Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Coursera To Offer K-12 Teacher Development Courses

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the working-its-way-into-schools dept.

Education 42

An anonymous reader writes "Coursera on Wednesday announced it has partnered with 12 top professional development programs and schools of education to open up training and development courses to teachers worldwide. The massive open online course (MOOC) provider is expanding beyond university courses by offering 28 teaching courses for free, with more to come. It’s worth noting that this is the first time Coursera is partnering with non-degree-bearing institutions. It’s also Coursera’s first foray into early childhood and K-12-level education. The company clearly sees this as a necessary step if it wants to go beyond just students and address the other side of the expensive education equation."

cancel ×

42 comments

Not about knowledge... (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#43603145)

The problem with modern education is its not about knowledge, the answer to virtually any question is simply a Google away, instead its about qualification. Part of qualification is this idea that is still stuck in most of the older generation's mind that you "get what you pay for" and so even though something free might be really good, they believe that it is, by definition, inferior to a paid product. You see this all the time with antivirus software, someone buying a $20 product that is inferior to free stuff like AVG but insisting that their computer is better protected just because they "paid for it".

While its always nice to see information becoming more free, I doubt that it will really revolutionize anything until we have a shift in perspective and those in charge realize that free can often be better than paid.

Re:Not about knowledge... (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#43603501)

What you're paying for when you take a paid course is individual attention and verification that you passed the exams that the instructor gave you. Coursera is great if you're personally motivated to learn the material, but it's shit if you want any guarantee that the person did the work themselves or took the tests. Yes, it's possible to cheat in regular classes, but it's harder to do so when there's at most a few hundred people in the class rather than the tens of thousands in a free course.

In this case, the correct answer is for the school to just pay the fees associated with teacher training. And leave free alternatives like this to the 2nd and 3rd world where they might not have funding to provide it at all.

Re:Not about knowledge... (4, Interesting)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#43603675)

What you're paying for when you take a paid course is individual attention and verification that you passed the exams that the instructor gave you. Coursera is great if you're personally motivated to learn the material, but it's shit if you want any guarantee that the person did the work themselves or took the tests. Yes, it's possible to cheat in regular classes, but it's harder to do so when there's at most a few hundred people in the class rather than the tens of thousands in a free course.

In this case, the correct answer is for the school to just pay the fees associated with teacher training. And leave free alternatives like this to the 2nd and 3rd world where they might not have funding to provide it at all.

Actually, the correct answer is to use courseware like this as the core *teaching* component, freeing up resources to manage testing and application training.

Teaching materials should be as low-cost as they can be; it's the training and testing of learned skills that needs some sort of paid adjudicator.

This is something I never understood; when I was in school, there were some teachers who felt like it was their duty to shove the training material down students' throats, and then they turned around and tested the training material instead of the students. Other teachers provided the material, taught the students how to learn from it, and then administered tests that measured the students' ability to handle the knowledge they were supposed to have learned from the teaching material.

In my opinion, the first group wasn't really teaching anything in the first place, and passing tests was as easy (or difficult) as memorizing (not learning) the source material. Cheating in these "courses" was rampant. The paywall did nothing to stop it.

The second group could just as easily have used coursera for the teaching, freeing the teacher up to *teach* students the bits that they were having difficulty grasping. Then, come testing time, the teacher has time to create and administer a test focused on what they expected the students to know -- the coursera tests being a method for the *students* to gauge how likely they were to pass the graded test and figure out where to get help from the teacher, nothing more.

Re:Not about knowledge... (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#43606277)

That might be your opinion, but a significant portion of the student body won't learn anything if the teacher doesn't make them learn it. What's more, the teacher can lose his or her job if they don't do sufficiently well on the state tests.

The latter teachers are taking a rather substantial risk which may or may not pay off. And certainly will not pay off if they have classes of more than 30 students and more than 5 classes at any given time.

It's nice to be idealistic sometimes, but we shouldn't kid ourselves about how motivated the average student is, that isn't there by choice.

Re:Not about knowledge... (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#43611069)

Definitely my opinion, and I know there are many ways of learning... but in all my years dealing with education, I've never seen a teacher who was able to make students learn... different students just need different ways to be engaged, if they're going to be engaged by the topic at all.

