edX: Programming language Scratch isn’t just for kids anymore

Scratch is a programming language built to help children learn basic programming skills. But now edX, the MOOC (for Massive Open Online Course) backed by top colleges including MIT, Harvard and Caltech, will offer a free Scratch course for anyone “regardless of age or digital skill.”

Registration is open now for Programming in Scratch” which kicks off February 2. The course will be taught by Colleen Lewis, professor of computer science at Harvey Mudd College, a tech powerhouse and another edX partner school.

Scratch seems to be gaining momentum as a vehicle for teaching kids to create their own animations and computer cames — MIT Media Lab offers an iPad app for that purpose, for example.

This story was updated at 10:09 a.m. PST to reflect that enrollment is now open.

Udacity unveils a paid training program for tech jobseekers

Just a day after announcing Data Science courses with Cloudera, online educator Udacity has added a completely new facet of learning to its programs: paid training courses. Beginning January 2014, users will be able to take tech-focused, on-demand online courses developed by Cloudera, Google, and other companies in the Open Education Alliance. Unlike Udacity’s free programs, users will gain access to tutor-like Udacity Coaches and advisory help to schedule classes. The courses only result in certificates, not a degree as many were speculating, but its job-focused bent may be a better fit for Udacity’s platform overall.