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 History courses:

 

History

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

Exploits in Education: Week 4

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Welcome back!

Congratulations on making it to the halfway point in the course!

This week we met David Boughey as we learned more about how large business functions, Rogue Traders and the Financial Crisis. Now, to clarify one point for any of us who grew up in the ’80s – we are learning from David Boughey not David Bowie – which to my Canadian ears sounds exactly the same…just saying (and yes, I did half wonder in a pre-coffee moment if I should be expecting eye-liner, wild hair and spandex and then I woke up…LOL).  Grab a beverage and let’s jump in…

Who Has The Biggest Business?

Time for more honesty…I started thinking about this solely based on brands and from a very North American outlook.  Walmart, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Apple were my top 4.  I wasn’t right.

And I’m glad of that.  It forces me to look at things differently.

Using the Forbes 500 list, I picked 4 of the top 18 (Apple #1, Coca-Cola #3, McDonald’s #6, and Walmart #18), but when using the UNCTAD by Foreign Assets report, I was very wrong (Apple #19, Walmart #31, Coca-Cola #90.  McDonald’s didn’t make the list).  While I recognized many of the company names, they were not companies that I talk about on a regular basis.  Six of the top 10 were petroleum explorers/refiners/distributors – other than to complain about the price of gas or to discuss the dismantling of a local refinery.

So what makes the “biggest business”?  Is it brand recognition?  Foreign Assets?  Number of employees located out of the home base country?  Global sales? Every report uses different methodology so no one answer is right.

But for me, I’ll stick with Brand Recognition!

Rogue Traders

This was a very well done video.  I actually had to just stop and listen the first time – no pencil in hand, no arguments forming in my head and really just listen. Then I watched again and took notes.

In the beginning of the video, Gary Abrahams talks about risk aversion/aversion to loss and that the way a question is worded influences our tolerances towards risks.  I suspect anyone who is “good” at scamming people (and by “good” I mean able to consistently perform and achieve his/her desired results) must have a fundamental understanding of the psychology at play and frame the scenarios in such a way as to maximize the potential gain and minimize the loss.

Add to that the reality that we (collectively) are lazy and don’t WANT to have to research the details make us likely to fall into the trap of available information and if we do any surface research, we look for what confirms our hopes. I’m not sure if it is “greed” as it is the belief we have that people will tell us the truth and not just what is in their best interest.

As I thought about it, it made more and more sense to me.  I often wonder why when playing poker, people will go all in and state they were “pot committed“.  That they “had” to take the chance to win big even though they could lose it all.   Their aversion to loss at that moment is more important than their risk aversion.  They just use their available info (their hand and the flop, maybe a River card) and jump in.

I saw the rogue trader as more of a Charlatan selling snake oil and the investors as the naive people who WANTED to believe in something so much that they failed to do their part, their responsibility in ensuring they were making smart, effective, reasonable decisions. But after finding this article, I’m left uncertain – while finding this article was not in the best interest of my arguments, I do like going beyond the “available information” and look for information that just agree with my hypothesis.

Technology, Business and Society

This week we had an assignment – to write a 300 word essay around a quote about technology, business and society.  Upon submission, we were assigned another essay to read and comment on.  I like peer assessments in online courses – I find it interesting to read and review and well as to be reviewed.

After thinking about it, I could have written it differently…but isn’t that always the way?  I thought I’d share it with you:

Jonathan Sacks once said, “Technology gives us power, but it does not and cannot tell us how to use that power. Thanks to technology, we can instantly communicate across the world, but it still doesn’t help us know what to say.”
Never has this been more true than today. Discussion forums, Twitter, blogs, instant messenger – each day there seems to be a new way to connect with people, new ways to connect with more people and build our networks, but for what? To have nothing to say?
In order to best take advantage of the communication technology available to us today, we need to put down said technology and open a book, our minds, our hearts and our mouths.
In order to have something to say, we need to have a topic to discuss, information on said topic and time to sort out our thoughts and feelings on a subject. We need to form opinions based on facts that we sometimes find while looking for something else. We need to stop worrying about having an unpopular opinion and use real facts and figures to back it up.
It takes courage to speak your mind and not the drivel that is spoon fed to us via editorials, talk radio and phone in talk shows like Nancy Grace. Whilst it is easy to jump on-board the latest thought train and agree with the message being spouted by the conductor, it is harder to point out that the train which should be travelling east, is actually travelling west.
And if they did point it out, would they use their mouth to say something or their fingers to tweet it?

In Summary

Well, I’ve shared my assignment (which will get uploaded to my Accredible profile soon!), we’ve talked about Rogue Traders, Poker, 80′s Rock Stars, and who has the biggest business and made it through the half way point!  Next week we are talking about Heroes, Villains and Leaders…now that sounds exciting!

