Bringing STEM to Elementary School Teachers Using a Digital Platform
Yen Verhoeven of the Paragon Learning Research Group in the U.S. will create a digital platform for massive open online courses (MOOCs) and a supportive online community of professionals for kindergarten to sixth grade teachers to transform their teaching practices and bring STEM and 21st century skills to their schools. MOOCs were developed as a means to provide free education to everyone. However, their content is typically restricted to videos and reading with little interactive learning, which is inadequate for teaching life skills such as critical thinking and creativity. And encouraging teachers to adopt new teaching practices requires additional professional support from peers and mentors. To address these issues, they will work with teachers and teaching experts to formulate a new MOOC design containing a variety of instructional resources and free professional development classes and develop a beta version of the online community platform. They will evaluate the course by teaching it to local K-6 teachers and gathering feedback to refine the content.