NovoED Courses Starting in September

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NovoED is offering some amazing courses this month!  From global history, to powerful storytelling, to how to run your start-up as a CEO!  Unless otherwise noted, the courses listed below are free.  Keep reading to discover more!

 

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Global History Lab, Part 1
Starts Sep 2, length: 7 weeks

This course will give you a perspective on the multiple historical pathways to our present. Part 1 begins in 1300 AD at the height of the Silk Road, the triumphs of the Mongol Empire, and the spread of one of the most devastating contagions of all time, the Black Death. It examines the emergence of an international system of competitive empires and their effects on trade and exchange. The course will conclude in the middle of the 19th century, at the end of the Age of Revolution. The course themes include economic integration, warfare and conflict, the transformation of the ecological balance, and cultural responses and innovations. To grapple with these themes, we explore first-hand perspectives of historical actors through a collection of texts and images.

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Storytelling for Change
Starts: Sep 3, length: 6 weeks

Acumen and The Ariel Group have created this hands-on course to help you develop your practical skills as a storyteller. Whether you work in an office making presentations in the boardroom, as a teacher with 30 to 300 students, interacting with customers, or one-on-one with individuals, using the elements of story bring you closer to your audience. Using stories makes your messages memorable, gives your audience something to relate to, and above all captures their attention, motivating and inspiring them in new ways. A story taps into more than one element of communicating. Great storytellers are great communicators and effective leaders. Acumen believes that storytelling is an essential tool for changing the way the world tackles poverty because it starts with changing conversations around what we see, hear, feel and know to be true. Change leaders see the world’s potential, and tell powerful stories that inspire action.

 

Scaling Up Your Venture Without Screwing Up
Starts: Sep 15, length: 4 weeks

The success of every venture depends on scaling: on sustaining and enhancing its effectiveness as it adds more employees, customers, and locations. The problem, however, is that scaling comes with inherent risk. Even the best founders and teams face setbacks, make mistakes, and must muddle through stretches of confusion and uncertainty.  In this course, you will learn the principles that will help you scale up your venture without screwing up. You’ll address questions that cut to the heart of the scaling challenge: How can you avoid the illusion, impatience, and incompetence that are hallmarks for botched scaling efforts? What should your strategy be? Should you be more “Catholic” and replicate one model as you grow? Or should you take a more “Buddhist” approach and encourage local customization as your footprint expands? How can you avoid cognitive overload on yourself and those you lead, while at the same time, add necessary complexity as your team and organizations grows?

 

Decision Skills: Power Tools to Build Your Life                                                                                 Starts:  15 Sep, Length: 7 weeks

Have you ever faced a decision you really struggled over, but just couldn’t find your way? Imagine you had been given a set of tools, so you were confident of making the best choice you could make. This course provides a path to developing those decision skills and improving your life. Good decision-making is an essential life skill most people acquire through trial and error. Few have had the benefit of formal training in decision making or are aware of decision science. This course demonstrates how a framework to help us make better decisions, decision quality, can help overcome common mistakes humans fall into, decision traps. The principles and practice of decision quality have been successfully applied in business, medicine, and engineering. Through our work with teachers, schools, and students, we have witnessed the tremendous value this material brings through helping individuals and groups resolve their toughest dilemmas.

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Design Thinking for Innovative Problem Solving: A Step by Step Project Course                                  Starts: 15 Sep, Length: 8 weeks Cost: $349.00

Design thinking is one of the hottest trends in organizations today. This customer/stakeholder-driven problem-solving method uses a structured and systematic process to identify and explore innovation opportunities. This 8-week course will teach you how to exploit design thinking’s potential to merge creative right brain capabilities with data-driven approaches to solve your most challenging problems. In this interactive course, you’ll be guided through a 15-step problem-solving process using design methodologies and innovation tools. Throughout the eight weeks, you’ll apply each of these 15 steps to solve a challenge you’ve personally selected. Engaging videos and readings are supplemented by interesting, real-life stories that provide detailed examples of design thinking in action in organizations both large and small, in both the profit and social sectors. Community forums and peer feedback at milestone points will help you to ensure that you’ve developed a range of innovative solutions to your challenge.   

 

Startup CEO
Starts: Sep 15, length: 8 weeks Cost: $199

Improve Your Management and Leadership Skills Quickly Instead of learning from the school of hard knocks, let experienced startup founders guide you to being a successful first-time CEO. In addition to explaining the most critical responsibilities of a startup CEO, Matt Blumberg, Founder/CEO of Return Path and author of Startup CEO and Clint Korver, successful serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist and Stanford University adjunct professor, will provide you with an operating system that will help increase the chances of your startup’s success, while saving you time and reducing stress. You’ll learn how systems thinking can help you build and scale a successful company. Many first-time CEOs focus on problem solving. However, encountering a problem, solving it and moving on to the next one is inherently limited and frustrating. Building a scalable business requires designing and implementing systems that prevent problems or at least make them easier to solve. You will have the unique opportunity to directly engage Matt Blumberg and other celebrated entrepreneurs in live chats held weekly during the seven week course, where you can ask your startup questions. You’ll also learn from fellow online students—startup CEOs from around the world— helping you to build your network and gain a broader perspective on your company’s strengths and weaknesses.

