Free program supports educators in remote teaching

April 10, 2020

As PreK-12 and higher education schools shift to remote teaching in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Michigan State University faculty are developing free tools to support educators.

Spartans from the Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) program created a learning experience for teachers to help implement best remote teaching practices and strategies for their students.

Hands type on a laptop

“The Mini-MOOC on Remote Teaching was developed for every educator, at every grade level,” said Candace Robertson, assistant director of student experience and outreach for the MAET program and lead developer of the course. “This moves beyond tools and focuses on how we can care for ourselves and our students at this time. The experience focuses on how to teach in the current climate through high-priority pedagogical topics.”

The Mini-MOOC on Remote Teaching—or a just-in-time, digestable version of a massive open online course—was developed for educators who are operating in no-tech, low-tech or high tech teaching environments. It covers topics including:

  • Trauma-informed teaching and student and teacher well-being
  • Communication, presence and community-building
  • Engagement and universal design for learning

The experience, co-sponsored by MSU’s HUB for Innovation in Learning and Technology, is eight self-paced units; participants can expect each unit to take less than two hours to complete. The community of educators, with more than 500 participants, come from 12 different states in the U.S. and 11 other countries. Participants are teachers, coaches, administrators, instructional designers, professors and a variety of additional educational positions.

A maximum of 16 SCECHs have been approved for Michigan educators who complete the Mini-MOOC. Details will be shared with participants soon.

A map shows the #MAET Mini-MOOC participation across the world, last updated April 8, 2020. Flags denote where various participants are from, including: Australia, China, France, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Philippines, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vietnam and several states in the United States: Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee and Virginia.

“In this big push to move learning online, it’s more important than ever to keep issues of equity and access in mind,” said Liz Owens Boltz, co-director of MAET. “The experience provides a space to explore different strategies to support teachers as they adjust to this new teaching and learning context.”

The Mini-MOOC on Remote Teaching is free and open to everyone. Enroll today.

UPDATE 08/24/21: The Mini-MOOC and complementary materials are now award-winning! In March 2021, scholars from the Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) program received the President’s Award from the Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning (MACUL). The annual honor recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions by using technology to enhance teaching and learning. In September 2021, the scholars will receive an Effective Practice Award from the Online Learning Consortium. The annual honor celebrates those who help make education more accessible. In particular, Team MAET will be recognized for both the Mini-MOOC, described below, and the associated blog series, which provide, according to an OLC media release, “building blocks and critical lenses … to create equitable and accessible learning possible during the sudden shift to remote instruction due to COVID-19.”

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