The Third Open edX Conference Will Take Place in June in the Bay Area


The third Open edX Conference for developers will take place in June in the Bay Area.

Joel Barciauskas, engineering manager at Open edX, made this announcement during the third Open edX Meetup in New York. Further details will be communicated throughout the following weeks.


During the event, organized by IBL and McKinsey Academy and rated with five stars on, Joel Barciauskas also announced that Open edX’s Dogwood version will be released by the end of January.

Dogwood will have as supported components the edx-platform, including its dependencies, Ora2 and Forums. The picture above, which is part of Joel’s presentation, reflects what’s new in Dogwood.

In addition, Dogwood will include these three components, which won’t be officially supported by edX:

  • eCommerce (Otto)
  • Insights Analytics
  • Mobile applications (iOS and Android)

After Dogwood, the next release will be Eucalyptus, scheduled for March/April.


> Joel Barciauskas’ Open edX Presentation (.pdf)
> Third Open edX’s Meetup: photos, comments and video (streaming quality)

An Amazing Year 2015 for edX and the Open edX Community

An amazing year 2015 for edX, its learners and the community: 3rd anniversary, 6 million learners (and over 10 million more on Open edX sites, including Stanford, Xuetangx, FUN…), more than 800 courses (and 1,000+ on Open edX), groundbreaking educational programs such as the Global Freshman Academy and MIT’s MicroMaster’s, three new versions of the Open edX software, a vibrant community…

Most of it is reflected in the graphic below.



School Yourself Acquired by Amplify

School Yourself, a leading provider of online math lessons and author of two courses on (Introduction to Algebra and Introduction to Geometry) and an XBlock, has been acquired this month by Amplify for an undisclosed amount.

School Yourself CEO Zach Wissner-Gross and his team at the company will join Amplify and continue building learning solutions in hard sciences, game design and adaptive learning.

The current School Yourself content, which includes more than 250 interactive math lessons, will remain freely available at and via

Founded in 2012, School Yourself got five grants since it was created, according to Crunchbase: $5K on April 2012, $10K on June 2012, $25K on November 2012, an undisclosed amount on September 2014 and $250K on February 2015.

“Our mission has always been to improve education through innovation,” said School Yourself CEO Zach Wissner-Gross. “By joining with Amplify, we’ll be able to continue that mission, while continuing to support active users of”

The Third New York Open edX Meetup Will Take Place this January 7th


The third New York Open edX Meetup will take place this January 7th at McKinsey Academy’s WeWork in downtown Manhattan.

More than 90 people have confirmed their attendance for the meetup since it was announced four days ago.

Meanwhile, the number of people who belong to this group has surpassed 450. This is the largest community of Open edX-ers.

Columbia University, edX, McKinsey Academy, IBL Studios and Open Online Academy‘s representatives will talk about the state of Open edX and explain how this open-source technology is helping universities and businesses to implement MOOC-style courses, intended for blended, continuous education, professional development, alumni engagement, lead generation and for-credit programs.

“What makes the Open edX platform unique” is the theme of this meetup.

The panelists will be the following:

Maurice Matiz, Executive Director Columbia Center for Media Teaching and Learning, Columbia University

Joel Barciauskas, Engineering Manager at edX

Jennifer Gormley, Senior Director, Product and Marketing at McKinsey Academy

Michael Amigot, Founder at IBL Studios (Open edX)

Ivan Shumkov, Founder at Open Online Academy (

This event will take place after the success of the Open edX Universities Symposium in DC, organized by the same team.

This short, welcoming event –free of sales pitches– will include brief talks, along with a round-table discussion and networking.

This event will be live broadcasted and open to outside participation. All of the talks will be filmed and distributed  throughout the Open edX community.

Our third Open edX meetup will be sponsored by McKinsey Academy, WeWork and IBL.

Access is free, although seats are limited. Beer and pizza will be served.

Post: Open edX’s Platform Global Success

CharterOak State Online College Offers a Pathway to Earn College Credit through edX's Courses


Another cost-effective option for students to earn affordable college credit on edX. This is the fourth initiative on university credit related to edX released this year, after the Global Freshman Academy with Arizona State University, MIT’s MicroMaster’s credential and ACE Alternative Credit Project. Currently, there are eight credit-eligible courses on

CharterOak State College, a Connecticut-based public online college offering bachelor’s and associate’s degree programs, will now award college credit for select edX courses –two of them for now:  MITx Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python and UC BerkeleyX Engineering Software as a Service (SaaS) Part 2. Additional courses will be included in the program in the coming weeks.

This credit will follow a “pay-when-you-pass model”. Students enroll in an edX course, successfully complete and pass the course (with an 80% grade of higher), and then decide to pay for Charter Oak credit ($100 per credit hour). This credit can be applied to credentials, continuing ed credits and completion of a college degree.

