Exploits in Education: Week One

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Welcome back!  Grab a cup of coffee (tea?  soda?) and get settled in for a bit of a read….

Wow – the first week of Discovering Business in Society was a real eye opener!  I have so many things I want to talk about – the exam, businesses vs. organizations, globalization, technology and challenges in management…

But first, I have to comment on my impressions of the course.  Any course which offers blogging prompts is A1 in my books. I believe blogging along with courses only increases the writers understanding of the materials – and of course, the increased understanding by the reader is uber important!  I also really appreciated the weekly recap – love that it isn’t pre-recorded and references our comments.  Did the review change my viewpoints?  Well…maybe not change per se, but definitely provoked further research and thinking.  I really appreciated the discussion on globalization and who the winners and losers really are.  (More on that later!)

The Exam

 

statement-of-attainment

 

Last week we talked about the exam that could be written for this course that would lead to an exemption of the ACCA F1 Accountant in Business paper.  You do earn your “Statement of Attainment” with it.  More details are available here.  Exams are delivered by Pearson VUE at one of their 175 testing centers. For a reasonable £119, you can get your certificate and be one step closer to earning your ACCA qualifications.

 

 

Businesses vs Organizations

business and organizations0005AWell, we jumped right in, didn’t we?  Businesses can be organizations, but are not necessarily organizations.  Organizations can act like businesses, but not be one.  Both can have commercial activities. Both can be Global.  Both can have multiple branches.  Both are complex.

This topic is complex.

Seriously though, it is complex.  With so many similarities it is easy to just think of them as one in the same.  But they aren’t.  Organizations exist to meet a social purpose (think Girl Guides and Boy Scouts, the Accredited Sommelier Association of Canada or the Cancer Society) but they still can offer products (Girl Guide Cookie anyone?  Perhaps a Daffodil?  An apple?) and services (life skills, professional development, research and development).

Key lesson for me: consider activities vs entities.  What are the values and missions of the group?  Are they there to meet a social purpose?  You work for a business to earn your wage, but you volunteer with an organization to feel good.

 

 

How has the job of managing a business is becoming more challenging over time

Business woman multitasking illustration
This was a great discussion on the forum.  I tried to come up with my own list before reading, but I have to admit, I was able to grow my list from the conversations.  My list of 4 factors (with additional thoughts)

 

 

  1. Human Resources
    1. Hiring the right people
    2. Training
    3. Interaction between management and employees
    4. Discipline
  2. Changes
    1. Pivoting
    2. Product
    3. Technology
    4. Regulations
  3. Competition
    1. Maintaining a Competitve Advantage
    2. Globalization
    3. More Competition 
  4. Needed it Yesterday!!
    1. Newer, Better, Faster
    2. Balancing Expectations

Yikes!  I think I just aged myself a good 5 years whilst developing this list!  Management sure has changed from the days of just directing “take A and move it to B and then perform C”.

Globalization

business-316906_150Who wins?  Who loses? Will it reverse?  Three great questions.  No easy answers.

Who wins?

Who loses?

Made_in_USA_Brand_Certification_Mark_logo.svgWill it reverse?

As countries go through economic challenges, there is always a push to move jobs back home, bringing back the idWe ea that products made at home are of a high quality (Who doesn’t proudly buy items stamped Made in “insert your home country name here”?

 

Changes in Technology

When I was in university, there was a major project underway to open a new business school building.  It was going to have the latest and greatest technologies and prepare our business graduates to head out into the big scary world able to use whatever technology was sent their way. That was our way – our school had a legacy of technological advancements to uphold.

It was an amazing sight when it opened.  There were ethernet cable ports built in to every table for students who carried (lugged) their laptops to class (wifi wasn’t a reality then – Cabled Networks was an exciting upgrade from dial up modems!).  We had whiteboards (as in dry erase marker boards not the app) installed in every classroom to avoid getting chalk dust into the computers.  I remember the excitement of using group study rooms to prepare for a test or work on a project.  It was so avant garde.  Cutting Edge.

It was so 1998.

