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Apple TV tunes into MOOCs

Molly Wood Nov 4, 2015
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When it comes to streaming video, binge watching “Scandal” or catching up on past seasons of “Arrested Development” might come to mind. Now, here come’s Apple TV to make us all feel guilty about that.

Its latest version includes an app from Coursera, a provider of massive open online courses, or MOOCs. Viewers will be able to stream video lectures from the likes of Stanford, Yale, and more than 100 other schools.

Coursera students already move between laptops and mobile devices, said Shobita Thomas, a mobile product manager with Coursera.

“They’ve become a multi-screen audience,” she said. “This was just a natural extension of that.”

The challenge, as it always has been for MOOCs, is to turn that audience into revenue. Coursera’s classes are free, but it sells certificates to people who finish them.

“If they are making money, it’s not a lot, because the vast majority of students that start courses on their platform don’t finish,” said Jeff Alderson, a software analyst with Eduventures.

The real money will come, Alderson said, when MOOC providers figure out how to get more students to stick it out – and pay for the proof.

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