How to Become a Programmer in 9 Weeks: Week 5

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Recap: Follow Me from HTML Illiterate to Professional Programmer

In case you haven’t read Week 0 (about my preparation), I am currently a student at a programming bootcamp in the San Francisco Bay Area. I finished college a few months ago, but decided my business degree wasn’t going to let me do what I really wanted: to build rather than manage. This realization and my love for startups (and California) led me to begin working toward a career in software development.

 

3 Highs:  

Angular.js:  I’ve been very interested in everything I’ve learned about the MEAN stack thus far, but with my focused interest in front-end development and how cool Angular is, it is definitely my favorite thus far.  There are just so many things that can be done with it and it makes my code dynamic without forcing me to really even think about it.

Autodidactism:  People in general learn in very different ways at very different speeds which can be frustrating at times – in fact, it was one of my lows last week.  This week, though, we switched gears a bit and had more freedom to break away from the group and learn on my own.  As anyone who reads my blog knows, I am very much an independent learner, so this was freeing for me.  I was able to slow down where I was confused and could speed through what I already knew, which resulted in a faster learning process.  I wish I had more time for this while learning Node, but am very glad to have had the opportunity with Angular; I have been learning it a lot faster and am able to use it pretty well in my projects as well.  Tip:  I also plan on putting all this stuff on my Accredible profile.  Employers definitely want to see what you have done, but if you’re new, it would also be nice to show them how you did it!

Individualized Projects:   Speaking of projects, working on my own idea and figuring out how to solve issues with the code without an instructor’s help can be frustrating, but for me it has been an amazing learning experience.  I am still working on the business card project I mentioned in last week’s update and have been incorporating Angular into it as I’ve been learning it.  As a result, the app is cooler and I’m much better at using the technology!  I figure having at least one major side project at all times will be my key to continuously learning the newest ‘hacks’ as a developer.

 

3 Lows:  

Cruise Control:  Learning and using a brand new skill has always been thrilling to me in some ways.  The process has its highs and lows, and I always end up on top when I have some new knowledge to show for it.  Unfortunately, sometimes I just fall into cruise control when I am really just practicing and the thrill disappears for a while.  This is an important part of mastering any skill, of course, but it is also a boring part.  Those side projects I’m working on still pack a pretty thrilling punch, though, so I’ve just been using that to balance things out a bit.

Editing Bootstrap:  Bootstrap provides customizable templates that make HTML and CSS much easier to use and as I have always said, it is one of my favorite development tools.  However, for someone new to programming, Bootstrap is awfully difficult to edit.  If it is in a minified file, it is pretty much impossible to find the right classes to append to the CSS file and even if it isn’t, BootStrap CSS is so big that finding the class one has been searching for is undeniably difficult.  As much as I love Bootstrap, it definitely has its own pain-in-the-neck moments.

No Time to Write:  Before I could write code, think about marketing strategy, or even use a computer properly, I was writing.  Writing everything – from nonfiction to fiction to blogs – has been not only a hobby, but also my way of learning something new.  Any time I want to learn a new concept, I write it down as a tutorial and end up teaching myself in the process.  Not having any time to do this has therefore been a bit disappointing and something I would like to get back to as soon as possible.  Needless to see, you guys will probably see a sudden flow of new blog posts after I’m done with these 9 weeks!

The Immersion:  

Living in the Bay Area:  is probably only a wise idea for a multi-millionaire.  Okay, that’s an exaggeration – but seriously, the hardest part of moving here to become a developer is trying to find a place to live after this bootcamp is over.  Apartments fly off listings literally hours after they are posted, everything of even decent quality is mind-bogglingly expensive, and I don’t have a car since I just moved here.   Solution?  I have no idea yet.

Weird Hours:  When I was in school, my average sleep schedule was 2-3 am to 7 am.  Then I jumped back to a more normal 12am to 8am when I was working as a Digital Marketing Consultant (and wasn’t studying day in and day out).  Then I decided to learn to code…and my average bedtime this week was 3:30 am.  Luckily, I know this will probably regulate when I have a job and a more regular work schedule, but the irregular sleep made me crave naps all week.  I actually made a mini-app that translates the word ‘nap’ into a whole bunch of different languages!

 

Takeaway Advice

  • Programming is not easy, but you will probably find some language or framework that you really love.  Keep at it until you get there!
  • Know how you learn best and don’t be afraid to create that ideal environment for yourself.  You aren’t in grade school anymore where you have to do what the rest of your class does.
  • Document your advances!  Of course, post your projects to GitHub, but also put them on your personal website, LinkedIn profile, and on Accredible (where you can also post any supplementary MOOCs that you took and project a more well rounded view of your autodidactic education!).

Exploits in Education: Week 3

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Welcome back!

