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

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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.

New Courses Announced by FutureLearn

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FutureLearn has recently announced adding five new courses to their already impressive selection of courses.  The following gives you a brief introduction to each course:

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.

Tackling the Global Food Crisis: Supply Chain Integrity

Course Date: 17 November 2014

The challenges for food security in tracing and detecting food contamination whether it be by accident or as a result of fraud.

Good Brain, Bad Brain: Parkinson’s Disease

Course Date: 17 November 2014

Learn the fundamentals of Parkinson’s disease; what causes it and what we can do to ameliorate the symptoms.

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Ageing Well: Falls

Course Date: 24 November 2014

Explore why people fall, discover practical methods to reduce the risk of falling and recognise when to seek expert help.

 

How to Read a Mind

Course Date: 01 December 2014

How do we read and model fictional minds? Introducing cognitive poetics: the application of cognitive science to literary reading.

These sound very interesting!  Let us know which you sign up for on Twitter and by updating your Learner’s Profile.

 

Introducing: Universiteplus

universiteplus

Universiteplus is an online learning platform that features quality education from leading Turkish universities aimed towards Turkish and English speaking learners.  The courses are self-paced, free, and have the opportunity to earn a certificate for a reasonable 69TL. 

As the first Turkish MOOC platform, Universiteplus has three main goals – to provide Turkey (and the world) with free, unique and vital opportunities to revolutionize education, to support the best Turkish professors by giving them a platform from which to teach, and to take advantage of international interest in regional affairs to share Turkey‘s own story. 

Keep watching for more courses, new professors and new universities participating in Universiteplus as they are on the look out for the best and brightest!

The Platform

Taught by leading Turkish professors with tenure at prestigious universities around the world, the courses consist of video lectures, projects, learning activities and final exams.  There are also forums to participate within.  Designed to work around your busy schedule, courses are self-paced and available at any time – it is easy to access on your smartphone and other devices.

 

Profiles

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Universiteplus offers a great profile page for each user.  You can share a little about yourself – your interests, where you are from, and ways in which people can contact you – such as LinkedIn.  You can easily see who is in each class by checking under Participants to contact a coursemate offsite (to follow on Twitter for example)

A Wide Selection of Courses

Universiteplus has a great assortment of courses – these are just a sampling of the courses available.  While these 3 are in English, there are many more in Turkish.  This will be exciting news for our friends in Istanbul, Samsun, and Ankara!

universiteplus course page

Career Counseling

This “Career Counseling” course will explore the basic principles and concepts involved in the career development as well as college and career decision making processes of individuals. It will focus on reconsideration of the roles & responsibilities of career counselors & clients in individual & group counseling. Participants will gain knowledge of occupational-educational information & vocational testing that is applied to the process of career counseling.

 

universiteplus entrepreneurIntroduction to Entrepreneurship

The purpose of ‘introduction to entrepreneurship’ course is to help you begin the process of developing a set of skills and competencies focused on entrepreneurial opportunity recognition, innovation, and small business management. This course is about dreaming and pursuing those entrepreneurial dreams.  This course will challenge you to think and act boldly, and to break with conventional thinking when it comes to the realities of the marketplace and your own business ideas. Introduction to entrepreneurship will equip you with basic skills and tools that will allow you to effectively pursue your entrepreneurial dreams. Entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs.

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Occasionalism East and West

Philosophy, History, Islamic Studies, Religious Studies majors can take this course. Occasionalism is commonly understood as a theory that ascribes all causal power to God on the one hand and treats cause-effect relations in nature as occasions indicating the manner of divine creation on the other. This doctrine was formulated first by the Muslim scholars in the 10th century, i.e. the Ash’arites and Maturidites. It was transmitted to Europe via the works of Averroes and Moses Maimonides in the 13th century. In the 17th century, it reappeared among the Cartesian philosophers, famously in the work of Nicolas Malebranche. Many philosophers in the 17th and 18th centuries seriously took this theory into account, responded to it and to a certain extent influenced by it. In this course, we will examine wider philosophical dimensions of occasionalism both theoretically and from a historical point of view. Some questions that will be addressed are as follows: What is the relationship between occasionalism and monism (or pantheism)?

Make sure to check out the course finder to see the full selection of courses from Universiteplus – and remember to update your Accredible Learner’s Profile to reflect the new courses you’ve selected!

