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MOOCs Will Eventually Change the Way K12 Schools Operate

Posted by Grace Lee on May 20, 2013 8:58:00 PM

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) will change the way K12 Schools deliver learning opportunities to students, faculty, and even parents because of the more efficient business model and the wider array of high quality options that can be offered.

Since 2008, higher education has been exploring how to broaden access to more students at a lower cost. Organizations such as Coursera, EdX, and Udacity offer classes from some of the best universities in the world--for free or at minimal cost. For example, Peter Norvig of Stanford University taught a class on artificial intelligence to over 100,000 students. Watch his TED Talk below.

And now, according to a recent article in Education Week, Coursera is offering teacher professional development classes from universities like Johns Hopkins and the University of Virginia. Below are a few sample titles:

  • Coaching Teachers: Promoting Changes that Stick
  • The Brain-Targeted Teaching Models for 21st Century Schools
  • Engaging Students through Cooperative Learning

By the way, did I mention these classes are FREE!

Oh, that's fine for higher ed, you say, but that just won't work for secondary education. Hang on to your stirrups, cowboy, because Brown Universtiy has announced the creation of online courses for high school students. "Brown University is preparing to offer a free online engineering class with the aim of teaching high school students about the merits and challenges of the field."
So What?
MOOCs will be both free and fee-based. The schools that will thrive are those that are able to:

  1. Produce great content with great teachers and then leverage this business model to reach a higher volume of students per class, and/or
  2. Reinvent the campus as a learning portal with local and online classes
This concept will scare many school leaders, but the smart ones will figure out how to adapt to these evolving education models to expand their influence, quality, and bottom line.
Have you already started offering or creating MOOC classes at your school?

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