O’Reilly Media Won’t Organize the 2019 JupyterCon Event

O’Reilly Media will no longer organize the JupyterCon conferences. Therefore, the projected 2019 JupyterCon conference won’t take place, and the next annual conference may be deferred until 2020.

Project Jupyter reported today on its blog about this sudden breaking off, although it didn’t disclose the cause. “We would like to thank the team at O’Reilly Media for partnering with us to offer JupyterCon 2017 and 2018. Their expertise in creating and managing complex events with hundreds of attendees was invaluable, and we learned a great deal from working with them,” wrote.

Project Jupyter management team is now organizing a committee to re-evaluate the situation and investigate different conference formats, including a lower-cost one, and explore new venues and locations.

In addition to the annual conference, Jupyter has other local gatherings which will continue to proceed, such as Jupyter Days, Jupyter Community Workshops, and local code sprints and open studios.

Insights on Georgia Tech Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity on edX.org

Nelson Baker, Dean of Professional Education at Georgia Tech, in conversation with Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, shared his view on the Master of Science in Cybersecurity online degree (OMS Cybersecurity), which was announced in the fall on edX and whose first cohort of students will start this January.

Intended for thousands of working professionals with full-time jobs and family commitments who are unable to attend on-campus classes, this degree, offered at a tuition of less than $10,000, follows the groundbreaking online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS), and Online Master of Science in Analytics (OMS Analytics). Diploma, curriculum, content, rigor, and requirements are the same as the residential program.

  • “It includes collaborative tools to enable learners to interact with each other, with their instructors, and with their course content, which is crucial to the online learner experience. The students build powerful learner communities and professional networks by collaborating on the official forum, as well as by using unofficial tools such as Slack or Google Forums.”

  • “These degrees offer more than content at-scale. They also offer networks at-scale that allow learners to build worldwide professional networks that they would not be able to build if they were in a traditional on-campus master’s program.”
  • “Our online degrees-at-scale can also open doors for new graduates that may normally be closed to them.”
  • Students in the on-campus M.S. in Cybersecurity are traditional graduate students, who recently completed an undergraduate degree, while the learners taking the OMS Cybersecurity are mainly working professionals. Ninety-seven percent of the applicants admitted to the OMS Cybersecurity program are already employed, and a third of them already have graduate degrees. They range from 20 years old to 72 years old and represent 27 countries. The majority of applicants come from the U.S. with a third of them coming from Georgia.”
  • “The main reason we’re able to offer this program at this price point is the massive online delivery technology that enables us to serve large numbers of qualified students from all over the world. Also, while there is no difference in the degree requirements or academic rigor between the on-campus and online degrees, we offer fewer elective choices in the OMS Cybersecurity to keep costs down. Another reason for the significantly reduced cost of the online degree is that online students don’t require the physical infrastructure and amenities needed by on-campus students.”


Forbes: How Is Higher Ed Helping To Close The Global Knowledge Gap?
Georgia Tech: Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity
edX‘s Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity





Harvard University Enhances its DART Tool to Reuse edX Content on Campus

Harvard University – with 100 MOOCs featuring 26,000 videos, problems and text pages on edX.org – continues to experiment with technology to allow for the broad reuse of edX content for its on-campus Canvas platform.

Its new technical solution is called DART: Digital Assets for Reuse in Teaching, a system that allows any Harvard instructor to utilize HarvardX edX content on their on-campus courses via the Canvas LMS using the LTI standard interoperability tool. [See a screenshot above].

“Content is discoverable through search and recommendation interfaces, and the embed process is reduced to a few clicks. The initiative is well aligned with the envisioned NGDLE (next-generation digital learning environment), focusing on platform interoperability (edX to Canvas) and microservices (small isolated coding blocks) that appropriately isolate development to allow for quick iteration,” explained Daniel Seaton, a product owner for the DART project at Harvard University, in an article on Inside The Higher Education.

Mr. Seaton recommends that the edX Consortium – which hosts 2,200 courses – explore the possibility of extending these interoperability technologies to other members, creating a sharing economy for MOOC content. “When so many institutions have committed to open online courses, it’s natural to ask how these materials can be used to explore new pathways in both existing and nascent learning settings,” he says.



Open edX-Based Freshman Year for Free Initiative Reaches 100,000 Students Milestone

The “Freshman Year for Free” initiative has announced a key milestone: the registration of 100,000 students. The project, developed by a philanthropy called Modern States Education Alliance, runs on a sophisticated Open edX ecosystem. Every month over 8,000 new learners join this educational platform.

Taught by professors from leading universities, Modern States’ free online courses prepare students for the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exam offered by the College Board.

“Having over 100,000 learners registered on ModernStates.org is a significant milestone for our organization and is particularly meaningful to me as I believe access to education is a fundamental right,” said Steve Klinsky, founder and CEO of Modern States. “Total student debt in America now exceeds $1.4 trillion dollars. With higher education playing a key role in the strength of our country, now and in the future, educating people on the cost-saving resources available to them is imperative.”

ModernStates.org classes are high-tech recorded sessions taught by professors from schools such as Johns Hopkins University, Rutgers University, and George Washington University, and prepare learners to pass a CLEP exam. Course materials include free online textbooks and readings, plus practice questions from the College Board. Students can study each course at their own pace and take the CLEP exam when they feel ready.

There are no fees or costs of any kind to access the materials, and each CLEP exam costs $87. As part of its philanthropic commitment, Modern States is paying the CLEP exam fee for the first 10,000 people who take a course. Students request an exam fee voucher once they’ve finished a course.

