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MOOC-Eds Bring Professional Development Into the 21st Century

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September 27, 2013 12:28 pm


“MOOC” is one of the biggest buzzwords in education right now. Massive Open Online Courses have garnered attention and debate for their effectiveness on student learning and outcomes. Increasing numbers of schools – from high schools to colleges – are offering credits for the online classes. But what about their potential use for professional development for educators and district leaders?

In his newest column in the Huffington Post, Bob Wise – president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia – makes the case that MOOC-Eds, as they’re dubbed, are an effective, economical way to improve professional development (PD) opportunities for teachers. The Alliance offered the first ever MOOC-Ed in conjunction with the Institute Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University. The results were more than we could have predicted: with over 2500 participants and positive feedback, it’s clear that MOOC-Eds have a place in the future of PD. Teachers appreciated being able to take the course at their own speed, customizing it to their interests and schedules. The Alliance will offer a second MOOC-Ed starting on September 30. The course is free, and registration is open now.

In a time of financial cutbacks, schools and districts have slashed professional development budgets at an alarming rate despite new education standards and assessments and increased demands on teachers and students. Instead of waiting with crossed fingers for a full economic recovery that will restore budgets, innovators in the education field are exploring new ways to meet the professional development needs of teachers in an economical way. Enter the Massive Open Online Course for Educators, or MOOC-Ed. The MOOC-Ed is an online course for educators that provides personalized, scalable, and flexible learning to improve teaching and student outcomes.

Read the full column, “MOOC-Eds Bring Professional Development Into the 21st Century,” online here.



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