Harvard, MIT to offer free online courses

In a move that heightened competition in online education and brought more prestige to the still-fledgling field, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are partnering to offer the public mainly free Internet classes.

Harvard and MIT are each donating $30 million to create a nonprofit organization, to be called “edX” that will develop an Internet platform for the classes and design new ways to teach and learn with technology, according to the two Cambridge, Mass., schools.

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