One of America’s most venerable institutions is dipping its toes in the waters of online-ed. The Washington Post reports that Harvard is joining MIT in a new partnership to offer free online courses to all comers. The new partnership, named EdX, will offer courses from both schools and will be run by a nonprofit organization founded via $30 million grants from both organizations.The innovation won’t be limited to Cambridge. Tech Crunch reports that EdX also hopes to open up the MITx platform to other schools. The end result, if everything goes according to plan, will be a large market of courses on a range of subjects from many institutions, all available for free to anyone with an internet connection.Via Meadia is pleased to see more universities jumping on the innovation bandwagon. Online courses will never replace the need for face-to-face interaction in a bricks-and-mortar classroom, but America needs more education, delivered faster, and at an affordable cost. Finding the right mix of delivery methods is one of the core challenges facing American higher education today, and institutions that face this issue head on should be commended.Not all experiments work, and you must sometimes kiss a thousand frogs to find one prince, but the revival of a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurial adventure in some of our most well established institutions is a heartening sign that American society still has the vigor, vision, courage and flexibility that the 21st century will demand.