Introducing Filtered

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“Are you proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint?”

These are the words that can make even the most proficient users cringe.  No matter how good you are, you KNOW that the interviewer is about to ask for proof – either wanting results from a course or for you to take a skills test next.  Who among us has the certifications to show that we’ve learned so much since we started using Word? Some of us started back when WordPerfect was still the popular choice – and we learned by trial and (mostly) error.  To take a course has always meant napping for the first half of an expensive, stuffy, corporate training course while we waited for everyone around us to catch up.

That’s no longer the case!  

 

Meet Filtered, a learning platform that is focusing on the three most popular Microsoft Office products – Word, Excel and PowerPoint!  There is no need to wait for anyone else around you to catch up so you can start learning – before you start a course, you take a pretest that determines what you already know and filters it out, leaving you the most relevant topics to cover.  Even better, Filtered offers these courses at an affordable price – for the price of two takeout dinners for the family, you could have access to all 3 courses for 3 months.  Best yet, it only takes you a few minutes to do and then you have a personalized course designed just for you.

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Once you’ve set up your program, there is a handy dashboard to track your progress as well as handy reminders sent once a week to help keep you on track!

Word

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Filtered says there is using Word and then there is using Word properly. While Word is pretty easy for most of us to use, many of us don’t know the tricks to using it right.  What’s the big deal? Well, how about gaining a few hours back into your week while increasing the quality of your output?  (Hmmm….can anyone else smell a raise in the air???).

 

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Their algorithm will develop a programme that is tailored to your needs.  The experts will develop a program that is just for you!  Learn the things you really need to know how to do (or do better!) and not quite so much time on the things that won’t help you (removing backgrounds from photos perhaps??).  Build practical skills quickly so you can start applying them immediately.

Excel

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Want to be an Excel expert?  To be completely competent in using the most popular spreadsheet application in the world? Need to set up budgets, to do lists, CRMs or any other data intensive task? Take the quiz and get started!

Designed for all learning styles, Filtered uses many great tools to help you learn – text, imagery, video and Excel workbooks with practice exercises.  Regardless of your starting level, the way in which they use these tools will be beneficial to all.

PowerPoint

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Known to send the most competent of business people into a panic, PowerPoint is a Must-Know for anyone who makes presentations.  PowerPoint users seldom have any formal training, having made do with what they have picked up along the way. This means the presenter may be able to make the slideshow work, but maybe not their full advantage (i.e. the slides change but don’t look so hot!).

This course helps you learn about good slide design, effective collaborations in presentations, and the practical tips for presenting that you wish your mentor/friend/spouse had shared with you BEFORE the presentation with the big boss!

 But wait! There’s more!

At least, there are more coming – courses that is!  A further eight courses are currently being developed for release later this year (don’t worry, we will be sure to let you know more upon release!).  But for now, you can look forward to learning how to better use Outlook or how to write a better business letter in the near future.

By the time you finish with the courses offered by our friends at Filtered, you will be ready to take on any project delegated to you by your boss – or be ready to impress any recruiter or employer for that new dream job you’ve had in mind!  We can’t wait to hear which courses you decide to take – remember to update your Learner’s Profile and let us know in the comments below or @accredible.

Featuring Treehouse

Treehouse Home

Recently, our own Swati Kumar wrote about preparing to attend coding camp.  She spoke of using Treehouse as a great way to learn HTML and CSS.  When learning these skills, it’s important to be able to learn at your own pace.  These basics are important to practice – over and over and over if needed – until you can do it in your sleep.  One neat way Treehouse encourages this is through interactive Code Challenges which allow you to apply what you’ve learned.  As you gain skills, you will also earn badges, visible to anyone online (those badges are great evidence to upload onto your Accredible Slate too!).  Remember, all of these great courses are available for the very reasonable fee of $25/month (see Treehouse for the details).

This week we will  look at HTML and CSS courses – there are many and all seem interesting!

