By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – MOOCs, “massively open online courses,” developed by coursera are reaching vast numbers of people and now the organization is moving into professional development for K-12 education, in anticipation of a surging market. Forty-one percent of teachers surveyed reported having taken at least one online course, up from 33% in 2008.

Twenty-eight courses are in preparation. Courses will not be offered for credit, but content will meet requirements for professional development. They’ll be free; the only charge would be a certificate of course completion. The expected audience will be practicing teachers, including those in foreign countries, trying to bolster their English.

Seven universities with schools of education, including Johns Hopkins and Vanderbilt, will provide free online coursework and five museums, The Museum of Modern Art among them, will develop course content aimed at improving education. Flexibility for users is a big plus.

Read more in Education Week on the hurdles and challenges to this movement.

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