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Fast forward to watching the video of the Exeter lecture hall.  Tables with embedded touchscreens for group work?  Lecture halls with multi purpose screens?  Microphones?  No struggling to hear the professor and having recorded lectures that you can easily review after the fact?  (I remember carrying a little pocket sized recorder with micro cassettes to class and having to ask permission to get a poor quality, grainy recording.  Most times, all I could really hear was me breathing!)

 

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Has technology made me more productive?  I doubt it.  Any increase in productivity has likely been lost to the time spent researching topics online, making things look “pretty” and analysing things I never would have considered looking at 5 years ago.  Yes, I can type an article on my laptop much quicker than I could on a typewriter with a lot less wasted paper, but I wouldn’t have worried about having just the right image to highlight my point before either!

In Summary

So, this week covered technology advances (and I only focused on computer technology…others would have led to a far longer post to read!), globalization, the increasing challenges in management and business vs organizations.  Next week we are looking at rules and regulations, taxes and laws.  It should be interesting!

 

Featuring Open Yale

open yale

Open Yale provides a selection of free and open intro courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. Their courses span the full range of liberal arts disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences.  Each course includes a full set of class lectures produced in high-quality video accompanied by such other course materials as syllabi, suggested readings, and problem sets. The lectures are available as downloadable videos, and an audio-only version is also offered. In addition, searchable transcripts of each lecture are provided.

This month we are featuring their Humanities courses:

 Humanities

Which courses will you choose?  Don’t forget to add them to your Accredible Learner’s Profile!

 

Exploits in Education: Discovering Business in Society – The ACCA

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Welcome back!

 

Glad to see you again – grab a mug of your favourite beverage and let’s begin!  Last week we chatted about the new “Discovering Business in Society” course being offered by Exeter and the ACCA via FutureLearn.  We discovered a little about Robin Mason, the lead instructor for the course and then we signed off with plans to learn more about the ACCA this week.  I don’t want to forget about FutureLearn – they had some exciting news this week that I thought would be fun to share with you.

 

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What is the ACCA?

 

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants.  Their goal is to offer qualifications to people based on application, ability and ambition who are looking for careers in accountancy, finance and management.

The formation of the ACCA is an interesting tale.  Way back in 1904, 8 people got together and formed the London Association of Accountants.  While there were 2 existing accountancy organizations around, they had a goal of providing greater access to the accountancy profession . As typically happens, they went through several mergers over the years.  In 1984 we were granted a Royal Charter of Incorporation. In 1996 they took on their current name, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

 

Why did the ACCA partner with Exeter?

 

I got to wondering why the ACCA decided to partner with Exeter (which is, of course, an excellent school).  I asked around (inquiring minds want to know, etc!) and was told that it was because of an existing relationship with them to promote an MA in Leadership Studies for ACCA members.

More than their existing relationship, the ACCA knew that Exeter had been amongst the first universities to launch a MOOC on FutureLearn and that experience would be beneficial – Exeter already has a great production team with many ideas that could be applied.

This ties in well with ACCA, who started delivering computer-based exams as early as 1998.  As an innovator, the ACCA would want to be involved with MOOCs.  Their commitment to both innovation and education lends well to this project.

 

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What are the ACCA qualifications?

 

According to Wikipedia, “The ACCA Qualification is the professional body’s main qualification. Following completion of up to 14 professional examinations, three years of supervised, relevant accountancy experience and a professional ethics module, it enables an individual to become a Chartered Certified Accountant…The syllabus comprises 14 examinations, although some exemptions are available. The qualification is structured in two parts. The Fundamentals level consists of 9 examinations: F1 Accountant in Business, F2 Management Accounting, F3 Financial Accounting, F4 Corporate and Business Law, F5 Performance Management, F6 Taxation, F7 Financial Reporting, F8 Audit and Assurance, and F9 Financial Management. The Professional level involves 5 examinations. Within the Professional level three papers are compulsory: P1 Governance, Risk and Ethics; P2 Corporate Reporting; and P3 Business Analysis. Two of the following four options papers must also be completed: P4 Advanced Financial Management, P5 Advanced Performance Management, P6 Advanced Taxation and P7 Advanced Audit and Assurance.”

