Today at ConnectED Superintendents Summit, President Obama announced a couple of initiatives with the top two MOOC providers. The ConnectED initiative, announced by President Obama in June 2013 is designed to enrich K-12 education for every student in America.
“EdX has already offered its Advanced Placement-level courses for free. Now it’s making the certification for those courses free as well. So if you’re a student who’s mastered the material, but can’t afford the certification that proves it, EdX will provide it. They’re offering more than a dozen training courses to teachers nationwide for free.” – President Obama
edX and its partner institutions will offer free verified certificates to U.S. Teachers for one year. After the first year, teachers in high-need schools will be eligible for free verified certificates for an additional 4 years. These courses will include training on using technology in the classroom, learning theory and leadership, along with teaching in a blended format.
In additions to this, students in high-need and rural schools around the country will also be able to earn free verified certificates in any of the more than 40 courses and modules edX university partners are developing as preparation for the AP* exams. Free verified certificates will be offered to these students for five years.
“For the next year, the company Coursera will offer free credentials for district-approved professional development courses to any teacher, anywhere in the country. Because all the wireless devices and fancy software in the world won’t make a difference unless we have great teachers in the classroom.” – President Obama
Coursera’s university and nonprofit partners will provide 50 high-quality teacher professional development (TPD) courses to US teachers for free throughout a two-year partnership.
Obama’s entire speech can be found here.