Tag Archives: mooc

Coursera [#NYTEdTech]

Daphne Koller said the following to an audience of 400 people [starting at 19:08 in the linked video] attending an educational technology conference.

There are so few opportunities for those of us here in this room to learn something new in an engaging and fun and high quality way.

From my notes. Red question mark is mine and was definitely not reflected in Ms. Koller's tone.

My notes are a paraphrasing. Red question mark is mine and was definitely not reflected in Ms. Koller’s tone.

She followed up immediately with this claim:

If you take away the residential requirement for enrollment [in college], all of us can be lifelong learners.

Also from my notes. Red comment mine.

Also from my notes. Red comment mine.

As a service to readers, I will state the assumption here:

“Lifelong learning” refers to learning that meets an external standard, and which is externally certified.

Christopher dipping toe in water of online education

UPDATE: The course described below has filled and a substantial waiting list has been closed. I will post updates to this blog as plans for future versions of the course become more clear.

This coming March, I am going to be offering an online course.

It will not be Massively Open. It will not be a MOOC.

Here’s the plan:

I want to gather a medium-sized group of middle-school math teachers to study the mathematics that lurks just beneath the surface of quality middle school math curriculum materials.

I’m talking about big ideas. I’m talking about what if? questions.

I’m talking about starting with the familiar and ending up with the strange. We will stretch our minds to consider new corners of the mathematical world.

If you want Common Core implementation help, go pay your $400 to NCTM. This won’t be that.

If you want machine-scored, lecture-based online instruction, go join a Coursera MOOC. This won’t be that, either.

If you want credit towards your Master’s Degree or other contract-based lane change, talk with your nearest graduate institution. Because this won’t be that.

This will be a community of 20 smart teachers learning with and from each other in a structured environment.

This will be a set of semi-synchronous activities and discussions designed to advance our own understandings of the foundational mathematical idea of function. Eventually, the course will expand to other topics, such as inversesymmetrychange and operation. But this first version will just be function.

What you’ll get:

An instructor (me) with over 15 years of professional development experience, 18 years of teaching experience, an open mind, a whole mess of math knowledge, and a deep curiosity about ideas and ways of thinking.

Also, you’ll get:

  1. Smarter than you are now,
  2. More connected to other smart math teachers, and
  3. A beautiful, suitable-for-framing certificate to assist in relicensure in your state/province/district/etc.

The details:

Course title: The Mathematics in School Curriculum.

Dates: I need 20 middle-school math teachers who are interested in spending about an hour a day thinking about functions for the two weeks March 17—30, 2013.

Platform: The course will take place on Canvas, an Instructional Management System (IMS) developed by Instructure. I have used this system in place of my institution’s adopted IMS (Desire2Learn, or D2L) and have been delighted with its design—especially the way it supports discussion and sharing of resources. Your Canvas account will be free of charge.

Content: We will pilot a functions unit—the first of what will eventually be five units embedded in a larger course. The goals of the pilot will be to broaden our knowledge of (a) curricular approaches to function relevant to the middle school, and (b) the ideas behind the formal mathematical function.

Cost: This pilot will be free. Eventually, I will charge a reasonable fee in compensation for my time and effort (each of which I imagine will be substantial).

Commitment: In signing up for the course, I will ask for your commitment to full participation. We will be looking to build community, and that won’t happen if we don’t commit to the effort together.

Full participation will mean agreeing to spend about an hour a day for the duration of the course. The “hour” is an average and is at your convenience. Course activities will include working through mathematics tasks, reading articles, seeking resources and participating in asynchronous online discussions.

But full participation won’t just be about seat time. It will be about committing to learning, and to supporting the learning of your classmates.

How to sign up: By filling out a Google form. I will cap the pilot course at 20 participants. First come, first served. I know that people’s lives are hectic and variable, so I’ll maintain a 10-person waiting list before ending registrations altogether.

Click here to register for the course.

What questions do you have? Send them my way.

I hope to catch up with you online in March. We’re going to have a ton of fun.