Lifelong Learning: Upcoming courses for educators

There are a plethora of free courses available online teaching everything from marketing to underwater basket weaving (okay, not this one – this was an April Fool’s joke by Coursera last year)

I have been a massive fan of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) since they first started to become popular and have completed quite a few. They aren’t always perfect but can offer an interesting introduction into a subject you might not otherwise have investigated or let you study subject that didn’t fit into your timetable at school or university but you have always been interested in.


I have a problem in that I am curious about pretty much everything. I get distracted easily by new things and love making connections between the things I have learned and new information.

Part of my motivation in learning languages came from a school trip to Italy when I was 14, standing in a bookshop and marveling at all the knowledge I would never be able to access if I didn’t learn the language (most information is never translated).

I frustrated careers officers at school because I wanted a career that married my loves of Science and Art and I wasn’t willing to compromise. I even ended up sitting 5 A-level exams in one day because I was the only person who had chosen both Chemistry and History.

I struggle with putting knowledge into boxes, instead always looking for the connections between and across subjects. This is probably part of the reason why I have ended up going into primary education where I have the opportunity to teach across the whole curriculum, encouraging children to make connections and love what they are learning.

Here are some upcoming courses you might find useful or interesting:


Multilingual Learning for a Globalised World

(Futurelearn – University of Glasgow)

When: Starts 4th April for 3 weeks

Time commitment: Approximately 4 hours per week

I will be doing this course as it is dealing with something I truly feel passionate about – the role of languages and multilingual education.

All Futurelearn course are free to do but you will need to pay if you want a certificate to prove you have completed the course. I usually screencapture my progress and create an online certificate on Accredible or Degreed.


Dyslexia and Foreign Language Teaching

(Futurelearn – University of Lancaster)

When: Starts 4th April for 4 weeks

Time commitment: Approximately 4 hours per week

I completed an earlier running of this course last year and found ti very useful for tips I could immediately start using in my classroom to ensure that I was creating an inclusive learning environment. Even for children who have not been diagnosed with dyslexia or any other learning difference, a lot of the tactics mentioned could be used to improve learning for all. With some form of dyslexia or related learning difference affecting around 15% of the population this course will be useful for anyone working in teaching.


Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching

(Futurelearn – University of Southampton and British Council)

When: Starts 4th April for 3 weeks

Time commitment: Approximately 3 hours per week

This course looks at language learning and teaching, starting from discussions about how we learn and some common difficulties, then looking at how teachers can help students to learn new languages and finally at the use of technology in the language classroom and teh case study of English becoming a global language.

This is one I started during its last run but didn’t finish so am hoping to finish it this year!


Education for All: Disability, Diversity and Inclusion

(Futurelearn – University of Cape Town)

When: Starts 4th April for 6 weeks

Time commitment: Approximately 3 hours per week

This is an important issue for everyone working in a job connected with young people, particularly as many schools in the U.K. have been moving towards inclusive practice meaning teachers may be experiencing ore diversity in their classrooms that there would have been previously. This can be intimidating as an educator because you want to do the best you possibly can to support each and every pupil in your room but it can be difficult to know what to do. I am also planning to do this course to get a better insight into inclusive education.

There are lots of other wonderful courses out there but simply not enough time in the day to fit them all in!

Several times I have considered taking a year out and studying as many MOOCs as possible to see how much I could learn in a year – getting to choose what you want to study would be great for student motivation and employers value those who keep learning so I wonder if many universities will move more towards a MOOC model in years to come…

Hope you enjoy the courses above – I will be posting learning material and revision notes on my blog as I study them so please check-in again later.

Happy learning!


Update: September 2017 – The dates of the courses above may no longer be valid but these courses are still available to study on Futurelearn.




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