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Top 15 Online Courses for Innovative Educators

Alejandro Murillo
Alejandro Murillo
Content Marketing Specialist
Latin America






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We know that educators love to teach, but sometimes we forget how passionate they are about their own learning, be it keeping up to date and improving their teaching practice, transmitting new knowledge to their students, or investing in their own personal development.

To that end, we want to provide resources for educators who want to keep learning.

The following MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), from universities and organizations around the world, provide a wide, interesting, and creative approach to education and learning, from technology in the classroom to inclusive teaching. All of the courses can be audited for free, though most of them offer the option of getting a certificate. Whether you are in SecEd or Higher Ed, a veteran instructor or new to a specific subject area, here are our top 15 courses for innovative educators:

Copyright for Educators & Librarians / Duke University

Using real-world examples, this course explains copyright law in an educational context, with the goal of improving the confidence of teachers and librarians when managing content.

Who should take this course? Educators and librarians who want to understand how to navigate copyright law and teach without fear of copyright infringement.

Leaders of Learning / Harvard University

This course is an introduction into the complex world of learning science, educational organization and structures, and the future of leadership in education.

Who should take this course? Secondary and Higher Education instructors interested in defining their personal theory of learning and applying leadership principles in the classroom.

Big Data and Education / University of Pennsylvania

Analyzing the massive amount of data produced by universities and schools is a challenge. Here, you will learn how to make sense of that information in order to make policy decisions.

Who should take this course? EdTech specialists, school IT administrators, and policymakers who have a solid knowledge of maths and statistics (no programming required).

Classroom Strategies for Inquiry-Based Learning / University of Texas at Austin

Take this course to learn how to design better courses using the 5E teaching model, the elements of which are to engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate.

Who should take this course? Secondary Education instructors who are interested in learning about inquiry-based education.

Teaching Character and Creating Positive Classrooms / Relay Graduate School of Education

Created with Secondary Education teachers in mind, and taking a positive psychology approach, this course provides teachers with tools to improve student engagement and outcomes.

Who should take this course? Secondary Education educators who want to learn about strategies and tactics to employ positive psychology to meet character-based objectives.

What Works in Education: Evidence-Based Education Policies / Inter-American Development Bank

This course is all about education policy. It takes a look at successful programs and provides information about how to improve education systems.

Who should take this course? Police makers, sociologists, and politicians who want to know more about successful educational programs in challenging conditions.

Designing and Leading Learning Systems / University of Michigan

As new systems and educational trends arrive, an innovative mindset is more important than ever. Here you will learn how to manage innovation systems within institutions.

Who should take this course? Educational innovators who want to put into practice new technologies and systems within their schools.

Learning to Teach Online / UNSW Sydney

An introductory and comprehensive course on how to design better classes for online audiences, with the help of educational technology.

Who should take this course? All educators and soon-to-be teachers who want to meaningfully implement technology for online learning.

What Future for Education? / University of London

For those who worry about the future of education in an ever-changing world, this course takes a critical approach to leading educational ideas.

Who should take this course? Sociologists, policymakers, professors, and humanists who want to address the challenges in education.

Foundations of Teaching for Learning: Introduction / Commonwealth Education Trust

This program is designed for anyone who is interested in best practices for teaching and learning, SedEd through Higher Ed. The topics include professional knowledge and understanding, as well as relationship building and engagement techniques.

Who should take this course? Anyone interested in the foundational elements of teaching and education.

e-Learning Ecologies: Innovative Approaches to Teaching and Learning for the Digital Age / University of Illinois

Implementing successful e-Learning environments is the key to improving learning outcomes. Take this course to learn more about the concept of “affordance” in e-learning ecologies.

Who should take this course? Librarians, teachers, and instructional designers who value differentiated learning and collaboration within their classrooms.

Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Digital Storytelling / University of Houston

Stories are a powerful way to engage students. In this MOOC, you will craft digital learning experiences that will keep your students intrigued and captivated.

Who should take this course? Instructional designers, teachers, and content creators who want to explore narrative techniques and how they can be applied to learning.

Performance Assessment in the Virtual Classroom / University of California at Irvine

This course addresses the task of assessing, testing, monitoring, and helping students in virtual environments.

Who should take this course? EdTech specialists, administrators, and teachers who want to understand how to use the right tools to assess students, especially in online learning settings.

Inclusive Teaching: Supporting All Students in the College Classroom / Columbia University

By taking this course, you will understand how the interaction among students, teachers, faculty, and administrators affects learning outcomes, and you will learn how to create inclusive classrooms.

Who should take this course? Teachers and faculty that want to create balanced and inclusive classrooms.

Intercultural Competency in Education / University of Iceland

Today, students from all backgrounds find their common ground in the classroom. This MOOC explains how to increase cultural awareness and embrace diversity in educational settings.

Who should take this course? Teachers who celebrate cultural diversity in the classroom and strive to teach global-mindedness to students from all walks of life.

Taking one--or even several--of these courses will provide educators with deep insights, extensive resources, and enhanced knowledge about their practice. Embracing the idea that we never stop learning is invaluable for those who love to teach and are passionate about education.

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