And remember: we're talking higher education here. In fact, we're talking post-degree education in most cases. If the teachers in your schools won't learn anything unless an instructor makes them learn it, you've got bigger problems than the student body and school funding on your hands.

Re:Not about knowledge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43606197)

It provides a whole new world of opportunity for home schooling parents. Wether your child had excessive difficulty in mainstream schooling, just wasn't suited to it or has disabilities that preclude them from most mainstream schools, this is a resource currently lacking. Also provides a resource for aprents who might need to spend extra time trying to help a slower learner get up to speed with the rest of his/her class.
Very exciting.

Re:Not about knowledge... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603629)

You do get what you pay for, even if it is simply not having to look harder for the cheaper alternative. Money provides incentive. Someone given little or no incentive will expend little or no effort. Cheaper inputs usually result in an inferior output, otherwise people would quickly stop doing it the inefficient way. Not having perfect information, price is often the best way to evaluate value.

You are also wrong about the answer being a Google away. Without contextual knowledge the person doesn't even know what question needs to be answered or have the ability to understand the answer even if they found it with Google or to be able to evaluate whether the answer they found is actually correct/complete.

Programming ability is worth less on the job market than programming ability and application domain knowledge. Application domain knowledge and programming knowledge are both "simply a Google away" yet are worth 40K per year *each*. We don't care what degree an applicant has, we care how productive they will be. When it comes to hiring people you do get what you pay for. If you pay 40K per year expect to get someone with no domain knowledge and no programming ability. If you pay 80K expect one or the other. If you pay 120K a year, expect both. When your employee gains experience expect them to leave unless you pay them what they could get with that experience elsewhere. It turns out the market does work to set price value of labor. Nobody hires a candidate because they put high salary expectations in their resume. (you should never put salary expecations in your resume) We interview them and evaluate whether the qualifications they listed on their resume are "empty" or backed up with actual knowledge and ability. Usually the advance degree qualification is viewed as equivalent to the same number of years of industry experience in the domain they got the advanced degree in.

Price is market signals giving you information, if you don't understand that you are at a serious disadvantage in the world.

Re: Not about knowledge... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43604221)

When you're thinking "Someone given little or no incentive will expend little or no effort" you're missing out a lot on self-motivation and human ability to struggle and over-acheive and reinvent oneself, outside of all today's world twisted (mostyle money/power related) motivations

Re:Not about knowledge... (1)

vandamme (1893204) | about a year ago | (#43609123)

I'm trying to convince my grandkids' school that they should look into Linux instead of replacing all their XP computers with "modern" machines (with W8 of course).
Main argument against it: "You get what you pay for".

On the list of "scams against the taxpayer", education is right up there with the DoD.

SLASHDOT ENGAGES IN CENSORSHIP... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603159)

* Breaking news: currupt Slashdot administrators have modified the site's "lameness filter" to censor true and useful HOST file information. Slashdot admins collude with criminals to prevent you from learning about HOST files. Visit here [slashdot.org] for information Slashdot does not want you to see.

* Older news: corrupt Slashdot administration attempted to ban me for blowing the whistle on their illegal activities, while not banning the criminal who stalks, harasses, and impersonates me. Whistleblower abuse is a federal felony. Lunatic Slashdot admin's have been owned by me in so many tech debates over the past decade that they conspire with criminals to effetely & vainly *try* to "hide" my posts and censor me. Jealousy at it's finest.

=> Lawsuit's and criminal prosecution against Slashdot are now inevitable. Moderation+posting records will be sequestered and anyone acting aginst me will be dealt with permanently.

Previous notice:

A corrupt slashdot luser has pentrated the moderation system to downmod all my posts while impersonating me.

Nearly 330++ times that I know of @ this point for all of March/April 2013 so far, & others here have told you to stop - take the hint, lunatic (leave slashdot)...