CSS Foundations Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a language used to describe the visual look of a web page. Using CSS, it is possible to change colors, margin, padding, fonts, and much more. This content will consolidate the previously released CSS Foundations and CSS3 in a brand new and updated series.
CSS Layout Techniques Learn how to work with the common layout and positioning methods used in web design. Throughout the course we’ll build a layout using display methods, floats, positioning schemes, even Flexbox, the latest and most advanced CSS layout feature. We’ll cover the strengths and benefits of each method, along with common layout issues and how to solve them
Modular CSS with Sass Writing efficient CSS means that it needs to be reusable, scalable and easy to maintain. Today’s websites and applications are larger than ever and a lot hinges on the CSS architecture. So CSS that is poorly thought-out can be a strain on development and maintenance in the long run.
Treehouse Club – CSS In this project, you learn how to edit pre-written code to style a web page for desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. You’ll begin by learning how to connect a CSS stylesheet to our HTML document. Next you’ll edit some CSS and we will learn about basic CSS structure. Finally, you’ll learn about new tags to make text colorful, choose fonts, upload pictures, and more.

HTML This HTML tutorial helps you master HTML. Mastering HTML and its many elements is critical for any type of web professional. HTML or “Hyper Text Markup Language” describes the basic structure and content of a web page.

HTML Email Design MailChimp UX Designer Fabio Carneiro demonstrates how to build a full-featured, mobile-friendly email from scratch. Using the proper mix of HTML, CSS, and media queries, you can design an effective message fit for laptops and mobile devices, no matter what kind of content you need to send.

HTML Forms The web is a two-way communication medium. There’s lots of HTML elements for displaying data and producing output, and conversely, there’s also lots of HTML elements for accepting input. Accepting input from the user means creating web forms. In this course, we’ll learn about all the most important form elements that web professionals use on a daily basis.

HTML Tables The web is filled with text and images, but it’s also filled with information like sports scores throughout the years, list of employee names and email addresses, or nutrition facts for your favorite foods. HTML tables enable the display information in what is commonly known as tabular data, which is information that’s stored in a table-like structure of columns and rows. In general, anything that you might put into a spreadsheet could go in a table. There are many use cases for a table, so it’s important to add them to your skills because it’s a very common method for displaying information.

Treehouse Club – HTML If you’ve never written a line of code before, this is the place to start! In this project, you’ll learn how to edit pre-written HTML code. By the end of this course, you’ll be more comfortable with using Treehouse’s programming tool Workspaces and have a basic understanding of HTML structure.

 

Be sure to tell us which courses you choose by adding them to your Accredible Learner’s Profile

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

 

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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

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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!)

 

Keyboard_on_a_German_mechanical_Olympia_typewriter

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!

 

O2S Courses Starting Soon

Open2Study
Starting on September 15th, Open2Study is bringing to you some fantastic courses!  If you’ve not yet taken the time to visit their website, then you should make it now!  From their easy to use chat forums (in and out of class!), to the ability to connect to classmates, to the awesome badges you can earn by taking part in various activities, Open2Study has a lot to offer on top of some top notch courses!  Check out these courses starting soon!

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Education & Training

 

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION – Examine the world of children from 0 to 5 years. Explore how they develop and learn in this critical stage.

BECOMING A CONFIDENT TRAINER – Become a confident trainer by developing an understanding of Adult learners and what motivates them to learn.

EDUCATION IN A CHANGING WORLD – Explore education as a social institution that’s shaped by and part of shaping a constantly changing world.

TEACHING ADULT LEARNERS – Get a grounding in facilitating a group of adult learners, in an online or face to face learning environment.

 

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Science & Technology

 

CHEMISTRY – BUILDING BLOCKS OF THE WORLD – Discover a world built by atoms, shaped by molecules and kept running with chemical reactions!

AGRICULTURE AND THE WORLD WE LIVE IN – How agriculture feeds the world: a study of farms, farmers and the challenges they face.

ASTRONOMY: DISCOVERING THE UNIVERSE – Explore the evolution of the universe, the future of astronomy & the role technology plays in new discoveries.

BASIC PHYSICS – Learn some basic principles of physics that help you understand how the world around you works.

CLIMATE CHANGE – Find out how climate change will affect us, why we should care about it, and what solutions we can employ.

CONCEPTS IN GAME DEVELOPMENT – Explore key ideas in game design, programming, architecture, game engines, player experience and game AI.

MARINE AND ANTARCTIC SCIENCE – Over 70% of our planet is ocean, and life itself evolved in the sea so come and join us on this tour of Planet Ocean!

MICROBIOLOGY AND FORENSIC SCIENCE – Explore the basics of Microbiology and Forensic Science so you can better understand the world around you.

MINING ENGINEERING – Explore the many facets of mining engineering from exploration to production and mine closure.

