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Smithsonian makes deal to offer online courses

Monday - 5/5/2014, 6:55am  ET

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Smithsonian Institution is venturing into online education with a new deal to provide content for digital courses in history, science, culture and the arts.

The museum and research complex is announcing an agreement Monday with the Chantilly, Virginia-based education group The Great Courses. The 10- year deal begins with 12 courses scheduled for release this fall.

The courses are targeted at college-educated lifelong learners.

The first course, entitled "Experiencing America," involves a tour through American history based on artifacts, such as Abraham Lincoln's hat, George Washington's sword and Dorothy's ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz." It will be taught by Richard Kurin, the Smithsonian's undersecretary for history, art and culture.

Other courses about the universe, the industrial revolution and Italy's art and culture will be taught by university professors.

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