Summer 2013 #AwesomeSlates Contest Winners

This summer, Accredible debuted “slates” – a new way to capture evidence for your learning. What followed was a contest of epic proportions where learners from around the world competed for fame and fortune in our #AwesomeSlates contest. A good slate captures pre-requisite learning, a great slate conveys truly memorable, deep learning with a variety of unique pieces of evidence. Sifting through the entries, we have been incredibly inspired by the creativity, effort, and loads of learning that YOU Accredible users share with the world. It wasn’t easy, but with the help of our leading judges, we are please to announce the winners of the #AwesomeSlates Contest for the Summer of 2013! Drumroll please….!

The winner of the Best Formal Learning slate is Melissa Cardin. Her “Bachelors of Arts, Social Work” slate has exemplary evidence of her expertise in the field. Notably, she includes her actual diploma from the University of New Hampshire, notes, and syllabi from key courses to provide a snapshot of her university learning. Additionally, her excellent research and essays provide a compelling glimpse into her research and work around children’s welfare and related issues. Her endorsements highlight her dedication and academic excellence. Congratulations, Melissa!

For the Best MOOC/Online Learning slate, our winner is Vladimir Đorđević. Vladimir completed the Berklee College of Music course on the “Introduction to Music Production by Loudon Stearns” via Coursera, clearly demonstrating his skills with a variety of music production tools. Highlights from his slate include screen captures of his consistently high-scores from his quizzes and his collaborative music projects. The links to his projects show his creativity with sound and his ability to apply the different concepts and effects he’s learning about in the class. We’re excited to celebrate Vladimir’s musical endeavors!

Abraham Joyner-Meyers wins the Best Skill slate for the impressive collection of evidence of his talent as a violinist. Despite his youth, his many videos on his slate clearly showcase a talent for public performance as well as his musical gifts—he’s performed in a variety of ensembles from full orchestra to soloist roles. In addition to performing well-practiced, heart-string pulling masterpieces, Abraham also shows a sense of humor through his violin, participating in and accompanying comedy skits. Perhaps even more remarkable than what he has achieved so far is the incredibly metacognitive and thoughtful way he approaches his practice; excerpts from his blog “The Education of a Young Man” give us insight into his reflectiveness and maturity as a dedicated learner, always keen to improve his craft. Bravo, Abraham!

The “CS75: Building Dynamic Websites” slate by Arian Allenson Valdez takes the honors for Best Self-Paced Learning slate. Arian’s evidence of his learning through the Harvard Extension School showcases his evolving skills as a programmer. He includes a diverse array of evidence, from screenshots and web links for projects to links to a book he referenced during his course. He even includes two time-lapsed videos of him coding his projects, showing how he deals with the problems he encounters! Arian’s final project for the course was a “Virtual Pet” game showing a successful application of the concepts he’s learned. We’re looking forward to seeing what’s next from this intrepid programmer!

Michael Foster’s slate on “Gamification” from the UPenn Coursera MOOC wins for the category of Most Innovative slate. Aside from the detailed and thorough assignments he completed, all earning high marks, he also created a variety of awesome mind maps to capture his learning. The maps are remarkable for their depth and clarity, easily conveying large amounts of information about different game-related concepts in an easily accessible way. It’s clear that he has a strong handle of the information, but his slate also demonstrates a creative mind and a knack for distilling large amounts of information into reader-friendly portions—that’s quite a set of skillsl in itself!

We’d also like to thank our wonderful judges:

Dev

Devavrat calls himself an Autodidact, Thinker, Designer. He deeply believes, like his role-models Isaac Asimov and Seymour Papert, that the best learning happens when the learner takes charge. He’s been learning independently from a lot of MOOCs and books about various fields since 2011 because he wants to be a good big-picture thinker and solve world’s problems through collaboration and great design.

Emerson

Emerson is the CEO of StudyRoom, the social learning network for students to meet all their classmates, get help from them and get better grades! (www.getstudyroom.com) Thousands of students taking classes from Stanford, UC Berkeley, Georgia Tech and many others are using study rooms for their courses and they describe it as lifesaver. If you have ever been stuck doing homework or studying for a midterm and just needed a little help then now you can get it super fast, from your classmates on StudyRoom.

