K-12 Meets MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses)

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mooc3If you have not had the opportunity to learn about and work with a MOOC, now is the right time to take advantage of advancing your learning in a digital environment that works with your schedule. What is a MOOC? Massive Open Online Course is any free course available in an online university environment with not limit on the number of participants. Watch this introductory video clip for a quick overview.

MOOCs take distance learning to the next level. Beyond the traditional courseware, participants engage in a 2.0 type of environment where a significant portion of learning comes not just from the professor or instructor but from the collaborative interactions with invested participants from any place in the world. This connectivist pedagogy serves as the core philosophy running through the collection of MOOCs. Connectivity is the knowledge theory that underlines the importance that social and cultural context plays in learning. The premise of a MOOC employs DIY, or ‘Do It Yourself’… if you sign up and attend great – if you do not, then you do not. A MOOC is simply what you put into it and the reasonable conclusion is you will take something away from the experience.

Start by visiting the EduCause MOOC site. Read 7 Things you should Know about MOOCs. Skim over the Learning Initiative MOOC Resource List and save this page to return to later. Open this infographic and print if possible for an excellent visual explanation of digital learning in today’s collaborative networking world.mooc1

Take a look at the MOOC list which is the most comprehensive list of online courses offered by a variety of universities. Scroll down for a list of categories if you do not wish to just scroll through the available titles. Then jump over to the list of Top 10 Sites for Free Education with Elite Universities.  There is even a Web site devoted specifically to K-12 MOOCs.

Moodle, the open source learning platform that has been serving the K-12 environment for the past few years now hosts its own MOOC for Teachers. Review the course and sign up. Teaching with Moodle: An Introduction is a weekly Webcast where teachers learn how to utilize the Moodle environment to the best of their classroom’s interests.

Network CommunityMOOCs are fairly easy to find; whether you peruse one of the resources above or conduct a simple Google search, the number of MOOCs aimed towards enhancing the K-12 environment are increasing. For example, try
ELT Techniques: Listening and Pronunciation
e-Learning and Digital Cultures
Blended Teaching of World Languages
Video Games and Learning
Social Psychology
Mathematics and Statistics free online courses / MOOCs
Introduction to Mathematical Thinking
Science Free online courses / MOOCs

Interested in where the next step for MOOC is headed? Check out the Open EdX Platform. This is the next open source initiative aimed towards building the online educator professional development network.

The traditional classroom is supported more and more by digital content. Professional development is available online and more convenient than ever before. Find and join a MOOC. The content and connections will serve to enhance your teaching experience.

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