your Open edX installation is misbehaving and you’re unsure of your next step, I always like to begin with a reboot. It can’t hurt, and occasionally you’re pleasantly surprised to find your instance in good health immediately afterward.”

These are the topics of the guide:



Open edX | September 2018: MIT, Anant Agarwal, TU Delft, United Nations…

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  |  More stories at IBL News



• Global Knowledge launches a new hybrid format on its Open edX platform

• FUN Open edX platform’s revenue streams to achieve financial sustainability



• edX recommends upgrading its Open edX platform to Hawthorn.2

• Overseas freelancers offer to install basic Open edX for $160

• Opinion: Jupyter is a surprisingly powerful teaching tool which works well with Open edX



• TU Delft reaches the two million learners milestone

• MIT’s introductory course about computer science on edX reaches 1.2M online learners

• United Nation’s sustainable development courses on edX.org

• The 2018 best edX instructors



• Anant Agarwal wins the Yidan Prize for his work with the edX platform

• Anant Agarwal’s column: How MOOCs help the skills transformation issue


This newsletter about Open edX is a monthly report compiled by the IBL News journalist staff, in collaboration with IBL Education, a New York City-based company that builds AI analytics-driven, revenue-oriented learning ecosystems, and courses with Open edX. 

Read the latest IBL Newsletter on Learning Innovation  |  Archive of Open edX Newsletters