Day 36: MOOC “R” Us


Spurred on by Michael, a group of Mosaic students have enrolled in a Stanford University free (massive open) online course, err, a MOOC, to dig into exactly how we learn math. Here’s a blurb from the course’s webpage:

How to Learn Math is a free class for learners of all levels of mathematics. It combines really important information on the brain and learning with new evidence on the best ways to approach and learn math effectively. Many people have had negative experiences with math, and end up disliking math or failing. This class will give learners of math the information they need to become powerful math learners, it will correct any misconceptions they have about what math is, and it will teach them about their own potential to succeed and the strategies needed to approach math effectively. If you have had past negative experiences with math this will help change your relationship to one that is positive and powerful.

Jo Boaler teachers the course.

I’m a fan of learning, that’s for sure, but I’ve never been much for the concept of MOOCs as revolutionary and transformative learning options. I think the MOOC concept has illustrated how information can be organized and made available worldwide, and I think it will certainly evolve as research into effective and engaging eLearning and mLearning methodology is shared, but I think the concept of online lecture and questioning has been overly hyped. (Apparently I’m not alone in this assertion.)

My opinion aside, I am interested in how this Stanford MOOC may serve our students and meet some of their needs. See, what’s neat about this option is how the participating students have grouped up with Michael, who is himself enrolled in the course, but is also using his position as their teacher to help guild and motivate their MOOC learning by continuing the conversations beyond the MOOC platform. It is, after all, the Mosaic way!

In this picture they are just getting started. Later they were watching one of the course videos together and discussing it’s major points, which is a nice supplement to the MOOC.


Now, while this was going on, Natalie (aka Apples), who was on the other side of the room, was struck by just how quiet and tranquil the Mosaic environment was. She made a short video of this Zen-like moment in Mosaic (interrupted briefly by a leaping teacher).


Ahhhh……. breathe in through your nose … and out through your mouth….


I hope to report back in December with some feedback and reflection from Michael and our students on both the content of this MOOC and on the concept in general.

#helpingstudentswiththeircalendars #whataboutFridays #vettingprojectstothentunethemup #arewedoingscichattoday #nuclearbombadvisements #changeagentchataboutMosaictours #cynicsnotwelcome