According to the course details, you just need to complete the summative assessment of the course to earn an exemption from the paper F1, Accountant in Business.  I’m looking forward to learning more about how this will work…as more details come out, you can be sure I will share!  In the meantime, I am going to take screen shots of my work (scores, not answers!) and scan my notes to upload to my Learner’s Profile (Feel free to connect with me there!).  I’m also going to start saving my change so that by the end of the course I have enough “change” saved up to get the Statement of Achievement (if that’s how you write the summative assessment) or the Statement of Participation.

Statement-of-participation1

Next Week

 

We start exploring week 1!  I’m pretty excited to begin – I’ve warned the family that this course is starting soon and they should prepare themselves to make a sandwiches for supper while I am studying.  I’ve loaded up on loose-leaf and pencils (yes, I like to write my notes instead of typing them!) and stopped by my favourite coffee shop to stock up on my speciality pods for those times I stay up late watching videos.  How have you prepared?  Share your preparations in the comments below or on Twitter using #exBIS and tagging @accredible.

Exploits in Education: Discovering Business in Society – An Introduction

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Welcome!

We are about to embark on an expedition to discover more about business in society.  Our guides through this journey will be FutureLearn, the University of Exeter Business School and the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).  Our mission is to find a greater understanding of various aspects of business – from regulations to ethics to behaviours and perhaps, a greater understanding of ourselves and our own roles within the businesses that effect society.

So, who is this MOOC for?

The short answer is everyone!  The beauty of this course was that it was designed for each of us to be able to apply our knowledge, cultures and experiences to the materials.  Whether you have just freshly graduated from High School or spent the last 20 years working in the corner office with the spectacular skyline, this course has something to offer you.

Who is teaching this course?

Robin Mason, the Dean of the University of Exeter Business School and a Professor of Economics. He is also a fellow of the CEPR and a Member of the UK’s Competition Commission.  He’s had an impressive career, with many interesting roles, a multitude of awards and several published papers.

As well, senior staff from the EQUIS-accredited University of Exeter Business School will lead various modules.

What’s next?

According to the “Discovering Business in Society – We’re starting in a week” email, “In the first week of the course Stephen Taylor will introduce you to some of the key challenges for business in the 21st century. Starting with observations about the nature of firms and other organisations, he’ll then be considering the impact that globalisation, and technology in particular, is having on business and on our expectations of business to assist in resolving wider societal pressures and demands.”

What’s the story behind the blog series?

Over the next few months, we will be taking this course together, learning many new things along the way.  This series covers my own journey and will share my own highs and lows as we work through the material.  You might gain insight into topics that I needed to learn more about to get a full understanding (which will hopefully help you too!).  Why am I taking the course?  There are 3 things I am passionate about studying – education, Renaissance English Lit and business.  I was looking for a course that would look at the global impact of big business – from the role of shareholders, to leaders, to government regulations – and it’s impact on society.  This course ticks each box!  I can’t wait for the course to begin!

Please, feel free to leave your thoughts or questions in the comments below.  I will do my best to answer either in the comments or in the next blog post.  Thoughts on the previous week will be posted on Tuesdays.  So come along, join the excursion and see what we can learn together!

Next week, same time, same place!

Next week we will learn more about the ACCA qualifications.  What is it?  How will it help you?  Who are the ACCA?  The ACCA is new to me, and I am looking forward to learning more!

Spotlight on Code School

Code School

Code School is an online learning platform that allows you to learn by combining video, coding in the browser and gamification to make the learning fun.  If you have an up-to-date browser, then you are ready to learn how to code!Advancement through the course happens only once you have completed a series of interactive exercises so you can master one component before learning the next.