Last week we worked through the concept of companies (or corporations) as a person; rules, regulations and laws and ways they can help the economy; taxation of companies; and finally what Canada is doing to promote economic growth via taxation.  This week we are tackling Cattle Markets and the Stock Market. Grab a drink or a snack and let’s jump in!

How Much Should We Trust Business Leaders?

This topic was quite interesting – I’m always torn personally.  Frankly, we know there is a lack of transparency – just consider the Global Financial Crisis of 2008,  AIG (2009), or Enron (2001).  It’s relatively easy to hide sales, profits, loss, loans and improper depreciation of property and equipment apparently!  Considering that many companies run three sets of books (Financial, Tax and Managerial), it is easy to misrepresent finances…

If we consider adding in a layer of communication by having an external auditor examine the books and “publish the truth”, we may find we are disappointed!  According to my accounting notes, “Auditors are hired by the Board to “express an opinion” about whether the statements are prepared in conformity with GAAP”.  They don’t prepare the notes, they just examine the documents and “express an opinion”.

Obviously this needs to change – and change quickly.  If an informed market (i.e. everyone knows the process and has good information) works best, then an uninformed market (i.e. no or bad info) leads to failure (see American Bank Bailout).

An exciting list of Accounting Scandals can be found here – a word of advice, only read if you have time to spare!! It’s easy to get caught up in the intrigue!

Who Will Be the Next Economic Powerhouse?

This topic made me rethink a lot of things that I thought I knew.  Population density, urbanization and literacy rates had always been touted as key indicators for future success.  But they might not be what matters.

Predicting Comparative Advantages in something becoming increasingly valuable was interesting.  I loved the discussions around how changeable a country’s comparative advantage might be…it got me thinking about two countries who are doing VERY interesting things in education – India and Malaysia.  Both are developing free education via MOOCs to any citizen, regardless of background or location to access the best in education. How will this impact the economic situations in these countries?  Create a new, upcoming Comparative Advantage? Develop new skills and technologies?  As a fan of MOOCs, (self)education, and learning at every opportunity, I am looking forward to following India and Malaysia as they develop their most valuable asset – their people…and how it impacts their economy and their global leadership role.

Fruit Stall Game

ACCA fruit stall game

 

This week would not have been complete without the Fruit Stall Game from ACCA.  I don’t know about you, but I had a blast playing it – and learning on the go!  If you’ve not tried it, you should – it will help tie things together and teach you to read and analyse data, about ethics, determining costs and making a profit.  I’ve shared my second attempt below (and no, I won’t share my first!  How embarrassing!)

ACCA fruit stall game 2Don’t forget to share your results below – or on your Accredible profile!

In Summary

We’ve considered a lot this week – trust, transparency and truth.  We’ve reviewed past scandals, looked at what needs to change and tested our own resolve by playing the Fruit Stand Game.  There was so much more that we could have discussed and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!  Next week we look at Big Business and our behaviours; the organization, ownership and control; and the implications for decision-making…

How to Become a Programmer in 9 Weeks: Week 4

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Recap: Follow Me from HTML Illiterate to Professional Programmer

In case you haven’t read Week 0 (about my preparation), I am currently a student at a programming bootcamp in the San Francisco Bay Area. I finished college a few months ago, but decided my business degree wasn’t going to let me do what I really wanted: to build rather than manage. This realization and my love for startups (and California) led me to begin working toward a career in software development.

 

3 Highs:  

Lightbulb Moments:  I came into this bootcamp with nothing but a small amount of HTML/CSS knowledge.  I had no programming background whatsoever and although I was quick with math as a kid, my career as an adult (albeit short) mainly focused on creativity and marketing strategy.  While this means that I have to work harder and still fall behind members of the group with Engineering degrees or previous programming experience, it also means that I get to have more lightbulb moments where I just get something after spending hours trying to figure it out.  Those are definitely the best part of any learning process and I had a few of them this week, which has been fantastic.

Hack-a-thon!   We went to the Health 2.0 Code-A-Thon in downtown San Francisco this weekend.  My best contributions were mainly on the front-end with designing pages and using the Google Maps API, so I didn’t get as much of a look into the back-end as I would have liked, but the entire process was intensive and we ended up with a working app within 24 hours of coding.  Check it out on in my portfolio on my website!

New Project:  Being a fairly fresh graduate, I have spent a lot of time job hunting and networking over the past year.  Meeting people for the first time, the questions I’m generally asked is where I went to school, what I majored in, and who else I knew at the event or in the industry.  This formulaic interaction would be followed up with a business card request and a promise to follow up (which would never happen because nothing in those conversations could really make me stand out).  This process has always been irritating to me for two reasons: nothing is conveyed about my capabilities, experiences, or really anything important, and the concept of paper business cards seems inefficient.  They’re easy to loose and having too many can make them annoying to sort through.  As a solution, I’m working on an app that allows users to make an ‘electronic business card’ that lists nothing but a person’s name, contact info, and a few of their most coveted skills.  These skills will be displayed as buttons linking to some sort of proof of the skill in question.  For example, if someone states HTML as a coveted skill, they can link it to their (Accredible!) portfolio of projects that have relied heavily on HTML.  I am really excited about building this thing – not only because I think it will solve a legitimate issue that people regularly face, but also because it will be an amazing learning experience to figure out how to make it all work!