Roxy

Roxy is a nineteen-year-old self-directed learner from Russia. She’s an UnCollege student, going her own way with her education. This lets her explore and learn anything she wants, with her main interests being business, writing, and psychology. She usually uses MOOCs for them–so many that she wrote a Beginner’s Guide to MOOCs, featured on Accredible Blog some time ago. If you want to know more about her educational exploits, you can follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Accredible Contest Hack #9: Leveraging the Power of Peers

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With the end of the #AwesomeSlates contest less than a week away, we’re ready to reveal perhaps the best contest hack yet:  how going social can help you gain endorsements on your Slates (and make them even stronger contest candidates!) and how a strong network can help you stay motivated!

As Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs demonstrates, we thrive when we feel a sense of belonging and feel respected. These very needs easily explain why “peer pressure” and the “bandwagon effect” can be so influential. While these might have negative associations, if we acknowledge the power of peer accountability, we can then leverage it to build networks that help us stick with a course of study, providing inspiration, motivation, and thought partners.

Find Study Buddies

Finding a group study with in college or in MOOCs is a great way to meet people that share your interests and can help you better understand the material you’re learning. Even if you are really confident in your own knowledge, if you find yourself in the position of explaining concepts to others in your group, you’ll find your own understanding solidifying and becoming more nuanced (Teaching is one of the best ways to learn!) So hop on a study forum for a MOOC or host a study session for some classmates.

Go Public

Accredible endorsements are simply quotes from colleagues and peers that attest to your knowledge or skill. After creating a Slate, and filling it up with your impressive collection of evidence, you should ask for endorsements! Asking for endorsements for your Slate can be a intimidating, but the rewards vastly outweigh the initial nervousness. Gaining endorsements boosts your credibility; this is especially valuable for people who may not know you as well or know you within a particular context. Besides the main benefit of gaining credibility and looking even more like the rock star you are, you gain…

  • Increased motivation to continue adding evidence and build out your strengths. The more people see your work after you’re done and shared your Slate with community, the more motivated you’re to put much more into it – creating Slate and learning itself. Accredible helps you to create a portfolio of your mind with every Slate representing your capabilities, talents and value. Accredible allows you to share your achievements with the world and document all your knowledge, making it timeless and enduring.
  • An avenue for feedback about your learning. Feedback is crucial for improvement because it allows you to take a deeper look at yourself and spot weaker areas.  You can get many ideas for improving your work, and even get suggestions for other topics to look into, by sharing your knowledge profile publicly and sharing your Slates.
  • An expanded network. This was an unexpected discovery for us. Some users found new friends based on interests when they shared their Slates with community.

 

Our educational journeys are enriched by the people who cheer us on, critique our missteps, celebrate our achievements, and endorse our strengths.  Don’t be afraid to share your new slates with the world — even if they’re still “blank slates,” you’re inviting others to follow your journey.

0. Contest Announcement

1. MOOC Slates

2. “Saylor category for self-paced learning” Slates

3. Formal Learning Slates

4. Knowledge/Skill Slates

5. How to Make the Most of Accredible

6. Skills ToolBox, an Overview

7. Filling Your Skills ToolBox: How to Brainstorm

8. Adding Creativity to your Toolbox

9. Leveraging the Power of Peers (current)

 

 

Accredible Contest Hack #8: Adding Creativity to Your Toolbox

via flickr: Eddi van W.

Creativity is a key that unlocks doors of great opportunities, innovative products, and original solutions for different problems in a variety of fields. It is one of the main skills for 21st century… the question is, how do you develop creativity?

Practice thinking outside of the box
First, you need to develop the habit of seeing things differently, Thinking outside of box is a mindset that once developed is hard to lose, and like any skill, it gets easier with consistent practice.