Sorry folks - but whoever the nutjob is that's attempting to impersonate me, & upset the rest of you as well, has SERIOUS mental issues, no questions asked! I must've gotten the better of him + seriously "gotten his goat" in doing so in a technical debate & his "geek angst" @ losing to me has him doing the:

---

A.) $10,000 challenges, ala (where the imposter actually TRACKED + LISTED the # of times he's done this no less, & where I get the 330 or so times I noted above) -> http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3585795&cid=43285307 [slashdot.org]

&/or

B.) Reposting OLD + possibly altered models - (this I haven't checked on as to altering the veracity of the info. being changed) of posts of mine from the past here

---

(Albeit massively repeatedly thru all threads on /. this March/April 2013 nearly in its entirety thusfar).

* Personally, I'm surprised the moderation staff here hasn't just "blocked out" his network range yet honestly!

(They know it's NOT the same as my own as well, especially after THIS post of mine, which they CAN see the IP range I am coming out of to compare with the ac spamming troll doing the above...).

APK

P.S.=> Again/Stressing it: NO guys - it is NOT me doing it, as I wouldn't waste that much time on such trivial b.s. like a kid might...

Plus, I only post where hosts file usage is on topic or appropriate for a solution & certainly NOT IN EVERY POST ON SLASHDOT (like the nutcase trying to "impersonate me" is doing for nearly all of March/April now, & 330++ times that I know of @ least)... apk

P.S.=> here [slashdot.org] is CORRECT host file information just to piss off the insane lunatic troll.

--


CENSORED BY SLASHDOT [slashdot.org]
CENSORED BY SLASHDOT [slashdot.org]
CENSORED BY SLASHDOT [slashdot.org]
CENSORED BY SLASHDOT [slashdot.org]
CENSORED BY SLASHDOT [slashdot.org]
CENSORED BY SLASHDOT [slashdot.org]
CENSORED BY SLASHDOT [slashdot.org]

Re:SLASHDOT ENGAGES IN CENSORSHIP... apk (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#43603693)

Your automated posting system is slipping... there's an entire on-topic discussion thread above this!

Jeremiah Cornelius: Grow up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43608045)

You're embarassing yourself Jeremiah Cornelius http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3581857&cid=43276741 [slashdot.org] since you posted that using your registered username by mistake (instead of your usual anonymous coward submissions by the 100's the past 2-3 months now on slashdot) giving away it's you spamming this forums almost constantly, just as you have in the post I just replied to.

Re:Jeremiah Cornelius: Grow up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43630215)

You fail it, Paul. Your skill is not enough.

Relevant: Google Doodle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603199)

Does "Google Doodle" just further indoctrinate our children into thinking Google is the modern Disney? Remember folks, when you send your little precious' away to school they become mind slaves. There's something inherently evil in Google Doodle.

Re:Relevant: Google Doodle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603249)

Does "Google Doodle" just further indoctrinate our children into thinking Google is the modern Disney? Remember folks, when you send your little precious' away to school they become mind slaves. There's something inherently evil in Google Doodle.

HOSTS file to the rescue!

Re:Relevant: Google Doodle (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#43603507)

Do you have a HOSTS file that can save me from all this HOSTS file spam?

Amazing times (4, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#43603247)

We're really living in amazing times.

Most online courses to date have been lacking in one aspect or another, most notably student interest - drop rates of over 95% are common. Teething pains probably, as teachers begin to recognize that a) courses online must be presented in a different way, and b) teaching techniques must be effective (in terms of keeping student interest) when the audience is not captive.

Recently I saw this gem [edx.org] , which is extremely good. Good presentation, good technical quality (web form scoring &c), good content, and some experimental techniques in keeping student interest.

While I don't like the techniques used for keeping student interest in this course, they are at least experimenting with new techniques and learning from past mistakes. The quality keeps getting better.

Their business model varies, but one site hopes to provide an MBA ensemble for $50 (Udacity [udacity.com] ) and another gets finders fees from companies that hire the top scorers (edX [edx.org] ). And of course there's Kahn academy [khanacademy.org] , which is turning high-school education upside down.

In a couple of years, you will probably be able to get a complete high-quality education by self-study over the internet for thin money. You'll be able to study as much as you want for whatever topic you want and for as long as you want.

No more massive student loans [google.com] just to get a decent education.

Another example of a moribund business model being overtaken by new technology.

Amazing times indeed.

Re:Amazing times (3, Interesting)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#43603351)

Could do that years ago. There's a whole scene in Good Will Hunting about how he got his advanced education for 45 cents in late charges at the library.