 

3 Lows:  

Time Flies:  It almost induces a feeling of panic when a person comes closer to a deadline they have set for themselves and doesn’t have their goal accomplished ahead of schedule.  Obviously, a person can’t actually go from zero experience to programming genius in a matter of 9 weeks – and that wasn’t my goal to begin with.  I just wanted to bring myself to a point where I could be considered a junior developer and had the basics I need to teach myself the rest on the the job.  Learning the basics of programming isn’t as basic as the phrase indicates, however.  It requires time, effort, and practice – so naturally, I’m working hard and (understandably) am having my moments of panic.

Learning Styles:  People come into programming course with different skill-levels and learning styles, which is why I have always believed it is so important to set realistic expectations for the outcome of the program.  What I am also learning now, though, is that it is equally essential to set realistic expectations for the learning process itself.  We generally have lectures for the majority of the day during which everyone does the same thing.  Due to varying experiences with computer science, some people simply move faster than others which sets the pace out of whack for nearly everyone.  I am personally a better independent learner anyway, so my solution has been to follow along lecture topics and then learn it on my own afterwards.  This causes more time to be eaten up by each topic, but I’m able to learn the material significantly better so the trade-off has been worth it for me.

Portfolio:  Frankly, my portfolio is not as meaty as I wanted it to be by now.  I have several projects in the works that I hope to have up and running on my website pretty soon, but they’re not quite there just yet.  Having a portfolio is a validation of the time I have spent learning, so not having a great one is disappointing.  Luckily, I have enough projects in the works to expect to have some cool stuff within the next couple of weeks.

 

The Immersion:  

Sunday Funday:  I love having Sundays to catch up and learn completely on my own.  Like I said before, I am a very independent learning.  I love working in a team on projects and pair programming, but learning the tools themselves that I need to build the products have always been better learned when its just me and my computer.  Sundays, therefore, are my ticket to Progress Wonderland!

The Cold Plague:  Everyone got sick this week!  Literally everyone.  This has been literally the only disadvantage of living with my cohort – if one person contracts something, everyone gets it.  So learning Node.js while hacking up a storm in my lungs was fun (note the sarcasm).

 

Takeaway Advice

  • Build stuff that gets you excited – it makes the learning process far less tedious when facing a tough concept.
  • Continuously reflect on your timetable and plans.  Things will take different amounts of time than you planned for and it is worth readjusting everything to make sure you still accomplish what you set out to do.
  • Try not to panic if you are at a different place and learn differently from your classmates.  Just be prepared to do whatever you need to in order to keep your progress on track – even if that means stepping away from lecture and learning on your own from time to time.

Featuring World Science U

World-Science-U-is-a-site-dedicated-to-making-science-education-open-and-accessible-to-all.

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World Science U is currently offering short courses (2-3 weeks in length), but with signs pointing to longer courses coming soon.  Using the best methods of classroom teaching and pushing them into the future, World Science U aims to make complex science understandable for all.  Check out their introduction video!

As mentioned, these courses are meant for anyone – from beginner to advanced learners.  The current courses are short and have no homework or exams but do  They provide non-technical explorations, which go beyond traditional science popularizations.  The first two courses are all about Einstein‘s Special Relativity as well as his theories on space, time and energies.  Designed for those with an interest in science – even those who don’t love math – anyone can walk away with a better understanding of

E=mc2-explication

 

Special Relativity
Self-paced — no deadlines free
Einstein’s Special Relativity upended our understanding of space time and energy. While the ideas are subtle they only require high school algebra so join this math-based introduction. For a conceptual introduction check out Space Time and Einstein.

 

Space Time and Einstein
Self-paced — no deadlines free
Join a visual and conceptual introduction to Einstein’s spectacular insights into space time and energy. For a mathematical introduction to Special Relativity check out Special Relativity.

Be sure to update your Accredible Learner’s Profile once you’ve selected your course and be sure to share your feedback on the course community page!

Coursera Courses Starting in October

Coursera Starting Soon

Once again Coursera has offered a wide array of courses.  Listed below are a sampling of the courses presented in English – with more available in other languages!  Whether you are looking for an education, business, science or social course, there is something for everyone!

 

October 1st – 4th

October 5th – 11th

October 12th – 18th

 

October 19th – 25th

 

 

October 26th – 31st

 

Whichever courses you opt to take, please remember to update them to your Accredible Learner’s Profile and to upload your supporting material as you work through the course!