Begin by relaxing and emptying your mind. Consider the problem that you want to solve and approach it from as many different angles and perspectives as possible…even nonsensical ones. When you’re brainstorming in this way, associative thinking is your greatest ally. And remember, if you get in the habit of thinking from multiple angles often, you’ll begin to see new associations and ideas on a regular basis! (Another great way to develop this skill is to take a course on it — Try NovoEd’s A Crash Course on Creativity)

Be Observant & Take Notes
Even the most mundane things, such as personal routine, can give provide many insights and new ideas. Notice patterns in the world around you, write down your observations, and reflect on why those choices were made. Applications like Google Keep or Evernote are useful for capturing thoughts on-the-go. If you make a practice of writing down your thoughts, you’ll not only start to see hidden details that you might have missed if you weren’t paying attention, but you’ll also find yourself becoming better at articulating your thoughts in everyday conversation and discussion. You can also review notes and combine and mix different ideas. To optimize the creation of new ideas and connections, use brightly colored pens or markers and plenty of images. Though they may not be the tools associated with a “serious” workplace, they can help create a more visually compelling brainstorm and help us see connections we may not have considered.

Rediscover Your Inner Child
Do you remember being a child and thinking that the world was full of wonder and magic? Kids are filled with curiosity and a desire to explore. Rediscovering your inner child can help you to recapture that sense of endless possibility. Keep asking “why,” always staying curious. In his famous Stanford commencement speech, Steve Jobs reminded us to, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

Turn Everything into a Game
Games can be useful for your work and studies they help you to do things more productively without losing enjoyment. Games are enticing because even when you’re working towards a goal, the gameplay itself is energizing and fun. Games are also enticing because “failure” can easily be fixed; there’s always a way to restart. Bringing this optimistic mindset from gaming to your coursework or career goals is greatly beneficial; this mindset can transform your work and studies from labor to an amazing journey which will set you free of any fears you may encounter. Moreover, it brings freedom and ingenuity into your work – no more faking and hardships, as there’s no losing in the end, only winning.

Try creating Accredible Slates for different skills and areas of your life to help you stay motivated and track your progress; turn your goals into a game. Next time you get stuck, take a walk through our gallery for inspiration on how to create awesome Slates (and don’t forget there’s still time to enter the #AwesomeSlates Contest and win $150 for each winning slate you’ve made)!

This post is part of a series on the Hacks to Create Winning Slates:

0. Contest Announcement

1. MOOC Slates

2. “Saylor category for self-paced learning” Slates

3. Formal Learning Slates

4. Knowledge/Skill Slates

5. How to Make the Most of Accredible

6. Skills ToolBox, an Overview

7. Filling Your Skills ToolBox: How to Brainstorm

8. Adding Creativity to your Toolbox (current)

 

Slates: The Story Behind the Name

SlatesIf you’ve been following us from the beginning, you may have noticed that we originally referred to an Accredible “slate” which contains the evidence of learning for a particular course or skill as a “cert,” short for “certificate.” The original thought around “cert” was that it represented, much like its real-life counterpart, a formal recognition of learning. But what we realized was that a certificate is something awarded at the end of learning; it implies that learning is complete. But how can we ever be done with learning?

What we realized was that we’re far more interested in documenting educational journeys from their beginning rather than signaling their ends. Instead of a certificate, we needed a symbol of openness, possibility, potential. This is where “slate” came from; a “blank slate,” from the Latin tabula rasa, is meant to be filled with new ideas and experiences.

The reality is that a simple sheet of paper cannot convey—no matter how nice the calligraphy or how shiny the gold foil may be—how much learning and new knowledge has really been gained, and since Accredible is building a new system for recognizing and showcasing learning, we wanted to think beyond the boundaries of a sheet of paper. We’re hoping that your love of learning will guide you to join thousands of users creating entire series of slates ready to be filled with exciting new knowledge!

For those of you needing a bit of a more practical motivator, we’d like to remind you that we’re still running the #AwesomeCerts #AwesomeSlates Contest. Winners within each of the following five categories will each win a $150 Amazon gift card:

• Best Slate for MOOC learning
• Best Slate for Formal Learning
• Best Slate for Skill/Knowledge
• Best Slate for Self-paced learning
• Most Innovative Slate

The contest runs through the end of July; for more details on how to submit your Accredible slates see the contest info page.

