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MOOCs: New Tool for High School Teachers

MOOCs: New Tool for High School Teachers

Massively Open Online Courses, known as MOOCs, are becoming a popular tool for teachers in high school classrooms.

Teachers are supplementing their instruction with online programs, said an article on USNews.com. 

"Many of the newer versions of MOOCs also have video lectures, said Wendy Drexler, chief innovation officer at the International Society for Technology in Education. 

"You're not just getting this perspective of your small group and your teachers, you're getting the perspective of anybody else in the world," Drexler said, who helped launch an engineering MOOC for high schoolers, the article said. 

Abbi Smith, who teaches upper-level math to teens, was inspired to take a calculus MOOC from the University of Pennsylvania. 

"I really liked the course and immediately saw that there could be possibilities with integrating it into my curriculum," Smith said. Smith and ​other high school math teachers from across the country used the calculus MOOC from Penn in conjunction with their own curriculum​, as part of an experimental program with the university ​last year, she said.

"It was interesting for the kids because they got to see and experiment with a whole new learning reality that they hadn’t really experienced a lot of before," she said. "And there’s some interesting things that you can do as a teacher."

Smith's students watched online lecture videos from the MOOC at home, the article said, which "allowed more time in class for the students to collaborate on problems and for Smith to give students individual​ help, in addition to in-class instruction.​"

"There is so much rich learning that happens while they are doing problems that it worked out really well," she said. One issue, the article mentioned, is MOOCs are generally geared towards the college-level, but that is changing.

edX, a MOOC provider, "recently announced a new initiative ​that includes the addition of more than 40 high school and Advanced Placement​ courses​," the article said.

"Teachers can also explore new K-12 oriented MOOCs through the Canvas Network platform,​ another MOOC provider," said USNews.com.

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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