Anant Agarwal

Education innovator
Through blended courses Anant Agarwal is pairing online education with face-to-face student-faculty interactions, reshaping the university campus experience.

Why you should listen

In the spring of 2012, Anant Agarwal, a professor of computer science at MIT, taught a course called “Circuits and Electronics.” As usual, it was MIT-level challenging, requiring knowledge of differential equations and calculus. Unlike in the past, though, the course enrolled 155,000 students from 162 countries around the world.
 
It was the inaugural offering of what is now edX , an online learning venture of MIT and Harvard, which Agarwal helms. Through this nonprofit -- one of the leading forces of the massive open online course (MOOC) movement -- Agarwal aims to make higher education globally available, for free.
 
Which does not preclude in-person education. On campus, Agarwal is pushing for what he calls blended courses, which interweave digital content and face-to-face interactions. "I see online learning as a rising tide that will lift all boats,” Agarwal says.

Agarwal holds the Guinness World Record for the largest microphone array, and was named one of Forbes' top education innovators in 2012. Find him on Twitter at @agarwaledu.

What others say

“[Agarwal’s] work could alter the academic landscape more dramatically than almost any pedagogic innovation since the lecture” — The Boston Globe Magazine

Anant Agarwal’s TED talk

Anant Agarwal on the TED Blog

Education

We need to change everything on campus: Anant Agarwal of edX on MOOCs, MIT and new models of higher education

January 27, 2014

Whenever something is declared the subject of “the year of,” you know said subject is ripe for a big fat backlash. So, when The New York Times declared 2012 “the year of the MOOC,” it thus came to pass that massive open online courses should next become the subject of massive, open, often online criticism, as critics gathered to […]

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Education

What’s next for MOOCs?

January 27, 2014

“Questions Worth Asking” is a new editorial series from TED in which we’ll pose thorny questions to those with a thoughtful, relevant (or irrelevant but still interesting) take. This week: “What’s next for MOOCs?”, those online courses that have thrown a techno-bomb at traditional higher education. Here, a primer to catch you up if you’ve somehow managed […]

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