Perhaps as a teacher you’ve found yourself thinking about how great it would be to go back to school and learn more about different aspects of the field of education, brush up on some of your skills, or even learn something entirely new. Or not. Either way, it’s not a bad idea. Let me introduce Coursera and edX, which are both websites that offer free courses from top-notch universities around the world.
They have a wide array of courses and might interest you and even your adult or high school students if you teach content courses in addition to ESL/EFL. Right now, you can’t earn college credit for most of the classes on these sites but you do get a Statement of Accomplishment or something similar. Really it’s about learning for learning’s sake and giving everyone access to quality courses. If you are interested in taking an education course, take a look at Coursera, because they have several.
Now, the class I am most excited about sharing with you is on Coursera and offered by the University of Edinburgh. It’s called E-learning and Digital Cultures and, therefore, directly relates to what I talk to you about in all my posts here on the TESOL Blog. The dates for the course haven’t been posted yet but it’s only 5 weeks long with a 5-7 hour a week workload, and you can enroll already, which is what I did just to be sure I didn’t forget about it. When something about the course changes, I get e-mail updates so I don’t miss anything. It says that for this course there are “no background knowledge or skills required,” but a familiarity with social media is recommended as that is how discussions will take place. You also don’t need to buy any materials since content is delivered via YouTube and readings are provided. There is not a lot of information posted about the course but the content looks interesting and I am really looking forward to it, so check it out. Hopefully I will see some of you in class!
I also wanted to share my thoughts on taking an online course to help some of you who might be taking an online class for the first time. I think it takes a lot of discipline to study online but you can do it! I suggest making sure you learn as much about the class as possible before it begins and deciding whether or not you are interested in the content. Luckily there is no penalty, that I know of, for enrolling and then deciding it isn’t for you, so if you are interested in the topic, I’d say it’s worth a shot. Additionally, I recommend only signing up for one class, at least at first. I know 5-7 hours a week doesn’t seem like a lot of time but you will probably find that it’s harder to make time for your class than you think. Start slow and see how it goes.
That’s all I’ve got for you today so check out some courses and see which one is best for you. Good luck and please feel free to leave a comment below. Next time, I’ll share my new favorite online resource, so come back soon.