Massive Online Open Course for Educators, or MOOC-Eds, are professional development experiences that will engage you in new technology-enabled learning opportunities that are becoming widely used for both adults and students. Each of the MOOC-Ed courses will include core resources and supplemental materials around a specific topic, while also allowing for a great deal of personalization and flexibility. Because there is not a fixed path or a fixed curriculum everyone will follow, learning can be self-directed. Indeed, participants can — and are expected to — navigate their own paths, consistent with their own goals and the needs of their school or district, while being supported and guided by the facilitators, resources, education experts and fellow participants. And by conducting the course on such a massive scale — literally thousands of educators can participate — participants will also benefit from “crowdsourcing,” a collaborative professional learning experience that uses the “wisdom of the crowd” to discuss ideas, share strategies and resources, and exchange constructive feedback with other participants in similar roles and schools.
MOOC-Eds are built on research-based models of effective professional development, professional learning communities, and online communities of practice. The courses focus on authentic, project-based learning, collaboration, and peer-supported learning, rather than tests and grades that are needed in other types of MOOCs. MOOC-Eds enable educators to experience using innovative technologies as learners and collaborators, which will help them gain insights into what these technologies can mean for students. We look forward to having many innovative educators join us in exploring this new form of large-scale, flexible, multimedia, and collaborative professional development.