Here are some fun, free starter courses to help you learn to love coding!  Additional courses are available at a reasonable $29 per month.

completed-try-jquery-799b20f65cd0fdcfb1b79c009305c017     Try jQuery Self-paced — no deadlines free Learn the basic building blocks of jQuery 2.0 and enjoy new video tutorials for beginners with related programming challenges.     completed-shaping-up-with-angular-js-83ceb89bd5255391f25230727ae3f019     Shaping up with Angular.js Self-paced — no deadlines free Learn to use Angular.js by adding behavior to your HTML and speeding up your application’s responsiveness. Get ready to dive into all the angles of Angular.js!     completed-javascript-road-trip-part-1-b9f5af5196fb596271f7f97b6b477d24     JavaScript Road Trip Part 1 Self-paced — no deadlines free An introduction to the very basics of the JavaScript language. Build a foundation of JavaScript syntax and learn how to use values, variables, and files.     completed-try-objective-c-d2ebeb17d5acfd77df0bf3ae3d2b89f7     Try Objective-C Self-paced — no deadlines free Learn the basics of iOS development with the Objective-C language. Start learning to develop iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps by building a foundation on Objective-C.     completed-discover-devtools-f78b78944d7fecf40a40c8f61df99a70     Discover DevTools Self-paced — no deadlines free Learn how Chrome DevTools can sharpen your dev process and discover the tools that can optimize your workflow and make life easier.     completed-discover-drive-2b1029e989beb93b6fe63af100dd28d9     Discover Drive Self-paced — no deadlines free Learn to build applications with the Google Drive API to organize, back up, and share photos, videos, and other documents in the cloud.   As always, don’t forget to update your Accredible Learning Profile once you have selected your course(s)!

edX Courses Starting in September

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EdX is bringing many new courses to you again this month, including several from Peking University (PekingX) and one from Université catholique de Louvain (LouvainX).  Topics vary from the Civil War to the War for the Greater Middle East and many subjects in between.  What courses will interest you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which ever you choose, don’t forget to update your Accredible Learner’s Profile!  Remember you can link your courses straight to your LinkedIn profile, keeping your resume current and also showing your commitment to personal and professional development.

Coming to Canvas in September: Part Two

Canvas

We are heading into September with images of bright yellow school buses, new backpacks and brown bagged lunches in our heads.  The school supplies are purchased, the first day of school clothes are picked out and the kids have decided who they will sit with in the class.  Ahhh…September and Back to School…

But it’s not just the kiddies who are headed back to school!  Grab your calendar and a pencil and schedule in YOUR back to school plans for September!  Canvas has 15 new courses to choose from this month – so whether you want to study Laura Ingalls Wilder books, learn to speak conversational Spanish or discover the nuances of oil, there are lots of great options to suit you! Don’t forget to check out Coming to Canvas in September: Part One!

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Humanities

Art, Technology & Media: Digital Imaging                                                                                                              Starts Sep 8, length: 6 weeks

This course will examine the intersection of technology, culture, and the fine arts. Digital Imaging will focus on the use and manipulation of the image in print and online with a focus on image authenticity and creativity in the age of the Internet. Students will refine their use of Adobe Photoshop and learn to give and receive constructive feedback on visual artistic projects. Communication and process will be emphasized over raw skill and technique, but students can expect to see their image skills improve along with the conceptual foundations of their work. 

Cada Dia Spanish – Daily Conversations
Starts Sep 22, length: 10 weeks

Quick, what does “cada día” mean? If you know, but don’t speak Spanish, this course is for you. We are a community of learners, sharing daily, practical conversations with each other. Native Spanish speakers from Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, and all over will join us and provide supportive feedback. The course offers eight modules, with simple and fun conversational activities. We ask participants to share their activities with others for feedback and further investigation. The goal is to make conversation available “cada día.” Optional Web meetings are available to share your conversational activities with native speakers.

Laura Ingalls Wilder: Exploring Her Work & Writing Life
Starts Sep 22, length: 10 weeks

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s novels have inspired generations of readers of all ages. Unlike most fiction for young readers published during the Great Depression, Wilder’s Little House books have never gone out of print. While they are uniquely American, they seem to cross cultural boundaries, and have been translated into dozens of languages, from German and French to Indonesian and Japanese. Yet Wilder’s work is also at the center of controversy. Who actually wrote the Little House series? How did Wilder’s personal life influence the direction and content of her fiction? Are the books a reliable and sensitive representation of the pioneer experience in the American West? This course is designed to explore these issues and more!

