MOOC News and Views (Week of 7/7-7/13)

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News

FutureLearn is looking for people who use their smartphone or tablet to learn.

Coursera’s blog features the story of an entrepreneur who used Coursera classes to help her expand her business. Read it here.

Remember that until July 16th, all accredible.com URLs will redirect to learning.accredible.com. We’re adding some new features, which is why we’re changing the URLs. Just make sure to you’ve changed the bookmark in your browser to learning.accredible.com by the 16th!

 

What is Team Accredible learning?

These aren’t MOOCs, but we’ve started a new series called “Around the World in 62 Days” which documents countries’ declarations of independence and other national holidays. Check out week 1 and 2 and stay tuned for next weeks!

The last week of Adventures in Gamification has come to a close, and Elizabeth has the final hurrah write-up of it here! Don’t worry if you haven’t started it since it’s self-paced so you can start anytime.

New Courses

Here are some of the upcoming NovoEd courses. NovoEd offers MOOCs with a twist – collaboration and social learning is deeply embedded in their platform. Mobile health, tech entrepreneurship and scaling businesses are just some of the things you can learn about with these interactive, fascinating classes.

Learning Tips

There are lots of free online resources to make studying and organizing your studying a little easier. Whether you want to be able to find articles about a subject you’re interested in (Feedly), have your notes accessible from anywhere (Evernote), create and use flashcards (Anki), or more, here are a few apps to get started with. Let us know what tools you use when studying by tweeting @accredible!

Take a few tips from Sherlock Holmes to become a better learner. From focusing to reading to “chaotic creativity”, who knew everyone’s favorite detective had the habits of a lifelong learner?

The second in a series on demystifying resume buzzwords is back, this time unraveling the term “motivation.” In addition, check out last week’s, “innovation.”

One of Udacity’s Course Developers has a blog post on Udacity’s blog with his tips for lifelong learning.

 

Happy learning!

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Welcome to learning.accredible.com!!

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If you have visited your Accredible profile over the last few days, you may have noticed a small change in the address bar…where once you saw www.accredible.com/, you are now seeing learning.accredible.com/. Keep watching www.accredible.com for a super exciting announcement!

Why the change?

At Accredible, we recognize that you are using our site to represent all of the things you have learned thus far – regardless of where or how you have learned it.  We strongly believe that the Learning should be showcased – and one way to do that is to highlight it in our address.  We are transitioning your wall, certificates and evidence to learning.accredible.com to share that this represents all forms of learning.

What do I have to do?

Rest assured, the only thing you need to do is to update your bookmark!  Everything else will remain the same (no need to update your resume or LinkedIn page!) as we will redirect traffic to your new home at learning.accredible.com with no further work from (or for!) you. As you will see if you visit Accredible today, we will be automatically redirecting you to learning.accredible.com until Wednesday, July 16th, 2014.  After that, we will still remind you of the move but to make life easier for you, we suggest you update your bookmarks.  Need help updating your bookmarks?  Click on your browser below for detailed instructions.

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I’ve updated my bookmarks – now what?

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While you are visiting learning.accredible.com, why not try a few of the following things:

  1. Update your wall style – there are 7 great textures to pick from!
  2. Search for a new course using our Course Finder and add them to your To Learn list!
  3. Add some extra evidence for your courses (certificates, assignments, scores, blog posts, videos, etc)
  4. Catch up on News from your Courses & Friends or check out who else has taken the same courses as you and Follow them!  You may learn some great new ways of seeing the same subject by viewing their shared materials!
  5. See people with Similar Interests or Suggested Courses at the bottom of your profile
  6. Add some completed courses to your LinkedIn profile
  7. Ask fellow classmates for endorsements (AKA References)!
  8. Vote for features!

Again, welcome to learning.accredible.com!  We hope you will enjoy the above mentioned features.  Come back frequently and update your wall so your friends, classmates and (potential) employers can keep up with you.  Don’t forget,  keep watching the blog for another exciting announcement coming soon from Accredible!!!  (We can’t wait to tell you!)

Happy Learning!

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An Interview with a Modern Day Renaissance Man

Arian Allenson Valdez won the #Awesome Slates Contest for the “Best Self-Paced Learning” with an outstanding demonstration of how he’s taken on the challenge of a full CS curriculum from Harvard. A self-described learner with “unquenchable curiosity,” Arian shares that he hopes to use Accredible to track his progress towards becoming a modern day Renaissance man — a secret ambition of all of ours, no? Read more to find out how Arian’s making it happen.

Accredible: You’ve taken a number of courses ranging from computer science and programming topics to even courses about Greek heroes. How do you decide on what courses to take?

Arian: I have, from an early age, known that my unquenchable curiosity will result in lifelong learning. My resolve is simple – to diversify as much as possible, to be a renaissance man in this day and age. I love tackling subjects where I could be ‘rusty’ at, and personally enjoy almost all of them! Except Chemistry.

“My resolve is simple – to diversify as much as possible, to be a renaissance man in this day and age.”

This is perhaps not readily obvious from my course choices (they are mostly after all CS courses), but that is because for this particular year, I am completing the Harvard Challenge, where I try to complete the whole coursework of a Harvard CS concentrator in one year. This is directly inspired from Scott Young’s MIT Challenge. There are a lot of differences in the way we tackle the courses, but the idea is the same:4 year curriculum in one year.

Accredible: What is your usual learning process like? (For example: do you like to watch things first & make notes? Try it out? etc.) And how does Accredible fit into your learning process?

Arian: I am almost always more efficient if I am using text, that is why, if possible I use a text-based only approach. Reading a video transcript is not terribly unheard of a strategy for me. However, there are cases where this can be quite detrimental to learning, so using one’s best judgement is still important. And besides, watching video lectures are always fun when quirky things happen! (Seeing Prof. Lewin of MIT carrying that huge femur bone at the start of his physics class is awe-inspiring, and Sir Malan misspelling ‘caterpillar’ and the reactions afterward made me laugh!).

I actually use Accredible as a macro strategy. Accredible is a journal of your learning. I think it would be quite beautiful to see one day a slate showing a video of someone barely hitting the right keys in the piano, while another shows the same person playing grand pieces! Looking back and seeing the growth in skill and knowledge would be priceless!

Accredible: What do you do when you’re struggling with learning something? What advice do you have for people who want to stay motivated? 

Arian: As a person with ‘unquenchable curiosity’ the fact that I’m struggling in learning something is an end for itself for me to stay motivated in learning that! That’s not to say I don’t struggle and lose motivation though.

“the fact that I’m struggling in learning something is an end for itself for me to stay motivated”

For people who have a problem in learning something, then I would say the foundations were probably not solid enough. There are exceptions, but most of the time, DO make sure that you have a solid base for learning. I made this mistake in the past, where I was very curious about Quantum Mechanics and decided to study about it without having the necessary prerequisites (I was in grade school at the time!) While I did learn a few concepts here and there, the efficiency was appallingly bad. I would have learned more in the same amount of time if I studied the prerequisite first and then moved on.

This is probably where the concept of Meta-Learning will come in, basically learning about learning, how to be more efficient and stuff. Tim Ferris’ 4 Hour Chef has quite section in meta learning, and I suggest for people who wish to improve start from there (Scott Young’s blog also has great material!) Gaining Motivation is also discussed in the book.