MOOCs - What are they and why do I need to know about them as a high school student?

Great MOOC overview:
Where to find a MOOC:

1. What is a MOOC ?
Massive Open Online Courses
Like the Gutenburg Press - which offered the written word to masses of people, MOOCs can offer digital online content to masses of people at once. They offer an opportunity for anyone to learn for themselves and they can help create a lifelong learning community.

Courses include anything and everything - and they are offered for free.

2. Types of MOOCs
There are a wide variety of different “types” MOOCs, but most are separated into cMOOC or xMOOC.
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3) What MOOC should I consider?
To me - what distinguishes MOOCs is the way that you learn as a result of participating in one.

If you are in a class with 1,000 - 150,000 other people these are some of the questions I would want you to think about as a learner:

  • Why am I here? What am I trying to learn? Does this count for anything? Does that matter?
  • Is it easy to learn in this course?
  • Who do I ask a question to?
  • Who do I connect with or interact with?
  • Are there activities?
  • Who is the teacher? Is there a teacher? Is the teacher learning with me?
  • What am I getting out of this process?
  • How will this learning help me as a learner?
  • Are there opportunities for me to network with others, connect and build a learning community?

4) Why do I want to “Build a Learning Community?”

Learning is everywhere - in the classroom and beyond its doors. While they are awesome, teachers are not the only people who help you learn. Open online courses help you build an online community with people who share similar passions and interests with you. You are not judged on how you look or speak, you are part of a community who wants to learn with you because of your abilities.

Some of these people could include:
  • your peers
  • people in careers that you are interested in
  • professionals in your interest area
  • people in your "industry"
  • counselors
  • parents/family

It’s all about developing your learning network so you can find your passion and achieve what YOU want to achieve.

5) How could MOOCs be applied to High School?

  • A student created MOOC on a specific topic - Wouldn’t it be incredible to see high school students create a MOOC about how to learn? education in general? What could make schools and learning better? Example LINK

  • A group of classes from around the world could follow a course together. They could be one giant “course” doing their own learning together - in the open. Parts of the giant course could be creating projects together openly.

  • Using youtube - create a weekly video series that encourages a group of people to consider the importance of youtube and videos in learning today. It could be called, “All I ever really learned, I learned on youtube”

  • Join a MOOC that is already out there and apply it to what you are already doing Example LINK

6) How do I create a MOOC?
  • Choose a free and open platform - wiki, blog, LMS (canvas),Google+
  • Here’s a link to how to create one: LINK
  • Here’s a possible idea from my presentation on how to make a MOOC: LINK