Ozarks History: Examining an American Culture
Starts Sep 8, length: 10 weeks

This is an interdisciplinary course that introduces students to the study of the Ozarks through the arts, humanities, media, and social sciences. The course will explore such issues as regional heritage, cultural adaptation, and the survival of regional and cultural identity and folkways through comparison of Ozarks people and places with other cultural groups and regions. 

The World Columbian Exposition
Starts Sep 22, length: 8 weeks

For six months, the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893 dazzled both Americans and the world. The largest World’s Fair to date, the Chicago Fair entertained, amazed, and edified 27 million people, introduced hundreds of new technologies and products, and left us legacies such as the carnival midway, the ferris wheel, the trade show, not to mention Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer and Wrigley Gum. This course will take a tour of all the wonders of the Fair as well as introduce students to many of the available online primary sources.

 

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Science

Introduction to Cybersecurity
Starts Sep 22, length: 8 weeks

This course provides an overview of the evolving field of cybersecurity, with an introduction to cybersecurity standards and law. Students will learn about common cyber attacks and the techniques for identifying, detecting, and defending against cybersecurity threats. They will also gain a basic understanding of personal, physical, network, web, and wireless security, as well as a foundation for more advanced study of cybersecurity.

OIL101: Fact or Friction?
Starts Sep 22, length: 6 weeks

Are you using the right type of engine oil in your vehicle? Is synthetic, conventional, or blended oil the best? Are there certain oil types that are better than others? Engine type, driving style, weather, and age of vehicle and engine are some of the important factors to consider when selecting the best oil for your vehicle. The misuse of oil can be detrimental to the life of your vehicle. There is much more to oil than meets the eye!

The Emerging Future: Technology Issues and Trends                                                                                                        Starts Sep 22, length: 6 weeks

Learn to think like a futurist! Futurism is not about predicting the future, but making informed decisions today that will impact future developments. The Emerging Future: Technology Issues and Trends MOOC offered by the School of Library and Information Science at San José State University provides the planning skills and technology trends needed to create your personal and organization’s future. Knowing who and what to watch will keep you informed on the latest technology issues and trends that will impact the future. Thank you for your interest in the Emerging Future: Technology Issues and Trends MOOC. The class is now full, and a wait list has been started. Please complete the form to express interest in enrolling should space become available. 

 

Once you have had a chance to make up your mind about which courses to sign up for, don’t forget to add them to your Accredible Profile!

Coming to Canvas in September: Part One

Canvas

We are heading into September with images of bright yellow school buses, new backpacks and brown bagged lunches in our heads.  The school supplies are purchased, the first day of school clothes are picked out and the kids have decided who they will sit with in the class.  Ahhh…September and Back to School…

But it’s not just the kiddies who are headed back to school!  Grab your calendar and a pencil and schedule in YOUR back to school plans for September!  Canvas has 15 new courses to choose from this month – so whether you want to learn how to design a course, find out more about Mental Health or attend a mini med school, there are lots of great options to suit you!Don’t forget to check out Coming to Canvas in September: Part Two!

 

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Education

Adventures in Innovative Learning Design and Technology
Starts Sep 2, length: 5 weeks

Explore the exciting learning technology landscape that has been created by unlimited access to information, online tools perfect for collaboration, and the rapid changing technology all around us. In this 5-week adventure, we will use connectivist and heutagogical practices to explore 1) how to be a successful learner, 2) the best strategies for collaborative learning, 3) the basics of learning design aka instructional design, and 4) current innovative models for learning design. This course is perfect for both K-12 and Higher Ed instructors. Students will have the opportunity to learn from me and each other through Google On Air Hangouts. 

Don’t Panic! The Professor’s Guide to Teaching: Course Design
Starts Sep 8, length: 4 weeks

Don’t panic! Teaching is an incredibly difficult endeavor, but its foundation is great course design, which is something you can master. Participants in this course will explore (and teach each other!) how to design interesting, engaging classes that will provide students with opportunities for truly significant learning. In this four-week journey, you will develop significant learning goals for your students, learn about and apply authentic assessment practices, examine various types of active learning exercises, and infuse strong design principles throughout the classes you teach. Although the focus will be on college course design, the principles are applicable to any level of education. Join us as we examine the foundation of one of the most important activities on Earth: teaching.

