Please email if you'd like to join the network. Once we've established a sizeable group of relief teachers, we'll be organising workshops for those who are interested.
"The best educators are the best learners. They can adapt to tomorrow's contexts, technologies, languages" (AITSL)

Thursday, 20 September 2012

The opportunity to be a perpetual university student!

It took me seven years to graduate from university. This is something that used to embarrass me, and is often used as a form of mild harrassment from my family ("You know, a lot of people go to college for seven years" "I know, they're called doctors".) My prolongated stay can be attributed to a number of factors, including a degree swap and year abroad, but primarily to that of an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. I transitioned to an Education degree as I became to realise that the best way to never stop learning is to teach. Every course I took increased my desire for another, which explains why I'm probably the only Elementary Education graduate of Montana State University who studied Sociology and has a minor in International Business. I loved being in the environment of minds expanding, intently listening to the viewpoints from multiple perspectives with facination. If university had been free, I may have stayed forever. Well now it is! Sort of...

I stumbled across the concept of Coursera on TED about a month back and was intrigued. Coursera partners with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free! Students are required to view the pre-recorded lectures, even completing assignments and receive a certificate at the end from the university of choice. Although for me, a digital environment will never quite live up to the unparalled experience and memories of university, this is a great segueway to a life of learning. Coursera is a fantastic development; the democratisation of education as we know it.

"We envision a future where the top universities are educating not only thousands of students, but millions. Our technology enables the best professors to teach tens or hundreds of thousands of students. Through this, we hope to give everyone access to the world-class education that has so far been available only to a select few. We want to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in".

University of Melbourne has recently joined Coursera, alongside such notable institutions as Princeton, Brown and Stanford. If you loved university as much as I did, sign up for a course! There are 13 starting on Monday alone! Although specific education focussed courses are at a minimum now, there are still multiple relevant History, Maths, English and Science courses that can complement any teaching career. Give it a look!

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