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Coursera Gains New Partners, Offers Online Courses for Teacher Ed

Daphne KollerDawn Endico via Compfight

EdRadar says: MOOC (massive open online course) provider Coursera is moving into offering continuing education classes for teachers. Coursera offers free online courses from 62 different universities so far and is expanding it’s partnerships to include museums and non-degree granting institutions for the first time. It’s a move that Coursera says will help teachers. It also clearly helps Coursera move further into the infrastructure of schools by introducing the teachers to Coursera as a platform both to study on and to introduce to students.

Here are key details you need to know:

– Gives teachers pursuing their continuing education requirements, or courses that could give them a salary boost.

– New chances to learn from master professors at leading education schools such as Vanderbilt and the University of Virginia, along with a handful of museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

– The courses are free — a preferable option to the training, often expensive, that districts often pay for themselves.

– It would be up to the schools or districts that employ teachers to decide whether the courses meet their requirements

– Seven leading schools of education have joined this initiative, including the College of Education, University of Washington; Curry School of Education, University of Virginia; Johns Hopkins University School of Education; Match Education’s Sposato Graduate School of Education; Peabody College of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University; Relay Graduate School of Education; and University of California, Irvine Extension.

– Additionally, Coursera brings a new network of educational institutions and museums, including the American Museum of Natural History; The Commonwealth Education Trust; Exploratorium; The Museum of Modern Art; and New Teacher Center.

Nick Anderson at The Washington Post writes: 

The series will debut in July with a course from the Museum of Modern Art called “Art and Inquiry: Museum Teaching Strategies for Your Classroom.” Others to follow include “Effective Classroom Interactions” from the University of Virginia and “Engaging Students through Cooperative Learning” from Johns Hopkins University.

Robert Pianta, dean of U-Va.’s Curry School of Education, described the university’s participation as “a toe in the water” to learn more about the potential of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, to help the teaching profession. Pianta said the U-Va. MOOC aims to help teachers “see and identify interactions that can be effective for kids’ learning,” such as feedback in early childhood settings.

Among the MOOCs in the series that might draw outsized notice are one from a co-founder of the KIPP charter school network, Dave Levin, called “Teaching Character and Creating Positive Classrooms.” 

Via The Washington Post

Justin Pope at the Associated Press writes: 

The classes could also be more flexible for busy teachers, Koller said, and their large size could be an advantage. “If you’re the sole physics teacher in a small town somewhere, you really don’t have a peer network,” Koller said in a telephone interview. “This is creating a nationwide and in fact a worldwide peer network.”

Coursera currently offers 341 free courses built around video lectures and interactive components, on topics ranging from pre-calculus to introduction to guitar, but has been moving more into more professionalized continuing education topics. Nearly 3.5 million students have signed up, though most don’t finish the courses.

Coursera isn’t a university so it cannot award credit itself, though for a small fee students can get their completion verified, and Coursera and other MOOC providers are increasingly partnering with institutions on “blended learning” models with institutions that are able to award credit.

Via Star Herald


Coursera lists the following upcoming courses: 

• “Common Core in Action: Literacy Across Content Areas,” from the New Teacher Center

• “Teaching Character and Creating Positive Classroom,” from Relay Graduate School of Education taught by Dave Levin, the co-founder of KIPP

• “The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model for 21st Century Schools” taught by Mariale Hardiman of John Hopkins School of Education 

• “Effective Classroom Interactions: Supporting Young Children’s Development,” from UVA, taught by Bridget Hamre, Grace Funk, Allison Leach and Kathy Neesen

• “Tinkering Fundamentals: Integrating Making Activities into Your STEM Classroom,” from the Exploratorium 

• “Student Thinking at the Core,” taught by Barbara Stengel and Marcy Singer-Gabella of Vanderbilt University

• “Coaching Teachers: Promoting Changes that Stick,” taught by Orin Gutlerner of Match Education

• Three science content focused courses for Educators taught by the American Museum of Natural History 

• Eight part series on the Foundations of Teaching for Learning aimed at teachers in the developing world taught by Commonwealth Education Trust


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