Improving Teacher and Student Relationships
Starts Sep 21, length: 6 weeks

This course will give both traditional classroom and virtual teachers resources for improving relationships and interactions with students. After reviewing research and current trends in learning and motivation theory, this course will allow teachers to think-aloud and practice with new tools within a caring community of instructors seeking to improve their classroom practices. Playlists of leveled readings, video lectures, and research-based curricular resources will assist course participants in applying their learning and getting ready for the start of a great school year. One instructor will offer the virtual teacher’s perspective, while the other will cover the traditional, brick and mortar classroom teacher’s viewpoint.

Teaching Flipped
Starts Sep 8, length: 6 weeks

Teaching Flipped gives university faculty an introduction to the ins and outs of teaching with a flipped, hybrid, or online MOOC-type classroom. The course will cover: The basics of flipped/hybrid/MOOC methods What is known and not known in the literature Where these learning methods are heading How to develop content for online (video) and for active, in-class learning Ways to think about and organize your course How to assess both students and your teaching The course is taught flipped/MOOC-style by veteran flippers and MOOCers to give you experience with the tools and learning methods that can help your students succeed in this type of learning environment.

 

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Health

Deteriorating Patient: Assessment, Recognition and Management
Starts Sep 22, length: 5 week

This course is aimed at health care workers in the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK who need to understand how to recognise and intervene with a patient whose physical condition deteriorates. There is an expectation that course participants will have an understanding of how health and social care is delivered in the UK, and a reasonable knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the various workers found in NHS and social care settings. However, the material in this course will also be useful for health care workers in other countries, as well as service users and careers. In order to meet the needs of this potentially wide range of participants, the materials are organised into “universal” and “advanced” levels. 

Mini Medical School
Starts Sep 8, length: 8 weeks

This course is based on the long-running University of Colorado Mini Med School, founded in 1989, which was the first of its kind. It introduces the exciting basic science that underlies modern medicine, and shows how we use that knowledge to understand medicine today. The course is designed for the general public, including high school students, who are interested in learning more about how the body works. We want to help people take a more active role in their own wellness, and talk effectively with their healthcare providers. Many who have attended the live Mini Medical School in Colorado have gone on to careers in the health care professions. Mini Medical School will last eight weeks, with different topics discussed each week, including anatomy, physiology, cell biology, molecular biology, microbiology, immunology, pharmacology, neurobiology, and cancer biology. These topics are taught in the first years of medical school. 

What Matters: Understanding Mental Health
Starts Sep 22, length: 5 weeks

This course is aimed at health care workers in the National Health Service (NHS) here in the UK. There is an expectation that course participants will have an understanding of how health and social care is delivered in the UK, and a reasonable knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the various workers found in NHS and social care settings. However, the material in this course will also be useful for health care workers in other countries, as well as service users and carers. In order to meet the needs of this potentially wide range of participants, the materials are organised into “universal” and “advanced” levels. The learning and teaching materials are supported by a drama that unfolds over six episodes, and follows the journey of Mrs. Carol Price as she becomes ill but goes on to recover. 

 

Once you have had a chance to make up your mind about which courses to sign up for, don’t forget to add them to your Accredible Profile!

Around the World in 62 Days: Day 57-62

Around the World in 62 Days

Welcome Back!

We are in our last week of travelling the world together – but we will be visiting eight countries this week – eight!!  From Moldova on August 27th to Trinidad and Tobago on August 31st, we will be kept busy!  Are you ready to finish off our summer journey with one last week of spectacular views, delightful cultures and of course, the amazing arrays of fireworks?  Let’s get to it!

