September 27, 2013

MOOC for K-12 Administrator and Educators Offers Technology Training

logo1-300_0_0An innovative, free online class aims at providing thousands of regional administrators in the U.S. help using technology effectively to meet the needs of their school.

The project, dubbed “MOOC-Ed,” or a “massively open online courses for educators,” provided by the Alliance for Excellent Education is an advocacy organization in Washington that is involved in encouraging digital education in partnership with  North Carolina State University’s Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, at the College of Education.

The course is the first of many huge, open, and online courses that focus around education that is organized through the Friday Institute. They provide a seven-week course that runs from April 8 to May 24 that is specially designed for district leaders and schools, including principals, curriculum directors, superintendents, finance officials, tech directors, and others that plan technology use for K-12th grade.

District administrators and officials need to commit two and four hours per week for the course, says university officials and the alliance. Participants will collect information on wide-ranging themes, like how technology changes how students learn. Focus on how schools can set goals for digital teaching are based on specific measures and academic outcomes for students. The university and the alliance say the course integrates crowdsourcing, a collaborative learning experience that allows school administrators and others to share resources, ideas, and provide feedback to one another.

The course an partly an effort called Project 24 that is administered by the alliance that aims at helping regional districts plan their use of technology effectively. MOOCs have always established a sturdy presence in universities and colleges, and now supporters view them as opening up new avenues to increase more students’ and the general public’s access to core curriculum and additional resources previously restricted only to smaller audiences.

The prospect for MOOCs in the K-12 environment is uncertain, as described in a recent story by Education Week. This recent effort suggests one example of the growing interest in using MOOCs- not only to help students learn, but to assist education personnel. Training will help improve their knowledge of technology, and describe its implications in classroom lessons and school’s management efforts.

Company Profile for MOOC-Ed

Digital Learning Transition (DLT) created MOOC-Ed to help K-12 educators recognize how much potential digital learning has on teaching and learning. They assess student progress and place goals for schools and districts, and they help plan how they can achieve their goals using technology. The program is specifically designed for preparing and implementing digital learning programs. DLT MOOC-Ed program directors are Dr. Glenn Kleiman and Dr. Mary Ann Wolf who consulted a panel of specialists who suggested resources, contributed to discussions, and answered questions. A course they developed allows  participants to use the Hangouts on Air sessions throughout every unit in the course. A team of expert members includes superintendents from area districts with proven records of accomplishment, like Lisa Andrejko and Pam Moran. Other members include public and private school officials, principals, corporate and business leaders in education and technology, and education advocates and consultants.

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