So what is deep learning? #DLMOOC

December 21, 2013 § 1 Comment

I’ve just signed up for Deeper Learning MOOC which begins in January 2014. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to spend a few days at High Tech High (a leadership partner of the MOOC) and it was a great experience.┬áThe leadership of the school have set in place a culture of learning for teachers and students alike.


Through a series of workshops, conversations and sessions I was able to learn about their use of physical space, the design principles for project based learning and the priorities for mentoring of teachers. A number of twitter friends will also take the MOOC and I’m looking forward to learning by debating, reflecting, reading, prototyping and comparing.

The first MOOC that I undertook was the #howtolearnmath course with Stanford University Professor Jo Boaler. It was a fantastic course that offered some amazing insights relating to learning, psychology and motivation. There are three main reasons that I enjoy taking MOOCs:


I can listen when I need to. I can reflect when it suits me. I can chat with others at most times throughout the day. I’m being presented with learning opportunities from some of the most respected leaders in the field and I like to have freedom in when/how I respond.


Professional Development doesn’t have a good reputation for assisting ‘development’ in one’s learning journey. Most of the time it’s just ‘sit hear and listen to this’ and then we’ve ticked the box. I like how this DLMOOC has been set up to model purposeful and passionate learning. One of the lines from the course states:

Our aim is for you to leave each session with a new idea, tool, or practice that you can put into practice the next day.

Modelling learning

I want to ensure that I am modelling learning skills to my students. There must be aspects of critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration to my professional learning. To go beyond the ‘surface level’ learning and into the territory of deep learning, teachers need to be intentional and consider routines/opportunities that students can develop. A few months ago Ron Ritchhart presented in Sydney and provided this helpful self assessment that I’m going to begin using in 2014. By participating in this MOOC I hope that I’m not only developing great skills for teaching and learning but I’m also developing skills as a learner.



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