 

August 27

Moldova

200px-Flag_of_Moldova.svgMoldova is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe located between Romania and Ukraine. The first democratic elections for the local parliament were held in 1990.  On June 23, 1990, the Parliament adopted the Declaration of Sovereignty of the “Soviet Socialist Republic Moldova”, which, among other things, stipulated the supremacy of Moldovan laws over those of the Soviet Union.  After the failure of the 1991 Soviet coup d’état attempt, Moldova declared its independence on 27 August 1991, Romania being the first state to recognize its independence.  On December 21 of the same year, Moldova, along with most of the other Soviet republics, signed the constitutive act that formed the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Moldova received official recognition on December 25. On December 26, 1991 the Soviet Union ceased to exist.  On March 2, 1992, the country gained formal recognition as an independent state at the United Nations. In 1994, Moldova became a member of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, and a member of the Council of Europe on June 29, 1995.
August 29

Slovakia

200px-Flag_of_Slovakia.svgThe Slovak Republic is bordered by the Czech Republic, AustriaPolandUkraine and Hungary. After WWI and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the nation of Slovaks and Czechs established their mutual state – Czechoslovakia. A separate Slovak state existed during World War II and was a client state of Nazi Germany (from 1939 to 1944).  The Slovak National Uprising or 1944 Uprising was an armed insurrection organized by the Slovak resistance movement during World War II. It was launched on 29 August 1944 from Banská Bystrica in an attempt to resist German troops that began occupation of the Slovak territory and to overthrow the collaborationist government of Jozef Tiso. Although the rebel forces were defeated by Nazi Germany, guerrilla warfare continued until the Soviet Army, Czechoslovak Army and Romanian Army occupied Slovakia in 1945. In 1945 Czechoslovakia was reestablished.  The Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic went their separate ways after 1 January 1993, an event sometimes called the Velvet Divorce. Slovakia has remained a close partner with the Czech Republic.

 

 

August 30

Kazakhstan

Flag_of_Kazakhstan.svgKazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, has borders with RussiaChinaKyrgyzstanUzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, and also adjoins a large part of the Caspian Sea.  The Russians began advancing into the Kazakh steppe in the 18th century, and by the mid-19th century all of Kazakhstan was part of the Russian Empire. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, and subsequent civil war, the territory of Kazakhstan was reorganized several times before becoming the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic in 1936, a part of the Soviet Union. On 16 December 1991, Kazakhstan became the last Soviet republic to declare independence. Its communist-era leader, Nursultan Nazarbayev, became the country’s first President, a position he has retained for more than two decades. On August 30, 1995, an independent constitution was approved and is now a Public Holiday.

Tatarstan

200px-Flag_of_Tatarstan.svgThe Republic of Tatarstan is a federal subject of Russia and it shares borders with KirovUlyanovskSamara, and Orenburg Oblasts, the Mari ElUdmurt, and Chuvash Republics, as well as with the Republic of Bashkortostan. On August 30, 1990, Tatarstan announced its sovereignty with the Declaration on the State Sovereignty of the Tatar Soviet Socialist Republic and in 1992 Tatarstan held a referendum on the new constitution,and 62 percent of those who took part voted in favor of the constitution. In the 1992 Tatarstan Constitution, Tatarstan is defined as a Sovereign State. However the referendum and constitution were declared unconstitutional by the Russian Constitutional Court. However, articles 1 and 3 of the constitution, as introduced in 2002 define Tatarstan as a part of the Russian Federation.

 

Turks & Caicos

Flag_of_the_Turks_and_Caicos_Islands.svgThe Turks and Caicos Islands, are a British Overseas Territory consisting of the larger Caicos Islands and smaller Turks Islands.  For many years the islands were governed indirectly through Bermuda, the Bahamas, and Jamaica. When the Bahamas gained independence in 1973, the islands received their own governor and have remained a separate autonomous British Overseas Territory since.  With the election of the territory’s first Chief Minister, J.A.G.S. McCartney, the islands adopted a constitution on 30 August 1976, which is Constitution Day, the national holiday. The constitution was suspended in 1986, but restored and revised 5 March 1988. A new constitution came into force on 9 August 2006, but was in parts suspended and amended in 2009. In August 2009, the United Kingdom suspended the Turks and Caicos Islands’ self-government after allegations of ministerial corruption. Home rule was restored in the islands after the November 2012 elections.

