Why MOOCs can Benefit Teachers

Information can travel faster than ever these days.

As the Internet continues to create new educational platforms, careers in teaching have expanded to encompass a constantly evolving milieu of classroom environments. As of late, online classrooms have found ways to personalize education  while also reaching out to a massive amount of people who might not have access to traditional schooling. One such forum for bringing education to a global classroom is a massive online open course or MOOC. A MOOC is a great way for teachers to connect to a large number of students internationally, collaborate with other professionals and make education interactive. Teachers can utilize MOOCs to introduce their students to unfamiliar content, allow their students to interact with a wide array of other educators and enhance students' technology skills and abilities. 

What are the Benefits of a MOOC?
A MOOC  benefits teachers by giving them new, interactive forums for educating their students, while also providing a practical methods for pursuing their education in the long term. MOOCs encourage institutions to collaborate and share information. So a high school student interested in learning more about a complex subject like mobile technology could do so online over several weeks. Teachers could potentially apply MOOCs in the classroom to expose students to additional resources outside of their curriculum, field questions to specialized professionals or members of academia and encourage students to learn independently.

How Teachers can Use MOOCs to Help Students in the Long Term
One of the realities of education is that most teachers only work with specific students for a few years. However, introducing MOOCs is a great way to show students how to take education into their own hands. Say you have a student that wants to know how to become a registered nurse. You could certainly introduce that student to specific literature and educational concepts that benefit their long term career goals. By introducing a student to forums that help them reach that potential in the future ensures that you are providing them future educational opportunities. A MOOC might be the perfect way to keep students abreast of professional news, help them learn relevant skills and improve their careers. 

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a non-profit, accredited, online university. WGU's Teachers College offers multiple online degree programs for current teachers or those looking to become teachers. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_teachers

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