Re: Free Education (2)

SpaceManFlip (2720507) | about a year ago | (#43603531)

Well you usually can find the information to learn if you know where to look, for free... but the real challenge for competing with brick/mortar educational institutions are the Acceptance of Accreditation and (if you are just teaching yourself at the library like Good Will Hunting) then the coherence of the subject matter or trail from one book to the next that leads to a worthwhile education in a relevant field. There has to be someone to lead the learner to the right materials to study in the right order, in order to learn all the necessary stuff in the order that allows the knowledge to build properly to amount to Something Useful.

The accreditation thing is important for the entities you wish to impress for reasons of influencing them to give you the monies later on.

But I sure hope it does work out, so that folks can start avoiding the ridiculous costs of tuition these days. Competition needs to enter the tuition market and disrupt the steady ridiculous increases.

Re: Free Education (3, Interesting)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#43603939)

I think the key to getting accreditation for education is the separation of teaching from testing. They should be completely independent. Many higher level programs operate this way. You can learn in any way you want from private tutors to full university classes, but everyone takes the same tests and is held to the same high standard. I could go on and on about this but I'm sure many out there who have learned under this kind of system will agree that it's superior to the high school/university style of teaching, where teacher's are far more interested in testing students than actually teaching them anything.

Re:Amazing times (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#43603587)

Could do that years ago. There's a whole scene in Good Will Hunting about how he got his advanced education for 45 cents in late charges at the library.

The key is not just learning, but figuring out what to learn. Looking back at my education from decades hence, many of the most important things I learned were in mandatory "core" classes, that I only took because they were required.

Re:Amazing times (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year ago | (#43604015)

You'll be able to study as much as you want for whatever topic you want and for as long as you want.

It's called a library dude. Freely available knowledge and information hasn't been the issue for a LONG time. Ease of access was pretty much solved by the Internet. Everyone could see that coming back in the 90's.

Now we've got all of humanities knowledge at the fingertips of children and they can summon information, tutorials, how-to's, explanations, technical papers, research papers, the dummies guide to the research papers, and everything they need to learn EVERYTHING they would have been taught in K-12, and damn near everything they could wish to learn outside of K-12.

And that was totally amazing back around the turn of the millennium. It's been a decade. Kids are still dumb shits.

But you were talking more along the lines of college courses and whatnot. Only "most" of a college education can be had online. There's a lot of nuance missing at the higher levels. But the idea still stands. And look at how smart the average shmuck is. Oh wait. We've still got evolution deniers, philosophy and english majors who are shocked they can't find work, and just look at the average score of this test [people-press.org] . Those are REALLY easy questions.

Sigh... this didn't start out as a cynical rant, I swear. But we've been a society with easy access to knowledge for a while now and it doesn't seem to be having that big of an effect. For as much as I love wikipedia, moving that median value of 7 billion people is DAMN hard.

first courses were ivy league (1)

peter303 (12292) | about a year ago | (#43604393)

The MIT circuit design course was like drinking from a firehose, i.e. MIT-pace. You have to be motivated to keep up and spend lots of time on it. I took it as a MIT student and the surrounding college environment helped a lot with self-discipline. Most of Cousera's courses will not be as intense as this, but they are still college-level courses.

About education.. (1)

houbou (1097327) | about a year ago | (#43603299)

Education has come a long way from the traditional class room experience.
The thing about classroom experience is that the teacher has the hard job of not only having to present material, but keep the students engaged with it.
Want to be an astronaut? well, you need your ABCs, 1,2,3s.. and so on and so forth.
All this new online stuff is great!
But without motivation, very few people on this planet, just learn for the sake of learning..
And I think that it really boils down to this.
Motivation.
How do you instill motivation in kids so that they can be sold on the idea that the more they learn today, the better the choices they can make in their future for a better life.

Re:About education.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603385)

It boils down to the fact that teacher salaries and benefits add up to $500 billion-plus annually - something over 60% of the entire cost of K-12 education in the U.S. Other people would like at least some of that money. Teachers need to be made cheaper.

Re:About education.. (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#43603721)

teacher salaries and benefits add up to $500 billion-plus annually - something over 60% of the entire cost of K-12 education in the U.S.