Did you know?

ryanlerch_Green_-_Query_IconSInce 1917, there have been various interests and attempts to annexe the islands to Canada.  In 2004, Nova Scotia (a province in Canada), invited the Turks and Caicos to join the province to by-pass the issues with joining as its own seperate province. In 2013 and 2014, interest in annexing Turks and Caicos to Canada was renewed as Edmonton East MP Peter Goldring met with the country’s premier Rufus Ewing in a reception at Toronto’s Westin Harbour Castle hotel.

 

 

August 31
Kyrgyzstan

Flag_of_Kyrgyzstan.svgKyrgyzstan, officially the Kyrgyz Republic, is bordered by KazakhstanUzbekistanTajikistan,  and China.  On 19 August 1991, when the State Emergency Committee assumed power in Moscow, there was an attempt to depose Akayev in Kyrgyzstan. After the coup collapsed the following week, Akayev and Vice President German Kuznetsov announced their resignations from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), and the entire bureau and secretariat resigned. This was followed by the Supreme Soviet vote declaring independence from the Soviet Union on 31 August 1991 as the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. In October 1991, Akayev ran unopposed and was elected president of the new independent Republic by direct ballot, receiving 95 percent of the votes cast. Together with the representatives of seven other Republics that same month, he signed the Treaty of the New Economic Community. Finally, on 21 December 1991, Kyrgyzstan joined with the other four Central Asian Republics to formally enter the new Commonwealth of Independent States. Kyrgyzstan gained full independence a few days later on 25 December 1991. The following day, on 26 December 1991, the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

 

Malaysia

200px-Flag_of_Malaysia.svgMalaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy located in Southeast Asia. Peninsular Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Thailand and maritime borders with SingaporeVietnam, and Indonesia. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines.  Malaysia has its origins in the Malay Kingdoms present in the area which, from the 18th century, became subject to the British Empire. The first British territories were known as the Straits Settlements, whose establishment was followed by the Malay kingdoms becoming British protectorates. The territories on Peninsular Malaysia were first unified as the Malayan Union in 1946. Malaya was restructured as the Federation of Malaya in 1948, and achieved independence on 31 August 1957.

 

Trinidad & Tobago

200px-Flag_of_Trinidad_and_Tobago.svgTrinidad and Tobago, officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is a twin island country off the northern edge of South America.  It shares maritime borders with Venezuela, GrenadaBarbados and Guyana. The island of Trinidad was a Spanish colony from the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1498 to the capitulation of the Spanish Governor, Don José Maria Chacón, on the arrival of a British fleet of 18 warships on 18 February 1797. During the same period, the island of Tobago changed hands among Spanish, British,  French,  Dutch and Courlander colonizers. Trinidad and Tobago (remaining separate until 1889) were ceded to Britain in 1802 under the Treaty of Amiens. Trinidad and Tobago gained its independence from the United Kingdom on 31 August 1962 and became a republic in 1976. Eric Williams, a noted Caribbean historian, widely regarded as “The Father of The Nation,” was the first Prime Minister; he served from 1956, before independence, until his death in 1981.

Now that you have learned a little more about global events, consider adding one of these courses to your To Learn List:

 

An Updated Map of the Places We’ve Visited Thus Far:

places

 

Thank you for travelling the world with us this summer…we’ve discovered the world, learned some history (and some geography too!), and gained some new understandings and perspectives of different countries.  If this little foray has whet your thirst for global knowledge, there are several great MOOCs you can take to get a deeper understanding (you can check the courses we’ve suggested each week here).  Hopefully you have been inspired to add a few new places to your wish list of places to discover and explore!

Coursera Courses Starting in September

Coursera Starting Soon

Once again, Coursera is bringing you hundreds of courses this month!  Introduction to FInancial Accounting and Introduction to Operations Management, brought to you by Wharton, are back this month – these courses are key for anyone trying to create their own DIY MBA.   Check out these great courses that run in September…

 

Arts and Humanities

 

 

Business & Management

 

 

 

Health & Medicine

 

 

Science, Mathematics & Technology

 

 

Teaching & Education

 

 

Which did you choose?  Have you updated your Accredible Learner’s Profile?  If not, why not take a minute to update and while you are at it, consider updating your other courses by uploading your recent work?