So get those slates started and win big! Afterall, learning something new and sharing it with the world is already a win.

Accredible Contest Hack #7: Filling Your Skills ToolBox: How to Brainstorm

Brainstorming is a popular technique for finding solution to particular problems by generating multitude of ideas. The method was created in 1952 by Alex Faickney Osborn. 

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Image courtesy of Adi Respati.

Step 1. Formulate problem.
Everything begins with the right question to ask. Try to stick to one specific question, not lots of them.
For certificates and learning these questions might sound like:

How will I study for this course?

What techniques will I use for the course?

When will I study?

What kind of notes will I write?

What will I put onto my Accredible Slate?

 

Step 2. Take your time.

The main idea of brainstorming is generating ideas without assessing them. Quantity will transform into quality. Rather than finding one perfect solution for a problem, your goal is to discover as many solutions as possible.
You can use the
pomodoro technique for brainstorming. Set 15-25 minutes and think about the problem. Generate as many as you can ideas and write them down. No editing. No judging. No eliminating. Sometimes the most ridiculous ideas are the most insightful, original and interesting. An obvious reminder is to avoid distractions – turn off your phone and computer, since they might be detrimental to brainstorming.

 

Step 3. Use different approaches.

You can use the traditional method – a simple list of ideas. However, techniques from completely diverse areas may be really effective.

 

Mind maps are powerful way not only to organize, but also to generate ideas. You can use them at the beginning to get more ideas, using associations and branches. You can also use it after initial brainstorming to organize your ideas. You can work on one branch or jump from one to another.

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Mind Map of creating study plan for Coursera’s Grow to Greatness 2: Smart Growth for Private Businesses course

 

 

The Method of 5 Why’s and How’s was originally used to identify problems and their causes. You can apply it to brainstorming, too. How does it work? Begin with a simple statement.
Example:

“I need to create Slate”
“How?”
“Using notes”
“How?”
“Writing by hand”
“When?”
“Right after each lecture, whilst watching the video or after one week of lectures”.

Questions may vary – the best are how, what, why who, when, etc. It’s very easy to reach a standstill during brainstorming. The method of 5 why’s will help you to start afresh. This method allows you to provide more concrete questions for your mind to answer. Use as many ideas and questions as you can.

 

Freewriting is a technique used by writers to overcome writer’s block and begin writing. According to Wikipedia, freewriting is completely different from brainstorming because  in brainstorming ideas are simply listed while in freewriting you deal with a text. However, it is indeed a fantastic technique to get your brain working. Freewriting helps you to collect ideas and thoughts on particular topic, using your associative thinking.

How does it work? Set 15 minutes and just begin writing about a course and the problems you need to solve. Don’t get distracted, ignore grammar and forget editing – just write down all of your thoughts. After the time is up, look through your notes and highlight the interesting ideas.


Rules:

1) Your goal is to create lots of ideas. Work for quantity not quality.

2) Don’t restrict yourself. Don’t eliminate some ideas because they seem ridiculous – every direction is good. Sometimes you’ll find unexpected, creative solutions in unknown territory.

3) No distractions. Brainstorming is a time when you and your ideas are meeting. Spend these 15 minutes offline.

4) Try no rules. If after 15 minutes you’re still full of ideas – don’t stop! Setting a time limit is more for you to begin working and doesn’t need to be strictly followed. If you find that mind-mapping doesn’t work for you and you’re better work with simply listing, or if you feel that freewritng helps you generate more ideas – go with it! The point is to find the most creative solutions for a particular problem.

Brainstorming is a powerful tool for discovering your inner genius. Moreover, it unlocks your creativity – a crucial skill in our modern world. In the next article, we’ll talk more about creativity.

Stay tuned!

 

If you have any questions, ideas or feedback, feel free to comment or drop a line to hello@accredible.com. How do you brainstorm? What other ways for getting ideas do you use?

Share it with us and Accredible community on Facebook | Twitter |Google+ or in comments.