“EdX learners around the world will now be able to earn credit for their hard work and success in MOOCs, offering an opportunity to many learners who would otherwise never have access to high-quality education and credit,” explained Anant Agarwal, CEO at edX.

“A variety of edX partners are enthusiastic about working with us on innovative credit offerings. We look forward to announcing more credit opportunities and pathways for our learners in the coming months,” he added.


EdX Begins to Search a New Vice President of Product

joeledX has begun an executive search for a new Vice President of Product, after Beth Porter decided to leave this organization on December 11.

“Our commitment to open source and the Open edX community remains strong, and these changes will not significantly impact our resource allocation or collaborations“, has said Wendy Cebula, President and CCO.

During this transition, Joel Barciauskas (in the picture) will continue to lead the Open edX community and manage the Open edX engineering team.

Dec 8, 2015 – Posted in the Open edX Portal: Upcoming Change in edX Leadership

Learning Analytics Is a Must-Have Feature 



“Analytics are no longer a nice-to-have feature”, stated Dr. Linda Baer during the first Open edX Universities Symposium, celebrated last month at The George Washington University in DC.

Baer presented a graphic forecasting the evolution of the analytics technology, from descriptive and diagnostic to predictive and prescriptive analytics, where educators will be able to advance what will happen and how can they make it happen.

Currently, learning analytics technology is just on the first stage of the graphic.


The edX organization offers the Insights Analytics server to their paid partners –all of the universities and known brands that belong to the xConsortium.

Last week, IBL was able to complete the first installation of the last version of Insights Analytics –including Video Insights– on the Open edX community. GW Engineering’s Open edX platform is currently taking advantage of this service.


Beth Porter Leaves edX

beth-porter-300 (1)Beth Porter, Vice President of edX and one the most prominent advocates of the Open edX software and methodology, has decided to leave the organization. “I’m going to take a break for a couple of months to spend time with my family and figure out what to do next”, she explained on an email to IBL’s Founder.

No more information about her departure was provided from her or the edX Corporation.

Beth Porter is not the only one. Sarina Canelake, one of the managers of the Open edX community, reached out to IBL as well to communicate her decision to leave edX.

Coursera's, edX's and Udacity's New Business Models: Marketable Knowledge and For-Credit Pathway Programs


The main three MOOC providers are putting together specific business models to evolve from a money-losing activity, become sustainable and even thrive. Coursera and Udacity are designing corporate courses, while edX is convincing universities to offer credits through their courses.

Udacity attracted in November $105M from venture capitalists showing that students are ready to pay and complete courses that might land them top jobs. Corporations such as AT&T, Google, Facebook, Cloudera and MongoDB partner with Udacity and design market-oriented courses that support much-needed skills.

edX has incorporated 27 edX new members in the past year –generating around $15 million. But it now faces a new challenge: to convince its university partners to renew their three-year contracts, as Allison Dulin explains in a article at edSurge.

“Learners want credit, and to provide credit we must create quality learning environments that meet the needs of diverse learners, and are recognized by institutions and employers. And it’s no secret that credit is a bridge to financial sustainability for edX and its partner universities”, Anant Agarwal, CEO at edX says.

The "edX Idea": Higher Education Credentials for Everyone

Beyond a consortium, educational portal and open source platform, edX is a powerful concept structured into a community of learners, educators, technologists and entrepreneurs.

Dr. Joshua Kim, Director of Digital Learning Initiatives at Dartmouth University, has expressed this thought in an article written for “Inside the Higher Ed”.

“A meaningful higher education credential should be available to every person in the world rather than the small minority”, says Joshua Kim.

In other words, “edX is an idea”. And there is nothing in this world as powerful as an idea.

You might think that Coursera, Udacity or another powerful start-up can also develop this goal.

Well, so far no one except edX has formulated the goal of reaching one billion learners in ten years. The edX consortium has a key advantage over Coursera: it is a non-profit organization and its software is fully open source.

And a third one: the willingness to partner with the software and instructional design community. Beth Porter, VP of Product at edX, said during the “Open edX Universities Symposium” that “the goal (of the one billion learners) cannot be achieved without the help of the open source community”.

Joshua Kim highlights that “higher education credentials need not be scarce”.

  • “EdX is not really a consortium. (Although it is a consortium). EdX is not really an open platform. (Although it is an open platform). EdX is not really a website and a global aggregator of lifelong learners. (Although it is both those things).”
  • “What in our world has transitioned from scarcity to abundance? (Or near abundance?). Light. Clean water. Food. Books. Bandwidth. Music. News. Processing Power. Storage. Information. (…) Some people (including me) think that energy will make the transition from scarcity to abundance in our lifetimes.”
  • “The idea of edX is that a higher education credential is a right for everybody, not a privilege of the few. (…) What I find amazing is that the members of the edX Consortium seem to think that it can be done.”
  • “A move to end the global scarcity in higher education credentialing will require a non-linear advance. (…) “The answer will only be found by experimentation and action (rather than talking and defending the status quo).”



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