Much of the waste is in the other 40%. Public school districts, which have little incentive to control costs, average about one management/admin person for every two teachers. Private and charter schools, with different incentives, average about one management/admin person for every five teachers.

Re:About education.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43603991)

Absolutely - but take any of those other areas - administration, facilities, transportation, curriculum, etc. and by itself, it doesn't come close to the cost of instruction. That's why teachers are the target - they have the bucks.

My comment above was not anti-teacher - quite the opposite.

Re:About education.. (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year ago | (#43604103)

take any of those other areas - administration, facilities, transportation, curriculum, etc. and by itself, it doesn't come close to the cost of instruction.

Well, assuming you're not full of shit, I think it comes to about 40%. That's... you know... kinda close.

Teachers need to be made cheaper.

My comment above was not anti-teacher - quite the opposite.

I have no idea how the above statement could be taken in any way other than against teachers and the wages they make.

Re:About education.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43604299)

I was being sardonic.

Administration is not 40%.
Transportation is not 40%.
Curriculum is not 40%.
Facilities are not 40%.

Added up... you know... kinda close.

Re:About education.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43604355)

http://www.schoolbook.org/2012/04/11/study-finds-higher-charter-school-spending-on-administration

Re:About education.. (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#43604773)

http://www.schoolbook.org/2012/04/11/study-finds-higher-charter-school-spending-on-administration

This "study" is complete baloney. It includes things like rent and taxes, which public schools don't pay.

Re:About education.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43604903)

http://bit.ly/IZ4zTL

Re:About education.. (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year ago | (#43603815)

Motivation.
How do you instill motivation in kids

You make them take a test on the subject right after the video/coursework/online shenanigans. You have a broader test at the end of the week. You have an even broader test at the end of the year. And you have a really important test over general knowledge at the end of their school years. Like an ACT or SAT.

If they don't pass a daily test, they get homework.
If they don't pass a weekly test, they get told they're stupid and if they don't get their grades up they're going to be losers.
If they don't pass a yearly test, they get get pushed into summer/remedial school. Possibly held back. Possibly tracked into stupid people's school for retards.
If they don't pass the really big test, they get to go be menial labor for the rest of their lives. Or artists. Or used car salesmen.

Soooo... You motivate the kids a lot like you motivate them now. It was a pretty shitty system when I went through it, but it's functional for the bulk of humanity. And there's the thing. You can unleash young versions of slashdot geeks in a plain old library for 8 hours a day for 4 years and they'd get a pretty good education. But most kids would rather go screw behind the stacks. What works for the smart little cookies who actually do have a hope of being an astronaut doesn't work for the people pushing an IQ of 100 (otherwise known as normal people).

Also, locking them in a room with nothing better to do rather than go through the material. That seems to help a lot too.

Re:About education.. (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#43604997)

You make them take a test on the subject right after the video/coursework/online shenanigans.

We can do better. Good online instruction integrates the evaluation directly into the learning process. So they read a paragraph, then answer a few questions to see if they "got it". Then they read the next paragraph, and answer a few more questions. Their progress is reported on a dashboard that the teacher and/or parent can monitor in a browser. If a student is answering questions incorrectly, or not progressing through the material, they are flagged on the dashboard, and the teacher can walk over and assist them.

My son's elementary school uses Khan Academy and IXL to teach the kids math. I come in every Friday as a parent volunteer. It is all self-paced, so one kid may be learning basic multiplication, while the smarter kid in the next seat is learning about imaginary numbers. It works great for math, but I haven't seen it working as well for other subjects (yet).

could be a great improvement, especially in math (2)

xeno (2667) | about a year ago | (#43603539)

Open online courses in educational methods are a great step in the right direction. My big concern is math education in the US: I have 2 kids in middle & high school, and one of the huge peeves has been that many parents have been driven to home education for basic math thru algebra, out of frustration with poor performance of "Discovery" and "Connected" math programs (aka Chicago Univ methods). I'm not a hater of the programs per se, just the results. Apparently these programs are pretty good at keeping low-performing and low-aptitude students involved and learning, and are quite popular with school systems facing NCLB cut-offs. But for kids with a high aptitude and good applied sense of math? The results are terrible: Kids consistently describe the program content as repetitive and boring (because moving ahead out-of-pace creates great difficulty for the teacher) while the structure is confusing (kids who are adept at the math still find the topic progression confusing). It's as if they decided to teach math topics like a 'round' in music class, and anyone out of phase gets squashed. As a result math teachers routinely use high-performers to tutor others or send them off to do unrelated schoolwork rather than skip ahead. This yet-another-new-math is a hot mess, but it's financially attractive for struggling districts.