If you are having trouble choosing, the Introduction to Marketing course is relevant to everyone who makes purchases – you can understand why you impulsively pick up certain items, why shampoo shelves are lined the way they are and why different colours effect your mood – among many other interesting topics (like being product or customer centric – would share more, but we can’t give the entire course away!).

Exploits in Education: Week Two

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Hello!  Welcome back – grab a beverage and let’s jump in!

Last week we covered technology advances, globalization, the increasing challenges in management and business versus organizations.  That was a lot of material!!  This week we are looking at rules and regulations, taxes and laws.  Lynne Oats and Greg Morris did a great job explaining some pretty tough topics.

Companies are Recognized as a Person

An admission here: this topic taxes my brain.  How can a concept be treated or recognized as a person under the law?  I’ve struggled with this one for years.  What I gathered from this lesson was probably the best explanation that I’ve ever received.  I’m going to take the risk and share what I got out of it:

Companies vs Person - Gradient

 

What I gathered is the area of overlap is what allows a business to be considered a person.  A point of interest – when the course discusses “company”:

In American English the word corporation is most often used to describe large business corporations.[4] In British English and in the commonwealth countries, the term company is more widely used to describe the same sort of entity while the word corporation encompasses all incorporated entities. In American English, the word company can include entities such as partnerships that would not be referred to as companies in British English as they are not a separate legal entity. (Wikipedia)
(This may ease some confusion for you as it did me)

The rules, regulations and laws in which a company can exist vary from country to country.  I was surprised to learn that companies were a relatively new invention – but I guess when looking back, most businesses were family owned, single location operations like a single pub or shop – and they took all of the risk.  If their shop failed, burned down or faced litigation the owners were financially responsible and it could leave a family in the poor house!

In 1843, William Gladstone took chairmanship of a Parliamentary Committee on Joint Stock Companies, which led to the Joint Stock Companies Act 1844, regarded as the first modern piece of company law.[19] The Act created the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies, empowered to register companies by a two-stage process. The first, provisional, stage cost £5 and did not confer corporate status, which arose after completing the second stage for another £5. For the first time in history, it was possible for ordinary people through a simple registration procedure to incorporate.[20] The advantage of establishing a company as a separate legal person was mainly administrative, as a unified entity under which the rights and duties of all investors and managers could be channeled.(Wikipedia)

This lead to the concept of Limited Liability where the maximum amount of money a shareholder could lose was equivalent to their investment except in specific situations.

If you have a better understanding or I’ve made a mistake – please let me know!!

Rules, Regulations and Laws

As previously discusses, a company can only exist within a system of rules, regulations and laws.  This is meant to give guidelines for operating a business – what they can and cannot do.  These rules, regulations and laws are designed to strengthen the economy.

Restrictions can improve the economy????  How about not only the economy but society?

I kid you not!  Let’s think about Health and Safety rules.  Yes, they restrict what a company can do – they are obligated to provide a safe working environment, proper safety gear, safety instruction and the right to refuse unsafe work.  That means the company has to spend more time to complete a job and more money for training. However, it does reduce injuries, provides specific liabilities for managers and companies should an injury occur and creates an environment where you can expect your spouse/parent/loved one to return home at the end of their shift.

Other regulations that have improved the economy would include stricter environmental rules, competition laws and employment regulations.

Taxation of Companies

The purpose of taxation is to transfer funds into government coffers which then is used to run various programs.  Taxes are used for things such as the redistribution of wealth (think of transfer payments within a country or even social welfare) and controlling behaviours (lower taxes for greener companies).  While taxes have traditionally been paid by the individual, a recent change has been taxing businesses.

Not all countries tax businesses (and are known as tax havens) which encourages some businesses – but not all – to establish within their borders. So why doesn’t everyone establish their business in these countries?  Convenience.  Sometimes the resources or the skilled workforce just aren’t available there.

Who really pays the taxes? Who knows! Do the taxes come off the profit line and reduce the amount of dividends paid to the shareholders?  Do the taxes get paid from increased profits by increasing the price so the customer pays for it? It varies from industry to industry and business to business.

What does your country do to stimulate economic growth via taxes?

I live in Canada, so I will share what the Harper government has issued based on the latest budget regarding fostering job creation, innovation and trade as well as supporting families and communities.  To not appear biased, you can read the whole report here.  As you can see, Canada is stimulating growth by not increasing taxes on business or creating any new taxes and by reducing the red tape that goes along with setting up a business.  It is an effort to promote the entrepreneurial spirit!