MOBILE ROBOTICS – Discover the world of mobile robots – how they move, how they interact with the world, and how to build them!

WATER IN A THIRSTY WORLD – This course explores the world of water management on a drying planet.

 

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Marketing & Advertising

 

 

BIG DATA FOR BETTER PERFORMANCE – Learn how you can predict customer demand and preferences by using the data that is all around you

ONLINE ADVERTISING – Learn more about the evolving, dynamic, and fastest growing segment of the advertising industry.

USER EXPERIENCE FOR THE WEB – Learn to create great experiences for people visiting websites, with proven tools and techniques. (Self paced, start any time!)

WRITING FOR THE WEB – Explore how writing style, web design and structure can grab the attention of and engage online readers.

 

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Business

 

 

PRINCIPLES OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT – Learn the basics of project management, including what a project is and how to manage one effectively.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND FAMILY BUSINESS – Discover the tools and techniques that will enable you to succeed in business.

HUMAN RESOURCES – Examine human resources from a modern perspective. This course covers all the steps from staff recruitment to retention.

INNOVATION FOR POWERFUL OUTCOMES – Acquire the ability to help make innovation happen, using a rich mix of practical approaches & robust concepts.

INTRODUCTION TO BUSINESS IN ASIA – Discover business in Asia from the perspectives of culture, leadership, management and personal relationships.

INTRODUCTION TO ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE – Delve into Enterprise Architecture & gain an understanding of the tools & techniques for the design of business.

LEADERSHIP: IDENTITY, INFLUENCE AND POWER – This course examines recent research to uncover the practical actions anyone can take to be a successful leader.

SPORTS AND RECREATION MANAGEMENT – Discover the careers in sports and recreation and learn to deliver a simple client-focused session.

 

Feel free to use this image just link to www.rentvine.com

Finance

 

 

DIAGNOSING THE FINANCIAL HEALTH OF A BUSINESS – Learn to assess the strength of a business and identify early warning signs of potential future problems.

FINANCIAL LITERACY – Develop your knowledge of personal finance, such as how to control, invest and protect your finances.

FINANCIAL PLANNING – Explore a career in financial planning, including working with clients and the financial planning process.

 

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Health & Medicine

 

 

 

FOOD, NUTRITION & YOUR HEALTH – Walk through the basics of nutrition, how eating disorders develop, and learn the benefits of various diets.

FOUNDATIONS OF PSYCHOLOGY – Start learning how psychologists comprehend and study human nature and its disorders.

INTRODUCTION TO NURSING IN HEALTHCARE – Considering a career in nursing? This course will introduce you to the role of nurses in Australian healthcare.

MIDWIFERY – This midwifery course covers the history of the profession and what it means to be a midwife today.

THE HUMAN BODY AS A MACHINE – This course introduces how the human body works and how it is more than the sum of its parts

UNDERSTANDING COMMON DISEASES – Explore four common diseases and body systems: how they work, how they are treated and prevented.

 

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Management

NEGOTIATION AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION – Understand the theory and practice of negotiation and conflict resolution to build a practical framework.

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT – Learn the concepts, principles and practice of Emergency Management through real-world case studies

MANAGEMENT FOR A COMPETITIVE EDGE – Learn the strategies of successful managers, including leadership, teamwork and communication. (Self paced, start any time!)

STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT – Learn to proactively take control of your workplace and projects by making more strategic decisions and plans.

 

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Art & Humanities

THE ART OF PHOTOGRAPHY – Get introduced to a range of skills and concepts to broaden your understanding of contemporary photographic art.

BECOMING HUMAN: ANTHROPOLOGY – Gain an introductory understanding of evolution, including how we evolved from primates and became human.

CHINESE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE – Explore the history of China’s language and culture and its adjustment to an increasingly globalised world.

CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN OCEAN GOVERNANCE – Learn about how the world’s oceans are regulated, protected and preserved.

INDIGENOUS STUDIES: AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND – Explores Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori history, society, culture, language and demography.

SOCIOLOGY  – Sociology examines individuals in their social contexts.

 

UNDERSTANDING THE ORIGINS OF CRIME – Learn to understand criminal behaviour by looking at our evolutionary history and animal behaviour in general.

WORLD MUSIC – Discover a world of music exploring your community or family to learn how music represents cultural identity.

 

Don’t forget to add any courses you sign up for to your Accredible Learning Profile!

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!