(09/13/12) Adario Strange
Google has released Course Builder, open source software for creating online education courses. Google says Course Builder does not require high-level programming skills and should be accessible to anyone with the ability to build and maintain their own Web site. "The Course Builder open source project is an experimental early step for us in the world of online education," says Google research director Peter Norvig. "It is a snapshot of an approach we found useful and an indication of our future direction." Norvig says Google researchers plan to directly interact with Course Builder users via Google Hangouts over the next two weeks. A support site has been launched, and the free software download has already received its first update. Google also is offering the Course Builder Checklist as a primer on how to get started and what to expect. "We hope to continue development along these lines, but we wanted to make this limited code base available now, to see what early adopters will do with it, and to explore the future of learning technology," Norvig says.