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Coursera Offers Free Professional Development to Teachers

Coursera, which has caused a stir by offering free online courses from Harvard and Georgia Tech known as MOOCs( massively open online courses) to anyone, is making more waves by providing free online professional development and training to K-12 teachers.

Classes will cover content development, Common Core State Standard related curriculum, character education, the flipped classroom and instituting blended learning which is a combination of online and in-person instruction. These courses will come from a spectrum of institutions.

According to the Coursera blog: “Seven leading schools of education (are taking part),, including the College of Education, University of Washington; Curry School of Education, University of Virginia; Johns Hopkins University School of Education; Match Education’s Sposato Graduate School of Education; Peabody College of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University; Relay Graduate School of Education; and University of California, Irvine Extension.”

The American Museum of Natural History, The Commonwealth Education Trust, Exploratorium, The Museum of Modern Art, and New Teacher Center are also offering classes.

Some of the class titles include:

You can view the full course schedule here.

These free classes are the next part of Coursera’s online course experiment. It already brings questions that aren’t addressed on the organization’s website. Will teachers receive PLU credits for taking these classes? Are they aligned to specific state standards? How are the courses vetted and approved?

Of course you can’t beat the price of this professional development: free! But is this the case of getting what you're not paying for? What do you think? Would you take a K-12 professional development class from Coursera? Is this of value to you?