The new frontier for Advanced Placement: Online AP lessons, for free

Nick Anderson:

The explosion of free online education, known mainly for targeting adults, is reaching ever further into high schools.

On Wednesday, a new sequence of lessons for high school Advanced Placement courses in calculus, physics and macroeconomics went live on a free Web site founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. The lessons, developed by Davidson College for the site called edX, represent a new step in the evolution of ties between the popular AP college-level program and the “massive open online courses” known as MOOCs.

Other MOOCs in recent months have targeted AP students in subjects such as biology, computer science and chemistry. They aim to prepare students for exams that offer potential college credit for high scores. One philanthropist, Steven B. Klinsky, has even suggested that these MOOCs can help create a pathway for students to obtain a full freshman year of college credit for free.