Tag Archive: Professional Development

May the MOOC Be With You

I know, I know.  Really bad play on words, but I grew up in the Star Wars/Star Trek era and still love Sci-Fi.  I don’t try to deny it and my wife just puts up with it!

So MOOC’s have been around for awhile now.  I’m just getting into the game at this point and I suspect many of you are doing the same or at least considering it.  I’ve just started my first MOOC titled, Coaching Digital Learning.  From the course description,

The Coaching Digital Learning MOOC-Ed is brought to you by the Digital Learning Collaborative a program of the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University’s College of Education. The content was developed by a team of passionate digital learning innovators, coaches, and geeks: Brittany Miller, Lisa Hervey, and Jaclyn B. Stevens, with many others from school districts and other organizations throughout the country contributing to planning and facilitating the course. See CDL Team for more information.

Finding and signing up for a MOOC is easy.  The hard part will be following through on the class.  I’ve completed unit 1.  The MOOC is free, but I can still get CEU’s for completing the course.  In my opinion, the free part is what keeps many people from completing a MOOC.  According to a report in Inside Higher Ed, completion rates for MOOCs range from a low of 3.5% to as high as 40%.  In all, more people fail to complete them than those that finish.  Will I finish mine?  Time will tell.  I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, you might want to try a MOOC yourself.  Here are some resources to get you started in your search.





Happy Searching!

The End of Sign-Up Sheets

When I started teacher 20 some years ago, I had sign up sheets for all kinds of stuff.  At the beginning of the year, I had parents sign up to help with classroom parties, field trips and help in the classroom.  Later, I moved to conferencing with kids on writing or taking fluency checks for both math and reading.  Of course we also had lists for things like career day, musical tryouts and arts festival performance time slots.  All of this was done with paper and pencil, slots assigned and then reposted for all to see.

In my position now, I have to schedule professional development days with multiple options for sessions and times.  Quite a task and I was determined to find a way to use technology to help.  Here’s the list I like so far:

Snappy Sign Up – This is my current favorite.  I’ve used it to schedule our professional development day.  You can set multiple time slot

Google Calendar – This is great if you are scheduling a meeting and want to invite people, post an agenda and figure out who can come.  We are a Google Apps for Ed school so everyone already has an account.  This can work for those without Gmail account as well.

PTCFast – Scheduling Parent-Teacher conferences just got a lot easier!  This cloud based program allows for whole school scheduling or individual scheduling.  You can also use it to schedule team meetings or conferences with multiple teachers.  Parents log in, pick a time and that’s it!

Doodle – This has been around for a while but it still works well for setting up meeting.  We’ve used to RSVP parent information meetings.

You Can Book Me! – This a great program for scheduling multiple time slots.  It also will populate your Google Calendar when an appointment is made.  Very handy!

Have one you like?  Let me know!