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Get yourself back to school

September 16, 2013

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

I often wish that the school year and calendar year coincided so I could plan all my resolutions at once. But alas, they don't and January and September inevitably become strange times of "let's try to do that thing I've been meaning to do."

Last school year, the most useful professional development activity I completed (apart from learning from other faculty) was enrolling in several Massive Open Online Courses on Coursera and Udacity.  You can enroll in as many courses as you want, drop out of as many as you want (with no penalty whatsoever), and pick and choose what work you want to complete.They are also 100% free.

Taking a quick look at Coursera this afternoon, here are the current fall courses available immediately:

So there is something in there for everybody, whether you are a general music teacher, individual instructor, or group teacher.  I even enrolled in a few courses with the sole purpose of investigating what type of curriculum and syllabus were used.

Few people have time any more for a traditional, in person class while holding down a teaching job. But MOOCs make it possible to get the experience you need from a class by presenting and curating content in a flexible format. They certainly aren't a replacement for going to college (yet) but if you want to learn something new and do it efficiently, then you should enroll in one today.

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