Friday, August 30, 2013

EdWeb: A Massive Open Online Classroom Geared Towards Teachers

By Sean Scarpiello

As Massive Open Online Classrooms (MOOCs) are quickly becoming popular in the field of education, we are beginning to see many benefits for students. However, with all of this innovative technology being geared towards students, it is easy to forget about the teachers who continue to fill classrooms across the world. A new educational venture called EdWeb is aimed at solving this problem. EdWeb is a Princeton based professional and social network designed specifically for educators of all types. Overall, the network has a lot to offer educators which help to improve education, all for no cost.

To access EdWeb, teachers simply need to visit the EdWeb site (see below) and register for free. This then opens educators up to a variety of different webinars which are held almost every day. These webinars are offered at no cost and allow teachers from all over the world to communicate and collaborate on different ideas. Some webinar topics are open discussions on topics such as gaming education and technology driven education, while others have topics based on reviving students from the summer slide and tips for improving overall math performance. In whichever topic educators choose to attend, they are sure to leave the webinar with some great ideas. Beyond this, teachers have the ability to collaborate with other teachers from all over the world. Here, teachers can learn about different teaching styles and techniques used elsewhere to test on their class. This then allows teachers to pick and choose different ways to teach a class so that they can perfect their teaching methods to best fit their students. By taking an all-encompassing view of EdWeb, we can see that it is essentially a MOOC aimed at teaching and improving educators.

In addition to the free webinars, EdWeb also allows educators to set up individual groups for discussion. These communities of teachers allow for discussion in a wide variety of different topics. Some teachers set up communities with schools or districts to communicate, while other communities are based on innovative educational ideas. These type of communities are based off of topics such as teaching autistic students, online gaming education, exploring eBooks, technology in the classroom, and even more. Again, teachers have the opportunity to share their ideas and opinions with fellow educators so students everywhere can benefit. This again acts like a MOOC in that teachers are learning about the pros and cons of different techniques, as well as collaborating with teachers who have years of experience. Such an idea will be rapidly successful as teachers can pool their years of experience together and hone their craft, all through EdWeb.

Overall, EdWeb is a fantastic innovation because while we head in the direction of MOOCs, teachers still fill our classrooms. Therefore, EdWeb acts as a free MOOC just for teachers to learn. In the long run, I am sure we will be able to see the amount of success the teachers who utilize EdWeb will have in their classrooms. Through online collaboration, teachers will be able to get new ideas to bring into the classroom and share with their students. Ultimately, we can all benefit from this technology driven idea which improves education for students across the world, all at no cost.



Unknown said...

Thank you for this great review of edWeb. We are so glad we can provide free online professional development for teachers. Glad you see the comparison with MOOCs. We call our programs mini-MOOCs.

Many thanks to our partners and sponsors who make it possible for this to be free!

Lisa (founder of edweb)

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