This post is part of a series on the Hacks to Create Winning Slates:

0. Contest Announcement

1. MOOC Slates

2. “Saylor category for self-paced learning” Slates

3. Formal Learning Slates

4. Knowledge/Skill Slates

5. How to Make the Most of Accredible

6. Skills ToolBox, an Overview

7. Filling Your Skills ToolBox: How to Brainstorm(current post)

Accredible #AwesomeSlates Contest Extension!

We announced the #AwesomeSlates Contest on 29th April and we are thrilled with the work and effort you put into creating truly Awesome Slates. We have decided to extend the deadline to 31st July to give you more time and opportunity to win $750 gift cards for Amazon!

Why the extension?

After talking with some of our wonderful users we felt that one month was not long enough to develop the kind of Slates you all wanted to create! Several popular MOOCs also finish later this summer and we wanted to make sure those people had a chance to participate too. 

We have also had a group of new users join our community recently and we wanted to extend the chance for them to join the fun and have the chance to win the prize money!

Accredible’s AwesomeSlates Contest

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So what’s been happening with the contest?

We have been publishing a number of great hacks on how to win here on our blog, so if you’d like some hints and ideas on creating your winning Slate, here’s your guide! So far, we have 6 hacks and the list grows each week:

MOOC Slates - how to create great Slates for MOOCs courses(Coursera, edX, NovoEd)

“Saylor category for self-paced learning” Slates (Udacity, Saylor, Udemy, etc)

Formal Learning Slates (high school, college courses, degrees, MBAs, Masters, PhDs)

Knowledge/Skill Slates (hobbies, conferences, seminars, readings, documentaries, etc)

How to Make the Most of Accredible?(features review and ideas on how to use them)

Skills ToolBox. Overview (announcement on Skills nice-to-have for creating great Slates)

 

Also, check out or series on the Beginner’s Guide to MOOCs. We are creating a roadmap for both novices and mature learners to navigate the wonderful but complicated world of online education:

Major MOOC Platforms  - comprehensive review of major MOOCs such as Udacity, Coursera, edX. What are the differences between them? How to approach each of them? Who are the people and what is the story behind them?

5 MOOC Platforms you should know aboutReview of mostly overlooked but still worth watching platforms such as NovoEd, Udemy, Open Learning, Saylor Foundation and Open Learning Initiative. What is so special about them? Why should you try them? What kind of courses and education you’ll find there?

 

There’s also a lof of fun happening on our official facebook fan page. Some of our users (Thanks Shah Yasser Aziz, Devavrat Ravetkar and a few others!) have made us some awesome memes and have started great conversations. Thank you all for building such an awesome community!

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 **EDIT (June 28, 2013): “CERTS” are actually “SLATES” 

So to wrap up, the new contest deadline is 31st, July so start documenting your learning and show the world what you know! Why this date? Well it just so happens that this is birthday of one of the greatest wizards in the world – Harry Potter. Let’s make magic together!

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Accredible Contest Hack #6: Skills ToolBox, An Overview.

There’s an old maxim that states “there’s a tool for every job”. Creating a great Slate without some tools may be difficult and sometimes even frustrating. In the last blog posts we introduced features which enable you to make perfect Slates. But it’s not enough for having fun with building your intellectual portfolio. Today we will share with you some ideas and review the skills which will be covered in future hacks to make building intellectual portfolio more fun.

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Tool 1: Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a very effective technique to find multiple creative solutions for particular problems. The rules are simple: for a particular problem, you try to generate as many ideas as you can without judging or eliminating them. Then, you look at your ideas and choose the best ones.


Brainstorming is a
powerful tool to get truly innovative and great ideas and solve even the most challenging problems in an original way. How to formulate questions? How to brainstorm effectively on your own? How can it help you to create awesome Slates? In one of the next blog posts, we’ll take a deeper dive into it.

 

Tool 2. Creativity.