What to do? Personally we've been collaborating locally with other parents to supplement the math course with better materials and homegrown syllabi with a more linear progression through math and algebra topics. We've also leaned heavily on crowdsourced materials, Khan Academy being the largest. Not only does this make it easier for kids to progress logically and smoothly through the material, but also gives kids a sense of control/ownership and interest in the material. (Nothing so pissed me off as how much the Chicago program kills enthusiasm for learning: "I'm good at this, but screw this homework - it's the third time we've done this topic.") But tutoring and homegrown programs are a *lot* of work, and inevitably fall down in some areas. I wish the public educational system could improve to handle it, but most teachers don't have good methods or support to improve from within.

Open coursework for educators can help in two ways:
1. Teach the teachers better. If US schools are going to continue to adopt a mediocre math program, at least the teachers should teach it right. Causes of the woes above, after the lousy program itself, include poor education of teachers on how to deliver the program. Without firm understanding, even good teachers can't deliver the material well, and excellent teachers are not prepared to bend and adapt the material to fit their students. To wit: If an apprentice needs a 28oz framing hammer and you give him a Fubar(tm), he'll probably keep bashing nails in but you've got so show him which part was intended as a hammer. If you tell the journeyman that part of the tool was hardened for use as a hammer, he'll probably use it correctly and might even reach good performance (even if making a 48oz do-10-jobs-but-none-of-them-well tool made additional work for him)
2. Give teachers more tools to contribute to open courseware content. This is a good step in the direction to support open course content, and an environment where curriculum can live and die by its performance -- not by the quixotic whims of the biggest textbook buyer. This has far wider reach than just my personal math concerns. The potential is really great.

Re:could be a great improvement, especially in mat (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43605363)

Not sure if it is the right tool for your kids, but take a look at artofproblemsolving.com - I was lucky enough to benefit from some amazing teachers early on and throughout school, but when I came across them while running a math contest, I came to the conclusion that I really wish they had existed when I was younger. Khan is great for remediation, but AoPS is designed to push the advanced kids to strengthen their foundations and explore all the things left out of the normal K-12 curriculum.

Good Idea (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year ago | (#43603659)

I think all teachers should take courses. If it were up to me every two years a grade school teacher would have to take tests which incompass's everything from K to 12 and if they get less then 90% they are fired instantly, with a chance for a redo only after 6 month.

The problem with MOOC (1)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | about a year ago | (#43603861)

MOOC is great, don't get me wrong. But the problem with it, as I see it, is if everybody learns the material in the exact same way, it limits a societies problem solving abilities because everyone then uses identical problem solving approaches. Richard Feynman found that he had an advantage over his colleagues in some instances by having knowledge of a different set of tools. So as long as MOOC doesn't wind up becoming "Everything 101" but rather becomes a diverse set of courses allowing many choices by students, then it will have a chance of becoming highly successful.

Cannot replace student teaching (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about a year ago | (#43603981)

One of the requirements of teaching classes in accredited education programs is that there's almost an apprenticeship aspect to it. Starting in sophomore level classes, prospective education majors are sent into the field for observations. This is followed up by mentoring and assisting a teacher directly, and then finally by a full semester of student teaching as a partner to the teacher in their senior year.

I just don't see how Coursera can replace that experience, which is what actually makes or breaks many education majors.

I think they also realized this, which is why they're starting out with continuing education and staff development. (Students don't need student teaching if they're already managing a classroom on their own.)

Thpse who can't teach/ (2)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about a year ago | (#43605117)

According to Twain: THose who can do, those who can't teach.

But what about those who teach the teachers?

Apropos of nothing... (1)

Alioth (221270) | about a year ago | (#43607641)

A bit OT, but how are you supposed to pronounce Coursera? Course Ra or Cours Era?

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...