One of the areas in Ed Tech drawing the most attention—and a surge in usage from students—are focused on higher education—offering free access to online courses from top universities.
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Coursera has had over 5 million students take 461 courses from 91 partners. Students can take everything from Duke University's "21st Century American Foreign Policy" to Peking University's "Introduction to Computing." All classes are available for free, but the company recently started charging students who had completed a course for a certificate of completion, generating more than $1 million in revenue.
Udacity also offers free online courses but has a different model. Last month it announced the "Open Education Alliance" of educators and nine employers, including Google and AT&T. Together they'll help create and provide training for companies, and will offer online classes and curriculums to help students prepare for tech jobs.
Udacity also helps schools like Georgia Tech offer an online master's program for less than $7,000. That type of program gives students everywhere access to high-quality, name-brand education at a low price.
Nonprofit EdEx also recently announced a partnership with Google in which they'll launch what they're calling a YouTube for free online courses. The idea is to make it as easy to access a college class as it is to watch a funny cat video.
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Anant said all this competition is a good thing, pushing everyone to make it as easy as possible to learn, study and achieve.
—By CNBC's Julia Boorstin. Follow her on Twitter: @JBoorstin.