In Summary

This week we’ve worked through the (head hurting) concept of companies (or corporations) as a person; rules, regulations and laws and ways they can help the economy; taxation of companies; and finally what Canada is doing to promote economic growth via taxation.  Next week we tackle Cattle Markets and the Stock Market – this I can’t wait to cover!  I love watching the stock market – and one day I will be brave enough to play it! Until then, you and I can play this game instead….

 

FutureLearn Courses Starting in October

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Our friends at FutureLearn have once again delivered a wide assortment of courses for you this month.  There is something for everyone – from the Writer to the Sports Enthusiast to the budding Developer or Marketer. Check out these great options:

How to Succeed at: Writing Applications

Course Date: 06 October 2014

This course will help you to write successful applications, whether you are applying for jobs or planning to study at university or college. Over the three weeks, we’ll look at different parts of the application process. We’ll help you to understand the skills you have gained through work experience and your studies and show you how you can match them to job advertisements or course requirements. We’ll share top tips with you to help you write exceptional applications, CVs (or résumés), covering letters and personal statements and provide insight from employers and admissions tutors on what they look for in candidates.

Data to Insight: An Introduction to Data Analysis

Course Date: 06 October 2014

Organisations around the world are collecting more data than ever. They are talking about big data, data science, business intelligence, analytics, data mining and data visualisation, and there’s an urgent need for people with the data skills to understand, interpret and communicate this information. It’s all about using statistical data to predict behaviours and extract insights about the real world. From businesses, governments and service organisations to researchers, data has become everybody’s business. Data to Insight provides an introduction to statistical data analysis for those new to the subject as well as those wanting a reminder and a fresh perspective. The course focuses on data exploration and discovery, showing you what to look for in statistical data, however large it may be. We’ll also teach you some of the limitations of data and what you can do to avoid being misled.

Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds: Maritime Archaeology

Course Date: 06 October 2014

People have explored and depended on the oceans of our planet for millennia. During that time the geography of our world has changed radically as coastal regions have flooded and islands have risen up, or been lost beneath the waves. With 70% of the world’s surface covered by water, an unparalleled, yet largely untouched record of human life has been left beneath the sea for us to discover, from our earliest ancestors right through to present day. Over the length of this ‘Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds’ course we will learn about maritime archaeology together – exploring underwater landscapes from the ancient Mediterranean to the prehistoric North Sea, and consider Shipwrecks from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific coast of the Americas.

Web science: how the web is changing the world

Course Date: 06 October 2014

You may be an avid user of the Web but this introductory course in Web Science will help you to understand the Web as a both social system and a technical system: a global information infrastructure built from the interactions of people and technologies.  We will examine the origins and evolution of the Web, and consider key questions of Security, Democracy, Networks and Economy from both computational and social science perspectives. By following this course, you will have a greater understanding of the Web and begin to develop skills for the digital era – skills that are useful for everyday life and widely sought by the technology driven employers of today.

A beginner’s guide to writing in English for university study

Course Date: 06 October 2014

If you’re interested in studying at university or college in an English-speaking country, you’ll need to learn how to write using academic English. Academic writing can be very different from other types of English writing you may have done in the past. We have developed this course to help you learn the basics of academic writing and develop your English skills for study in the UK, US, Australia or other countries where English is used. This course will provide you with a brief introduction to academic writing, enabling you to gain an awareness and understanding of some key features of this kind of writing. You will develop some proficiency in a few key areas of ‘academic’ grammar, learn about the stages in essay writing, and produce an essay of your own. We will teach you how to organise an essay, use academic writing style and cover key areas of grammar, so that by the end of the course you are able to write a good, basic academic essay.

Discover dentistry

Course Date: 13 October 2014

An entertaining and illuminating course for everyone to explore the impact dentistry has on our lives.

World War 1: Paris 1919 – A New World Order?

Course Date: 13 October 2014

The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 ended a Great War, but it also designed the post-war future. In 1919, world leaders assembled in Paris redrew the map of the world, partitioned and created countries, and ushered in a new era of international relations. The naivety of the peace-makers of 1919 has been justly criticised. However, in setting up a permanent ‘world organisation’, the League of Nations, they changed the management of world affairs forever…

Preparing for Uni

Course Date: 13 October 2014

Higher education is about learning at a higher level: developing skills relating to critical thinking; holding a supported, substantive argument; analysing and using data or sources critically. These are university-level skills but you can work on the foundations of these skills before you get there. Such skills will also help in assessments such as A-levels and extended project work. They are also attributes that employers value in graduates. In this course you will explore some key skills needed for success at university.

The Mind is Flat: the Shocking Shallowness of Human Psychology

Course Date: 13 October 2014

What are the forces shaping human behaviour? How do we think and decide? What are the origins of human rationality and irrationality? Our everyday conception of how our minds work is profoundly misleading. We are victims of an ‘illusion of mental depth’ – we imagine that our thoughts and behaviours arise from hidden motives and beliefs and that we can understand ourselves by somehow uncovering these hidden forces, whether through therapy, lab experiments or brain scanning. This course will show you that the very idea of these ‘mental depths’ is an illusion. When this is stripped away, our understanding not only of minds, but also morality, markets and society is transformed.

