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Universities and foundations have poured more than $100-million into creating open-education materials. But according to David Wiley, an open-education advocate for 15 years, faculty members and administrators have been slow to use the resources as alternatives to expensive textbooks.

“It’s frustrating to watch these resources keep getting created, and then watch nobody use them and watch students get no benefit,” he said.

A former New York City schools chancellor plans to use technology -- and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s $700 million endowment -- to connect more low-income students with prestigious colleges and universities.

Stanford University will collaborate with edX, the nonprofit online learning enterprise founded by Harvard and MIT, to advance the development of edX's open source learning platform and continue to provide free and open online learning tools for institutions around the world.

The philosophy department at San Jose State University is pushing back against the university's pioneering projects to test new online learning ventures. A department-approved letter not only challenges hype around online learning but personally calls out a Harvard University professor who teaches a massive open online class for his alleged culpability in what the department calls perilous online learning efforts.

Dozens of higher-education researchers convened here last week, in the midst of a snowstorm, to talk about a tsunami.

Massive open online courses have been a hot topic at higher-education conferences for about two years. But the objective of the MOOC Research Initiative Conference, which brought together dozens of researchers from universities involved in MOOCs, was to move beyond the hype and try to begin sorting out what, exactly, the courses might mean for various parts of higher education.