Some people associate creativity with artists, poets and geniuses in general. Creativity is seen as a phenomenon, an impressive gift which ordinary people cannot possess. Others discard creativity telling that there’s no place for it in a practical world. However, creativity allows you to generate amazing projects and artifacts. There’s no mystery about it and we firmly believe that creativity can be unlocked in every person regardless of his or her age, nationality, profession or interests.

 

Tool 3. Planning.

Can you get from New York to Los Angeles without seeing a roadmap or any signs along the way? Can you achieve a Big Goal without seeing the steps that will lead it to you? No.

Planning is one of the most important skills in our century. It allows you to be productive, successful and stress-free. You need a roadmap to achieve any kind of goals, be it creating a winning Slate, mastering code or getting a promotion at job. Slates can help you to enhance and organize your knowledge along with planning and achieving your learning goals. We will show you how you can create study roadmaps using Accredible.

 

Tool 4. Kindergarten Method.

Do you remember being a kid? Life was full of wonders, dreams, and new discoveries. Kids are fearless, inquisitive and fast learners. Unfortunately, children grow up and we, adults, forget many useful techniques, unique mentality and childish attitude which could be of a great help today, in the grown-up world. This tool is about recalling this sunny and careless period and learning to do many great things again. It’s about giving you a new pair of wings to fly.

 

Tool 5. Friends.

People are important in life. Friends and peers are crucial for learning. We learn not from books – we learn from other people. Most online courses are great not because of knowledge – information has been there before MOOCs. They are valuable because they gathera multitude of students with different background but similar interests in one place to share ideas and help each other. That’s why learning via MOOCs is so popular now and much more effective than before. However, peer-to-peer learning is not the only way to use society to learn in a better way.

 

Today we have shown you 5 important skills that will help you not only create a winning Slate, but also to succeed in your learning in general. In the next 5 hacks we’ll take a closer look at each of them.
Stay tuned!

 

If you have any question, ideas or feedback, feel free to comment or drop a line to hello@accredible.com. What do you think – what skills are the most important for self-learner? What are your personal hacks to succeed?

Share it with us and Accredible community on Facebook | Twitter | Google+ or in comments.

 

This post is part of a series on the Hacks to Create Winning Slates:

0. Contest Announcement

1. MOOC Slates

2. “Saylor category for self-paced learning” Slates

3. Formal Learning Slates

4. Knowledge/Skill Slates 

5. How to Make the Most of Accredible

6. Skills ToolBox. Overview(current post)

Accredible Contest Hack #5: How to Make the Most of Accredible

In the last few blog posts we gave you some insights about general creation of Slates. Today we’ll show you how you can use all the features of Accredible to make truly Awesome Slates.

 

Step 1. Organize.

Like a book begins with a prologue, your Slate begins with aSummary. We’ve already talked a lot about it but it’s crucial for reviewers of your Slate to see the right Summary.
First of all, they should cover the most important points of your learning experience.
Secondly,
your Summary should be readable – people will appreciate your work more if the summary is pithy and clean. Try to include only the most relevant information and to use bullet points for dividing the knowledge/learning.


Work.One of the most useful features for organizing the work is the ability to move position. Put the most important, like Statement of Accomplishment or Diploma, at the top. If some documents are important, but you cannot place them in the top you can use either – change the size or highlight them.


Keep the similar docs together (like homework assignments in one place, quizzes in another, your reflections and essays in a third, etc). The alternative is to use labels for particular types of work. Earlier you could use only defaults such as “course work”, “notes”, “grades”, “extra work”. Now Slates have evolved and you can edit labels which makes your Slates more flexible and personalized.

 

Step 2. Beautify.

For making  beautiful Slates you can use the following ideas:

  • Position work wisely. Put one size docs on a row, larger size pictures or mind maps on another row. Highlight the most interesting and beautiful pieces of your Slate and place them in a particular pattern. When you are polishing your Slate, remember that people like symmetry.

    image

  • Edit the image of Slate. For formal and informal learning we introduced all the MOOC platforms and most universities. But what if you do a Slate for a skill you’ve learned but there aren’t any images in the library? Don’t worry, you can upload your own image which will make your Slate more creative and personal.

    image

  • Beautifying Slates- have fun! Don’t stick to one course of action or take beautifying as a requirement. Just play around with your docs, change the sizes of pictures, move positions, try different images. Some people already submitted Slates that impress us with a beautiful overall appearance.

    image

 

Step 3. Make it Accredible.