Digital Marketing: Challenges and Insights

Course Date: 13 October 2014

This short course introduces you to exciting new concepts and applications of digital marketing. It takes an informal “story telling” approach, encouraging you to share your own stories as consumers and/or marketers for the benefit of the learner group as a whole. What will I learn and how might this benefit me? We will focus on emerging trends in digital culture and online consumer behaviour, data analytics and privacy. Throughout the course, we examine the implications of these developments for both marketers and consumers.

Introduction to Cyber Security

Course Date: 13 October 2014

Our lives depend on online services. Gain essential cyber security knowledge and skills, to help protect your digital life.

World War 1: Aviation Comes of Age

Course Date: 20 October 2014

This course will investigate how the early days of aviation gripped the imagination of the general public, galvanised industry and excited far-sighted members of the military. Aviation evolved rapidly during World War 1 with modern and more effective aircraft soon replacing the very basic machines that took to the skies in 1914. By the end of war, air power wasn’t just being used for reconnaissance but in ways that are still recognisable today. When the war was over aviation had truly come of age with the opening of mail routes, exploration and record setting exploits.

The Secret Power of Brands

Course Date: 20 October 2014

Brands are the most potent commercial and cultural force on the planet. Think about McDonald’s, Apple, Manchester United, Tate, Harry Potter, Google.  If you’re starting out on a career in branding, or if you work in a related area – like strategy, marketing, innovation or organisational development – or even if you just have an interest in branding then this course is for you. You’ll learn directly from practitioners at companies like Virgin and Google, and watch brand experts in action. You’ll get a rich mixture of powerful theory and practical tools. With branding changing so rapidly, you’ll get the very latest insights and methods from the converging worlds of technology, design and brand.

Innovation and Enterprise

Course Date: 20 October 2014

Introducing something new or innovating is easy in theory but hard in practice. New ideas can be plentiful, but selecting the best ideas and implementing them can be challenging. Managing the innovation process is neither a scientific process nor a black art. In addition to detailed research and planning, its success is influenced by human factors and, of course, luck!  In order to make sense of this complex topic, we have created a model for the innovation process and its management. The course will describe the PROCESS; the way the innovation pathway works from creation of new ideas to their selection and implementation.

Football: More Than A Game

Course Date: 20 October 2014

Football is often called the people’s game – it has more than 200 million viewers world wide and major tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup are viewed by the vast majority of countries around the world. This course will introduce you to the global game of football (soccer), why it is called the people’s game, how it has developed in different parts of the world and why major sporting events are important to different countries. It will cover governance, strategy, and leadership in different football settings, identify key people, players and nations and provide a behind the scenes overview of the world of football. It will look at different profiles of football fans, nations, and players in terms of fitness coaching, demographics and economics (i.e. players wages, migration patterns, levels of sponsorship and the role of positive coaching)

Begin programming: build your first mobile game

Course Date: 20 October 2014

Programming is everywhere: in dishwashers, cars and even space shuttles. This course will help you to understand how programs work and guide you through creating your own computer program – a mobile game.  Whether you’re a complete newcomer to programming, or have some basic skills, this course provides a challenging but fun way to start programming in Java. Over seven weeks we will introduce the basic constructs that are used in many programming languages and help you to put this knowledge into practice by changing the game code we have provided. You’ll have the freedom to create a game that’s unique to you, with support from the community and educators if you get stuck. You’ll learn how to create algorithms to solve problems and translate these into code, using the same tools as industry professionals worldwide.

Fairness and nature: when worlds collide

Course Date: 21 October 2014

This course is about making difficult decisions on the management of natural resources. Different people place different values on nature. For example, some see it as something we should conserve for future generations, others as a resource of financial value to be exploited. Policies about managing nature should be economically and environmentally sound, but they also need to be formulated with social fairness if they are to be sustainable. Inevitably, when there are so many different values, conflicts occur and worlds collide.

World War 1: Changing Faces of Heroism

Course Date: 27 October 2014

Did the First World War make heroism meaningless or was it the conflict that gave it the most meaning?  We’ve designed this course in partnership with the BBC to help you explore, discuss and challenge the ways in which First World War heroism has been remembered. Our experts will take you through the changing British, French and German views of heroism and discuss important similarities and differences. Through discussion and analysis of art, literature, film and television, guided by our experts, you will explore the portrayals of heroism before, during and after the war. Drawing on rarely seen archive you will be curating a mini exhibition, exploring a war memorial and writing a review of a representation of war. Together we will examine the changing faces of heroism from distant figureheads and brave warriors to the ordinary ‘Tommy’ and front-line nurses. The emergence of alternative hero figures, including anti-war campaigners and vulnerable, shell shocked soldiers, is also covered.

