College graduates, Domestic, Friend, Fraud, or Fishy, International, Not-for-Profit, Required, Technology - Written by on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 10:25 - 0 Comments

College? There’s an App for That: How USC Built a 21st Century Classroom

photo: courtesy USC MAT

by Elbert Chu

If there’s a model worth emulating and learning from in online education, USC’s teaching program seems to be one of them. Instead of trying to replace teachers with technology, they’re [gasp] creating more teachers using technology.

The mastermind behind the idea is John Katzman, formerly of  The Princeton Review. The Atlantic gives the run down on their success:

1,500 aspiring teachers are now earning master’s degrees in teaching at the University of Southern California — more than the master’s programs at Harvard (972) and Stanford (415) combined. Since USC and Katzman teamed up to create the country’s first online course for a master’s in teaching, called MAT@USC, the school that graduated only 100 students in 2007 is on pace to become the country’s largest not-for-profit teacher prep program by 2013.

“Teachers and students uniformly love it,” said Melora Sundt, associate dean of academic programs at USC’s Rossier School of Education. “We’re bringing people from all over the world into the same classroom.” Now in 45 states and 25 countries, including Turkey, Japan and South Korea, USC’s online education has gone global.

Students called it “life-changing.” Professors said it was the most fun they’d had at work in a long time.

“Putting the education online means you can see what issues are universal,” Sundt says. “It’s wonderful to hear students say, ‘I have that issue in Kansas!’ and ‘I have the same issue in Massachusetts!’ Our class becomes the country.”

Still, it’s not all fun and games. Students still have to show up for class sometimes.

As much as Sundt rhapsodizes about how the program has changed, she’s equally emphatic about what hasn’t changed at USC. The school still accepts students selectively, still charges the same tuition and still requires 20 weeks of in-classroom practice. Students upload daily videos of their work in classrooms from their home city.

Only problem is USC is not sharing this goodness right now. Guess you’ll have to enroll to find out for yourself. Not only are they making productive use of technology, according to The Atlantic, by 2013 they’ll be the largest not-for-profit teacher training program. For these reasons, USC is a FRIEND.

via College? There’s an App for That: How USC Built a 21st Century Classroom – Derek Thompson – Business – The Atlantic.

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