Do you relish the idea of sitting in a cold room on a folding chair for 8 hours straight? What if you were being lectured by a consultant the entire time? Now how about we throw in very little food or breaks.
Got your interest yet? That’s basically the opposite of what the future of professional development will be.
TL;DR: Microsoft + edX = Your online professional development
That is, of course, if today’s news of an enhanced partnership bears the kind of fruit I hope will come. As of this morning (California time), Microsoft and edX are building out their existing partnership to develop online courses for teachers, school leaders, principals, superintendents, and others who are working to enhance school learning.
In other words, online professional development is coming soon to a comfy chair near you. You’ll be able to leverage the technology and expertise of Microsoft on the powerful edX platform. Right from the comfort of your own home. Heck, you could probably take some high-quality online professional development while grading papers. Multitasking ahoy!
Ok, give me the skinny on this. Why should I care?
Want to get the skinny on this news and why it matters to you? Read on for the official statement and a couple helpful links:
Courses, which will be created by edX university partners – leading universities and colleges from around the world – will guide principals, superintendents and school leaders in improving their schools and enhancing classroom learning.
Together, recognizing a need and an opportunity to make an impact, edX and Microsoft will work closely alongside universities to craft courses to fill knowledge gaps that exist within schools. From teaching with technology, to achieving better student outcomes, to school staffing, to technology and expertise needs, these courses will prepare schools, teachers and leaders to develop the best schools for tomorrow and harness the power of technology in the classroom.
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“Technology and educational expertise can unlock the potential of students, educators and schools, and we are honored to collaborate with Microsoft to bring together the best in technology with edX’s premier learning platform and edX university partners – the best institutions in the world,” said Anant Agarwal, edX CEO and MIT Professor. “This partnership will empower school leaders to create educational environments that result in student achievement and success, and it builds upon our collaboration with Microsoft that offers free courses to millions of learners around the world.”
Informed by Microsoft’s work with Showcase Schools, these courses will address the unique needs of principals and school administrators as they solve for the changing educational and technology landscape. The courses will be available globally to impact learning throughout the world.
Anthony Salcito, Microsoft Vice President of Education, added “we’re excited about the potential this collaboration with edX represents. Microsoft has been working with schools for a long time and we recognize the great work and passion teachers and school leaders bring to their work. Collaborating with edX and its university partners to create courses that build leadership capacity – driving change at a system level – raises the bar to drive impactful and purpose-driven transformation, ultimately helping students achieve more.”
This partnership expands upon the collaboration between edX and Microsoft in online learning. Microsoft offers more than 35 online courses, both MOOCs and professional education courses, on edX.org.
Cute couch-surfing dog photo via Flickr cc