Liver Disease: Looking After Your Liver

Course Date: 27 October 2014

We are currently experiencing an international explosion of liver disease that continues to have enormous impact upon healthcare systems and global health. In the UK we have seen a 20% increase in deaths related to liver disease since 2000 and this pattern reflects the global situation. Contrary to expectations, this dramatic increase in liver disease is not restricted to patients who drink alcohol, and liver cancer is the third most common cause of cancer related death. Many inherited conditions and acquired infections can also cause liver disease, and liver disease as a consequence of obesity and diet is becoming especially significant.

Start Writing Fiction

Course Date: 27 October 2014

This practical, hands-on course aims to help you to get started with your own fiction writing, focusing on the central skill of creating characters. You will listen to established writers talk about how they started writing and consider the rituals of writing and the importance of keeping a journal. You’ll learn how to develop your ideas and the importance of reflecting on writing and editing, and you’ll hear other writers talking about their approaches to research and consider ways of turning events into a plot.

Exploring our oceans

Course Date: 27 October 2014

The first astronauts to leave the Earth’s orbit saw our “blue planet” for the first time. But what lies in the half of our world covered by water more than two miles deep? How are our everyday lives connected to the ocean depths, and what challenges and opportunities does this previously hidden realm hold for our future? In this course you will join scientists exploring the ocean from the deepest undersea vents to the chilly waters of the Poles, going deeper, longer, and more often than ever before – and find how what we now know about the ocean depths is as amazing as the unknown that remains.

How to read your boss

Course Date: 27 October 2014

Think about the conversations you have had in your workplace over the past few months. Do you come out of business meetings wishing you had said something differently, or felt misunderstood? Do you have difficulty talking to people more senior than you? What about when talking with other colleagues? ‘How to read your boss’ introduces you to the world of business communication through linguistics.

Were you able to choose?  Shipwrecks, WWI or Dentistry? There truly was something for everyone!  Don’t forget to update your Accredible Learner’s Profile  while you are at it!

Great Courses from NovoED -Starting October 1st

novoed part 2

NovoEd has been busy developing these courses which are starting in October.  Check them out for yourself!

The Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics, the Next Generation Science Standards, and new English Language Proficiency Standards all include a focus on argumentation, requiring that students construct claims supported by evidence and/or reasoning. In this course, we will explore how to support all students but particularly English language learners, in engaging in this key, cross-disciplinary practice.

Liderazgo Real: liderar desde la experiencia
Oct 1

From the NovoEd site “The Course EL CURSO Todos nosotros nos desenvolvemos en organizaciones. En efecto, participamos de una familia, de un equipo de trabajo, en un club deportivo, del grupo de apoderados en el colegio de nuestros hijos. Por ello, a diario experimentamos como protagonistas o como testigos del ejercicio de la influencia, algunas de las cuales tienen objetivos bien precisos. En efecto, si consideramos al liderazgo como un proceso de influencia que alguien realiza en otras personas en pos de un objetivo ojalá compartido, estamos en presencia del ejercicio del liderazgo, el cual hay veces que cumple con lo esperado y es efectivo, esto es, cuando se cumplen los resultados y en otras, inefectivo cuando tal expectativa no es cumplida. Este curso pretende con un enfoque marcadamente experiencial entregar algunos fundamentos y herramientas conceptuales que le permitan al participante aprender y mejorar su ejercicio del liderazgo, por cuanto estamos convencidos que, en algún momento deberá hacerlo y si se prepara podrá aumentar sus posibilidades de éxito. Estamos convencidos que todos están invitados a ejercer el liderazgo ya que si bien es un proceso complejo porque depende de quien lo ejerce, sobre quien se ejerce y del contexto de la relación, ello no está supeditado a un determinado perfil de personalidad ni menos a un determinado puesto en una organización. Te invitamos a incorporarte al curso, siendo ésta, tu primera decisión como líder.”

DQ 101: Introduction to Decision Quality
Oct 9

Uncertainty and endless debate can inhibit our ability to make good decisions. Many of us squander our best opportunities to create value through better decisions. What if we could judge the quality of our decisions at the time we make them, rather than waiting for their outcome? What if we could turn uncertainty to our advantage? Decision Quality (DQ) is a practical and systematic approach that methodically breaks down barriers and improves the quality and timeliness of important decisions. 

Global History Lab, Part 2
Oct 26

This course begins with a discussion of industrialization during the 1800s, and continues with a close look at the 20th century and current-day globalization. The course themes include economic integration, warfare and conflict, the transformation of the ecological balance, and cultural responses and innovations.
Be sure to tell us which courses you choose by adding them to your Accredible Learner’s Profile.