Using MOOC content to meet OCPS requirements

Source: Orlando Sentinel blog, Feb 2013

A bill filed today in the Florida Legislature aims to give students (in both the K-12 and college arenas) the ability to pick courses — and needed tests — from a host of providers outside traditional schools.

“I want Florida’s children to have access to the best courses the world has to offer, in whatever area they are studying,” said Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, who is sponsoring the Senate version, in a statement. “If MIT is offering a great physics course I want our students to be able to take it, if Stanford has a great biology course then we should make sure that it is available in Florida as well.”

His office explained the proposal this way:  The bill will allow for individuals and institutions to submit their own course content as a “Florida-accredited charter course”, including “massive open online courses” (MOOCS), subject to approval by regionally accredited educational institutions and the state. These charter courses will be articulated and would be allowed to count towards credit in both K-12 courses and higher-education courses, if appropriate.

The bill isn’t a long one, but it reads like a proposal that wants to make dramatic changes to education in Florida. The goal, the bill says, is for students to be able to pick courses tailored to their “unique interests,” particularly in STEM fields.

The purpose of the “Florida Flexible Open Initiative” is to “make available multiple options to suit unique student interests, satisfy educational requirements, and accelerate student accomplishment of goals in a productive and effective manner.”



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