Introducing CourseWorld — First Online Education Platform for Liberal Arts

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It’s the launch of the first online education platform for the arts and humanities.

Students and lifelong learners now have an easier way to find the best arts and humanities content.

As the school year begins, CourseWorld (http://www.courseworld.org) launched today as the first online education platform for the classic liberal arts.

A grassroots, not-for-profit initiative staffed entirely by volunteers, the free site features 16,000 curated online videos—all hand-selected, keyword-tagged and indexed into 700 categories within the arts and humanities.

The project addresses two common issues with the rapidly growing field of online education: First is the problem of discovery. While sites like YouTube are easy to search, they can be difficult to browse; there’s too much content, categories are too broad and quality is inconsistent. Second, educational tech platforms have been largely biased toward science and tech topics.

CourseWorld will be the easiest way to find the best higher education videos online. It does this through a rigorous system of categorization, somewhat resembling a college course catalog. Within “Arts” or “Humanities,” each video is indexed by up to three levels: Categories (e.g., “Literature”), Topics (e.g., “English Literature”) and Specialties (e.g., “Shakespeare”). Videos can also be sorted by thousands of custom keyword tags. Other features include the ability to queue content for later viewing.

Based in New York City, the initiative has a budget of $0 and relies solely on the contributed efforts of “virtual volunteers.” In the summer of 2013, 50 individuals—from high schoolers to professors, from Boston to Botswana—worked remotely to curate content from YouTube. Now, as volunteers continue to build the resource, site users are invited to join the crowdsourced effort. The platform allows users to suggest and index new videos as well as to improve the way existing ones are tagged and categorized.

“Students and lifelong learners now have an easier way to find the best arts and humanities content,” said Justin Belmont, CourseWorld’s founder and CEO.

States the site, “In a world that glorifies celebrities, sports and music icons, politicians, entrepreneurs and the like, it’s time we turned teachers into rock stars.”

Learn more about CourseWorld at http://www.courseworld.org/about.

Stay updated by following http://www.twitter.com/courseworld and http://www.facebook.com/courseworld.

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Justin Belmont
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