There is a lot of activity in the online learning space right now. Everyone and their mother is hopping into the boat and trying to figure out a way to improve education with web tools. Since Edudemic falls somewhere in the middle of that goal, I thought it might be useful to recap a few of the best online learning platforms that are useful for teachers to try out.
Why teachers, you ask? Because these platforms are all about increasing skills and learning using the power of the web. Each of these sites either has courses designed for teachers or they have courses designed by teachers. Usually both.
Personally, I think the online education space is still in its infancy and that there’s a lot of room to grow. I like the trends I’m seeing though: personalizing the online learning experience, making it more interactive, and making it free. All good things. It’ll be interesting to see what online education looks like a year from now, to be sure.
This is a new option that launched just a few minutes ago. Versal is a free platform designed to let you easily build interactive courses (they call them gadgets) for students around the world. The focus of Versal right now is on teachers. They’ve set up the Versal Foundation to encourage teachers to create their own interactive courses and give feedback on the new site. It’s still in beta and I’m sure they’d appreciate any help you can offer.
I think this may very well be the most advanced and intriguing entry into the online learning market to date, to be frank. The push to make your own interactive courses / gadgets feels like something Apple has been trying to do with iBooks. Judging by the site and ease of use, it looks like something that was designed by Apple.
If you’re looking to get a grant from the Versal Foundation to build courses or simply looking for a new way to share your brilliance online, try this site out.
Boasting nearly 400 elaborate online courses, Coursera has a rather large number of useful courses for teachers of all varieties. But what sets Coursera apart is the pedagogy and detailed homework assignments that come with each course. Used by universities and colleges around the world, Coursera’s free software lets you take an array of courses from beginners to advanced. The site has a series of courses on the Humanities, Medicine, Biology, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Business, Computer Science, and many others.
Want to grow your skillset or perhaps share your knowledge with the world? Udemy is one of the few options that lets you do both. If you’re a teacher, check out Udemy’s thousands of courses for insight into how to do just about anything. They even have a somewhat robust (somewhat, not quite there yet) education section with some useful education-oriented courses.
But you’re a gung-ho teacher looking to change the world. You want to learn about web design, Excel, and how to make your own mobile app. All of that is available … for a price. Most courses that would be useful to teachers (not the ultra-advanced programming stuff, that is) are around $50 or so. So you could take a few courses this summer for under a couple hundred US dollars.
If you want to actually put your skills out there and show off what you know, Udemy’s fabulous course creation system is worth trying out. You can even try Udemy for Organizations if you want to have a bespoke option that has all of your school or organization’s branding. It’d be like building your very own school without having to know any code!