Some people believe that it’s impossible to achieve perfection. We believe that everyone can do their best and be exemplary. When you have uploaded all your notes, homework and statements, the only last piece that separates you from perfection (exemplary Slate) are endorsements. Share your achievements with colleagues via Linkedin, with family via email, with friends via Facebook or with the whole community (including the Accredible community) via Twitter.Show what you’re worth. You’re more than numbers or obscure lines in CVs and this is your chance to prove it.


Moreover, you can talk  about what you know.
It’s better one time to see, than one hundred times to hear. Grab your webcam and shoot a video of you explaining different concepts from your Slate. Or tell people about your work experience. Or what you learned beyond official syllabuses. That will sound persuasive.

 

Your Slate is a piece of you, which shows your intellectual identity. Also, it’s your chance to save what’s really important to remember. We live in a century when overabundance of information makespeople to forget significant things. Accredible is your personal wiki which allows you to remember everything that matters. In the next few hacks we’ll open you a ToolBox of skills that will help you to be in shape, unlock creativity, plan wisely and play with work.


If you have any question, ideas or feedback, feel free to comment or drop a line to hello@accredible.com. What features do you like the most? What would you love to have? What are you struggles connected to self-learning?

Share it with us and Accredible community on Facebook | Twitter | Google+ or in comments.

 

This post is part of a series on the Hacks to Create Winning Slates:

0. Contest Announcement

1. MOOC Slates

2. “Saylor category for self-paced learning” Slates

3. Formal Learning Slates

4. Knowledge/Skill Slates 

5. How to Make the Most of Accredible (current post)

6. Skills ToolBox. Overview

Accredible Contest Hack #4: How to Create Winning Knowledge/Skill Slates

In the previous blog posts we explored three types of Slates: MOOCs, Formal Learning and Self-paced learning Slates. You may find some similarities between them. Knowledge/Skill Slates are totally different from any of those. Because you are not given any kind of instructions, you can create this Slate  for everything: books, skills or even hobbies. Every type of learning should count, and this Slate is your chance to show who you are behind the traditional courses and ubiquitous lines of your CV. Moreover Knowledge/Skills Slates helps you to save all the learning you’ve ever done.

 

How to work with  Knowledge/Skills Slates?

First of all, you need to decide what the Slate will be about. The content of the Slate will mainly depend on the topic. The hobby Slate will be completely different from the skill Slate. Without clearly defined goals, working further on your Slate will be very hard.

Secondly, the Slate summary might baffle you. “What should I write in it, if I haven’t had any syllabuses or other hints?”. Don’t worry. Think about what you want to save and show the world. Most obvious solutions are not the best in this case. If it’s book learning you want to save, the table of contents won’t tell other people anything about your Slate. However, brief notes of the work you’ve done, skills you mastered or essays you’ve written will show much more.

We advise you to work on your Slate summary twice. The first time is when you are just start creating your Slate, since it’s a great way to think about what you can put into it, kind of like sketching a roadmap. The second time is when you’ve already put all of the materials into your Slate for your summary; be more complete and relevant, which will also give you more ideas on what you will work on further.


Thirdly, use different kinds of tools to help you. Here we list just a few things that may do it:

  • Mind maps for organizing thoughts and ideas.
  • Infographics for remembering data and visualization of information.
  • Docs on motivation and reasons for creating this Slate. Why is it important for you? Why did you decide to master this skill?
  • Plan for further development. Learning is never over and a roadmap might be very helpful for you to not be too distracted.
  • Presentations and videos.

You can put any kind of projects and essays into your Slate. The more methods you use, the more valuable your Slate is for both, you and community.


Pro tip 1.

Since learning is never over, your Slate may grow from just one skill to another. Try not to follow the plan too strictly. Sometimes you may get new ideas for your Slate – do not hesitate to change the direction. Learning is an unpredictable journey full of adventures and surprises. You should be flexible to get the most of it.


