An educator’s favorite MOOCs

Kelly Maher, a math and technology teacher, shares her experience with massive open online courses (MOOCs)

moocs-online-learningMOOCs are open access online courses that allow limitless participation. Anyone who has an internet connection and a will to learn is welcome.

The courses offered through MOOCS are numerous and diverse. Some are self-paced, while others have a start and end date.

Many offer choices in cost and involvement. For example, many courses offer a free to audit option, as well as a free or paid for certificate, and sometimes college credit assuming satisfactory work on all required assignments.

MOOCs allow you to take a course that isn’t offered at your school or supplement courses you are already taking.

One of my favorite MOOCs is Harvard’s popular CS50 course offered though edX.

The course is self-paced and designed for people who do not have any prior coding experience. The course begins with the basics of how computers work before moving through the languages C, PHP, and JavaScript plus SQL, CSS, and HTML. Other topics covered in CS50 include abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development. Students who earn a satisfactory score on 9 problem sets and a final project will earn a certificate from HarvardX.

A fantastic tools to complement your MOOC, or any other lesson that is hosted on YouTube, is allows you to load any YouTube video on the left side of your screen and take notes on the right. What makes this tools even more useful is that your notes are synced to your Google Drive, which allows you to collaborate with others and also access your from multiple devices.

A large number of educational resources, including Khan Academy, TedEd, and multiple MOOCs offered by some of the top universities like Harvard and MIT through entities like Coursera, Udacity, and edX, are hosting their videos on YouTube.

If you’re interested in more information about MOOCs, you may want to watch Why massive open online courses (still) matter.

Kelly Maher is a math/technology teacher and technology coordinator at Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy.

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