Sunday, June 16, 2013

MOOCs + cooking = joyful times

MOOCs . . . Wha?

We live in the information age where it seems like almost every week there is an announcement about how some field or industry is being revolutionized by technology. Education has not escaped the craze. The idea of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) has been buzzing for quite some time now, but is definitely not settled down into a clear direction. The basic idea is this: a professor can start a class online, anyone in the world can join it, and everyone is happy. No, it doesn't count towards college credit (though there are many who are trying to find ways to build credibility around these open resources), but yes - you can learn something. No, it might not be what you think education is, but yes it doesn't cost a cent.

My Experience - Child Nutrition and Cooking

Kas and I decided to take a class on Coursera focused on cooking and helping children eat healthy. It wasn't super intense (about 1-2 hour commitment each week for 5 weeks) and it was really fun to do together.

Here is the intro to the class:

I really enjoyed how simple it was. We watched a few 2-5 minute videos, and then looked up our assignment. There were small and simple quizzes for each lecture, and then we had to cook something. Here are some things we made.

Artichoke Rice Salad

Chicken Fajitas 
Home Made Chicken Nuggets

Tasty Dish of Veggies

I learned some great things. For example, if you want to have good flavor and tasty food - your kitchen should have lemon, garlic, salt, sugar, onion, and olive oil. Those 6 things can do wonders to just about anything. We learned stuff, we ate good food, and generally had a great experience.

Joyful Times Growing Your Brain and Learning New Things

What is the point in taking a class if you don't get any credit? Well, that is the wrong question sometimes. For Kas and I this MOOC was an opportunity to bond closer together, to learn more about healthy eating, and to just become better educated individuals. Don't we look happy??!!

You too can grow your brain, and learn a vast amount of things for free by simply looking up courses on sites such as Coursera and Udacity or even BYU's Instructional Technology Department. Subjects range from a whole host of things such as College Algebra to The History of Rock and Roll to How to use YouTube in the classroom. If we teach our children to learn to love learning, not just get degrees and letter grades, than perhaps tools like MOOCs will enable them to learn anything or become anyone the want!

MOOCs may or may not be revolutionizing education, but they are certainly providing amazing learning opportunities for the small percent of people who not only sign up for them, but who stick through till the end.

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