Pro Tip 2.

You can save not only knowledge and learning into your Slate, but also experience. Are you fan of Russian Literature and going to visit Moscow next month? Put into your Slate the personal reviews and photos of Mikhail Bulgakov’s Museum and travel notes on Russian Culture as a whole. Or maybe you’re learning Chinese cuisine – why not to insert pictures of your own Chinese cooking into it? Do not restrict yourself only to bookish knowledge, use every kind of learning, experience included, to show your expertise, enthusiasm about topic and proactivity.

 

It’s the last post of our sub-series on Creating Winning Slates (have you submitted yours to our AwesomeSlates Contest?). In the next sub-series we’ll explore the ToolBox of Skills that will help you to fight procrastination, unlock your full potential, and come up with great ideas. You’ll learn how to use Accredible to the fullest and make your Slates better.

Stay tuned!

 

If you have any question, ideas or feedback, feel free to comment or drop a line to hello@accredible.com. What skills do you want to master? How do you plan not instructed self-learning? What are your personal hacks to turn your life into School?  Share it with us and Accredible community on Facebook | Twitter | Google+ or in comments.

 

This post is part of a series on the Hacks to Create Winning Slates:

0. Contest Announcement

1. MOOC Slates

2. “Saylor category for self-paced learning” Slates

3. Formal Learning Slates

4. Knowledge/Skill Slates (current post)

5. How to Make the Most of Accredible?

6. Skills ToolBox. Overview

Accredible Contest Hack #3. How to Create A Winning Formal Learning Slates

In the last blog post of this series we covered self-paced learning Slates. Now, it’s time to talk about more conservative yet interesting and useful types of Slates – formal learning (college courses and degrees, high school projects and curricular).

Although there are a lot of heated discussions on broken educational systems around the world, at Accredible we believe that formal learning shouldn’t be underestimated. Schools and colleges are still powerful social institutions to gain structured, organized and useful knowledge. But people are more than grades and signed papers – now all their projects, works and knowledge may be stored and shared with the world.

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Before we can begin with the hacks, make sure you are signed in. Then you can create a new Slate or open an existing Slate.


What to put into Formal Learning Slate?

First of all, official grades and syllabuses for people to see what the Slate, course or degree is about. Grades still matter and you shouldn’t omit them. However, it’s not of the biggest importance for you Slate.

Secondly, show what is behind your grade. You got “A” for particular paper? Upload this paper – show that you did great work and put in a lot of effort to achieve this grade. Your quiz grade may not have been as good as you wanted it to be for some personal reasons but you know that you put a lot of work, wrote beautiful notes but the assessment just didn’t work out for you.the Cheer yourself up by uploading all the work you did for the quiz and show the world that you deserve a better grade.

Thirdly, any kind of projects are welcome. It might be a extra project which you did not do for any particular grade but simply out of curiosity. It might be your reflections on the course or any topic which wasn’t counted at school or college. It might be mind maps or infographics for you to better understand topics. It might be summary of a required reading and your thoughts and ideas on it. Literally, you can put everything there!

 

Pro tip: Create a complete degree/curricular with all the work you’ve done.

Create multiple Slates for each course and one Slate for your degree. Insert the Slates for courses into this degree Slate. This way, your degree will be more organized and contain much more information which will give more credibility to your Slate.

You can even win $150 Amazon voucher for your learning. So don’t forget to enter your formal learning Slates to Accredible’s Slates contest: https://www.accredible.com/contest

The next hack will be for the most difficult but very interesting Slate category – knowledge/skill. Don’t miss it!

This post is part of a series on the Hacks to Create Winning Slates:

0. Contest Announcement

1. MOOC Slates

2. “Saylor category for self-paced learning” Slates

3. Formal Learning Slates (current post)

4. Knowledge/Skill Slates 

5. How to Make the Most of Accredible?

6. Skills ToolBox. Overview

What were the most interesting courses during your academic experience? What were you struggles? How did you overcome them?