Emerging Trends & Technologies in the Virtual K-12 Classroom

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Course Date: 18 August 2014 to 22 September 2014 (5 weeks)

Price: free

Course Summary

Learn about emerging trends and technologies in K-12 virtual instruction. Join us as we explore this dynamic landscape and investigate how we can more deeply engage students in the virtual classroom through the use of innovative practices and technologies.

Estimated Workload: 2-4 hours/week

Course Instructors

Melissa Loble

Melissa Loble is an instructor at UCI in the Virtual teacher program, which is focused on providing K12 teachers with ideas, research, examples, and communities for implementing highly successful virtual education. Melissa also is an adjunct faculty member at Pepperdine University in the Masters in Learning Technologies program, where she teaches courses including Managing Technology for Change and Leadership & Technology.

Course Description

Emerging technologies are quickly gaining momentum in the field of virtual K-12 instruction. In this course we will explore how the latest trends in technology affect student learning and engagement. What innovative learning spaces and tools are available to instructors?  How can instructors best utilize free and open resources to more deeply engage students in their learning? What impact can the use of emerging technologies have on student retention and performance? As a class we will discuss the possibilities and challenges of using technology in both online and blended environments. Learners will compare and contrast tools for use in K-12 instruction, as well as examine best practices for implementing and managing these tools. Learners will also consider the value of emerging technologies as they relate to social learning, game-based learning, and open content.


Will I get a certificate after completing this class?
Yes. Students who successfully complete this class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment from Coursera.  Students who complete this course with a grade of 90% or better will receive a Statement of Accomplishment with Distinction from Coursera. This course is also eligible for Coursera Signature Track for those students wanting to obtain an identity-verified statement of accomplishment or statement of accomplishment with distinction. For more information about Coursera Signature Track statements, please go here: https://www.coursera.org/signature/guidebook

Will I receive university credit for this course?
At this time, university credit is not available for this course. However, this course is one of four courses offered through Coursera by UC Irvine focused on Virtual Teacher Education. Those students who successfully complete all four courses and earn a Verified Certificate with Distinction (available exclusively by joining Signature Track) for each course will be able to apply for a practicum course offered online through UC Irvine Extension.  For more information on the UC Irvine practicum visit http://unex.uci.edu/areas/education/vt/

What resources will I need for this class?
The course is self-contained, with links to free, open resources throughout. No additional resources are needed beyond a creative spirit that is ready to explore new ways for teaching students virtually.

What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class? 
Whether you're new to the world of virtual education or an experienced virtual teacher, we hope this course helps you think critically about the latest tools and technologies available to you to further engage your students in the virtual classroom. We love teaching with technology so we think everything is cool!


Over the course of five weeks, we will cover the following topics:

Week 1: Role of Technology in the Virtual Classroom, including selecting and implementing technologies in your schools
Week 2: Emerging Trends and Technologies: Social Learning
Week 3: Emerging Trends and Technologies: Game-based Learning, Badging, Augmented Reality
Week 4: Utilizing Open Content, from Mobile Applications to MOOCs
Week 5: Review


This class will consist of short weekly lecture videos with embedded reflective questions, totaling approximately 1 hour of viewing. There will also be weekly quizzes, 1 peer-graded assignment, and a final exam.

Suggested Reading

Free, publicly available articles and resources will be provided throughout the course. Learners will also be encouraged to explore various free, online technologies, tools, learning spaces, and resource repositories.

Course Workload

2-4 hours/week

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