“Whether someone takes one of our courses or enough credits to fulfill their freshman year requirements, it’s rewarding to provide a path to college for many types of students,” said Klinsky.

In the long term, Modern States aspires to help over one million learners earn credit at no tuition cost, saving students and taxpayers approximately $1,000 per course and over $1 billion in total.


Microsoft Launches a Series of 10 Courses about Cybersecurity on edX.org

Microsoft has introduced a free 10-course professional program on Cybersecurity, intended to help identify threats early on and minimize the impact of breaches.

Each course requires 8 to 12 hours of study time, and will run for three months, starting at the beginning of each quarter – in January, April, July and October 2019.

However, the first course, Enterprise Security Fundamentals, is already available.

The program, which includes short video lessons, labs, quizzes and community interaction, is hosted on edX.org. The cost is $99 per course if the student pursues a “verified certificate”.

  1. Enterprise Security Fundamentals
  2. Threat Detection: Planning for a Secure Enterprise
  3. Planning a Security Incident Response
  4. PowerShell Security Best Practices
  5. Managing Identity
  6. Security in Office 365; Securing Data in Azure and SQL Server; or Microsoft SharePoint 2016: Authentication and Security
  7. Windows 10 Security Features
  8. Windows Server 2016 Security Features
  9. Microsoft Azure Security Services
  10. Microsoft Professional Capstone on Cybersecurity


Three Professors from Queensland University Awarded with the 2018 edX Prize

The University of Queensland’s Professors Blake McKimmie, Barbara Masser and Mark Horswill, who taught the course, “The Psychology of Criminal Justice”, received the 2018 edX Prize for their contributions in online teaching and learning, as well as a commitment to open education. The award was presented this Friday, November 16, during the edX Global Forum conference in Boston.

“The Psychology of Criminal Justice is a thrilling and engaging look at the psychological elements of the crime and criminal justice set against the backdrop of a hypothetical murder. Its incredibly innovative use of realistic drama combined with novel assessments to reinforce the course content,” explained Anant Agarwal, CEO at edX.

This “must take” self-paced, free course has been running on edX.org since 2014.

The edX Prize nominated ten finalists in September.




Another announcement made during the conference was that the 2019 Global Forum will be held at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), in South China.

NYU, Western Governors and HEC Montreal Join the edX Consortium

The edX organization announced yesterday that NYU, Western Governors University and HEC Montreal have joined its consortium.

The announcement was made by edX’s CEO, Anant Agarwal [in the picture], during the edX Global Forum event in Boston, MA.

In addition to those universities, edX has attracted other private and public institutions as partners, such as:

  • AfghanX (Afghanistan)
  • Logyca (Colombia)
  • BrainLab (Hong Kong)
  • Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (Morocco)
  • Universidad del Rosario (Argentina)
  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University (Qatar)

In the last year, other organizations who joined edX, and whose courses have been publicized, are Indiana University, IBM, AWS and SGA Academy.

In total, edX has over 130 partners.


Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) will start a Professional Certificate program called Solar Energy in Hot Desert Climates in January 7, 2019. It will consists of two courses: Solar Resource Assessment in Desert Climates and Using Photovoltaic Technology in Desert Climates.

MITx Displays Videos from Courses on edX on Its New YouTube Channel

MITx has launched its YouTube channel as a way to offer a taste of their courses and videos on edX.org.

All of the courses are developed and taught by faculty from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

“Whether you’re looking to further your career, get ahead in school, or just enjoy learning something new – we’ve got a course for you,” says MITx on its YouTube channel, while encouraging learners to enroll at its edX page.


A Course from Imperial College on edX to Help Investors Understand Climate Risk

Global warming is changing the landscape for investing. Because of it, investors are facing serious risks and opportunities. What do investment industry leaders and scientific researchers say about it?

To answer these questions, Imperial College London has issued a free 4-week / 20-hour, self-paced course on edX.org, intended for professionals working in financial markets, titled “Climate Change: Financial Risks and Opportunities”.

The course is taught by Dr. Charles DonovanDirector of the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment of Imperial College Business School. “As global warming becomes a more urgent challenge for countries around the world, there’s a growing need for investment managers to understand the investment implications of climate change,” explained Dr. Donovan.

Participants will learn about emerging trends in climate-resilient investing and gain insights into potential winners and losers in the ongoing energy transition. The course is taught via curated reading materials, video lectures from Imperial academics and practitioner interviews, and interactive exercises.

“The dramatic fall in costs of solar and wind power in recent years is unleashing a wave of innovation in the global power sector.  While much of the discussion about climate change focus on risks, the investment opportunities of a low-carbon energy shift are massive – if investors know how to seize them,” said David Scaysbrook, Managing Partner of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners.

The course addresses an important knowledge gap within firms who are struggling to respond to recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which asks companies to disclose the climate risks they currently face.


Indiana University Launches Two Master’s Degree Programs on edX.org

Indiana University will issue in 2019 a Master of Science in Accounting and a Master of Science in IT Management on edX.org.  This offering comes after this institution has joined the edX Consortium.

  • The Master of Science in Accounting degree is priced at $21,000 and includes 10 fully online courses in financial and managerial accounting, financial statement analysis, finance, tax planning and strategy, auditing and data analytics-based decision-making.
  • The curriculum for the Master of Science in IT Management, also with a tuition of $21,000, is comprised of 10 online courses on how to analyze, design and develop information systems, how to lead IT management and strategy and how to use data and visualizations to support managerial decisions.

Both of these programs offer learners the option to start with a MicroMasters program, which is a valuable standalone credential and can count toward their full master’s degree.