The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently announced an initiative to create a learning platform for online education. Preliminarily dubbed “MITx”, the initiative aims to take the MIT’s OpenCourseWare program, which provides nearly all MIT courses for free on the web, and build out an infrastructure that can be used by students to demonstrate mastery of a course and earn a certificate of completion, for a small fee. Furthermore, the platform will be open-source, allowing any educational institution to host their own courses. And while the certificates will not be equivalent to MIT course credits, it’s clear that they have to be earned through an assessment. A prototype is scheduled to go into beta during the spring semester with plans to launch the platform if all goes well. On its surface, this may seem like a way for MIT to make their free online course program profitable, but the heart of this initiative is an effort to change education forever as the educational system is at the breaking point.