Professional Development | News

Free Digital Learning Transition MOOC for Educators Starts Sept. 30

The Alliance for Excellent Education and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University have announced a new version of their free Digital Learning Transition massive open online course (MOOC) for educators.

The DLT MOOC-Ed will run from Sept. 30 to Nov. 24 and is intended to help K-12 educators plan and implement digital learning initiatives in their own schools and districts. More than 2,500 educators from around the world participated in the first session of the course, which ran in spring 2013.

According to the organizations running the course, it is self-directed, peer-supported, and flexible, while also providing structured learning activities, so it gives educators an opportunity to experience digital learning first-hand. And because thousands of educators can participate in the course, participants will have opportunities for peer interactions to discuss ideas, share strategies and resources, exchange constructive feedback, and potentially crowdsource some of those ideas, strategies, and resources. Course participants will also have access to experts who have already implemented successful digital learning strategies, and by the end of the course, participants should be better prepared to implement their own digital learning plan.

In conjunction with the new DLT MOOC-Education course, the Alliance and the Friday Institute have also released a new paper based on the first iteration of the course. "The Digital Learning Transition MOOC for Educators: Exploring a Scalable Approach to Professional Development," describes the design of the course; examines Web analytics, online discussions, and survey data from the first course; and offers lessons learned about this approach to professional development.

According to the report, key themes that emerged from discussion topics in the first course included:

  • Leading with education initiatives rather than technology initiatives;
  • Changing the culture of teaching and learning to one that has a student-centered focus;
  • Identifying, implementing, and sustaining professional learning opportunities;
  • Recognizing that leadership is central to the digital learning transition; and
  • Ensuring buy-in from teachers and administrators in schools and the district, as well as parents, the community, and school board members.

The PDF of the full report is available as a free download on the Alliance for Excellent Education's site, and educators can also sign up for the Digital Learning Transition MOOC for Educators on Alliance's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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