 

Venture Deals
Starts: Sep 29, length: 6 weeks Cost: $199

This course demystifies venture capital deals and startup financing to give both first-time and experienced entrepreneurs a definitive guide to secure funding. Taught by renowned venture capitalists Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson, partners at the Foundry Group and authors of Venture Deals, the course reveals the secrets behind how venture financings really work. Feld, a well-known speaker and author of several books in the Startup Revolution series, began financing technology startups in the early 1990s, first as an angel and later as an institutional investor. In the class forums, you will have exclusive opportunities to ask Brad Feld detailed questions about specific investment strategies. In addition, you can engage Feld and other celebrated investors in live chats held weekly during the six week course. You will be making connections and collaborating with an international network of entrepreneurs and classmates, learning strategies that will help you take your pitch or deal to the next level. Whether you’re looking for financing for your venture, or looking to fund an entrepreneur, you’ll get smarter about the process by taking Venture Deals.

 

With so many great courses starting in September, however will you choose?  Whichever you decide to take, remember to update your Accredible Learning Profile.

New Courses From Complexity Explorer and Stanford Online in September

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September brings many new courses to choose from.  Here are a few from Stanford Online and Complexity Explorer!

 

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Changing the global course of learning
Starts: Sep 2, length: 14 weeks)

Open source, open science, open data, open access, open education, open learning — this free, online course provides an introduction to the important concept of openness from a variety of perspectives, including education, publishing, librarianship, economics, politics, and more, and asks you to discover what it means to you. Open Knowledge is international and multi-institutional, bringing together instructors and students from Canada, Ghana, Mexico, the United States, and the rest of the world. It will challenge you to take control of your own learning, to determine your own personal learning objectives, to contribute to the development of the curriculum, to reflect on your progress, to learn new digital skills, and to take a leadership role in the virtual classroom. It will also provide you with the opportunity to connect with colleagues from different countries and professions, and to better understand areas where your interests overlap and where unexpected distinctions exist.

 

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Mathematics for Complex Systems
Starts: Sep 29, length: 9 weeks

This course covers several mathematical techniques that are frequently used in complex systems science. The techniques are covered in independent units, taught by different instructors. Each unit has its own prerequisites. Note that this course is meant to introduce students to various important techniques and to provide illustrations of their application in complex systems. A given unit is not meant to offer complete coverage of its topic or substitute for an entire course on that topic.

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Introduction to Complexity (Fall, 2014)
Starts: Sep 29,  length: 11 weeks

In this re-offering of our popular introductory course, you’ll learn about the tools used by scientists to understand complex systems. The topics you’ll learn about include dynamics, chaos, fractals, information theory, self-organization, agent-based modeling, and networks. You’ll also get a sense of how these topics fit together to help explain how complexity arises and evolves in nature, society, and technology. There are no prerequisites. You don’t need a science or math background to take this introductory course; it simply requires an interest in the field and the willingness to participate in a hands-on approach to the subject.

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Nonlinear Dynamics: Mathematical and Computational Approaches
Starts: Sep 29, Length 6 Weeks

This course provides a broad introduction to the field of nonlinear dynamics, focusing both on the mathematics and the computational tools that are so important in the study of chaotic systems. The course is aimed at students who have had at least one semester of college-level calculus and physics, and who can program in at least one high-level language.

With so many great courses starting in September, however will you choose?  Whichever you decide to take, remember to update your Accredible Learning Profile.

Spotlight: MRUniversity

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Tyler Cowan and Alex Tabarrok, economic professors from George Mason University, launched MRUniversity to offer education that is better, cheaper and easier to access.  Courses offered consist of multiple, short videos that allow you to watch between tasks.  Have 6 minutes to spare on the bus/train/subway?  You could watch a video and still have 30 seconds to spare!

In a neat and unusual twist, some of the content is crowd-sourced!  Students are encouraged to vote for the next lot of content or to suggest new material.  Instructors are encouraged to create a flipped economics classroom – using class time to drive discussions, explanations and interactions while the videos are watched at home as “homework”. Best of all – the courses are free!

This month we will focus on three courses offered by MRUniversity.

Everyday Economics

What role does economics play in your day-to-day life? You might be surprised to find that economics is a big part of nearly everything you do! Everyday Economics explores just that — how the “big ideas” from economics relate to everyday topics.

Even if you have never stayed awake through an entire economics class in your life, you need to watch “The Hockey Stick of Human Prosperity” Video.  In 4 mins and 54 seconds, you will have a new appreciation for economics and it’s role in the world.  Trust me – I fell asleep in every 8:30AM economics class…with these videos, I just wanted to learn more!

Economics of Media

In the Information Age, media is everywhere. This course will help you make sense of it all, providing insight into the structure of media firms, the nature of their products and how they make money.
Is media biased? Is consolidation of media companies bad for consumers? This course will address those questions as well as how the government affects the structure of media through policies such as net neutrality, copyright, TV regulation, and spectrum allocation. This course will provide a general background on the research from economists on media and journalism. There will be a lot of economics and not too much math.

The American Housing Finance System

The course is intended for people who would like a deeper understanding of the American housing finance system. The focus will be on providing necessary background knowledge rather than on evaluating specific policy proposals. Near the end of the course, participants will be encouraged to bring up policy issues and to discuss them in light of the information presented.  Special emphasis will be placed on two factors. One is mortgage analytics, which means the measurement and modeling of default risk and interest-rate risk from the standpoint of the lender. A second factor is business process and industry structure, which means describing the tasks involved in mortgage lending and characterizing the firms that perform each task.

 

There you have it – three economics courses that will keep you awake and interested this month.  Which will you sign up for?  Don’t forget to update your Learners Profile!

Around the World in 62 Days: Day 52-56

Around the World in 62 Days

Tere tulemast!  ÜdvözletЛаскаво просимо!  Welcome!

All summer we have been travelling the world, and celebrating the national and independence days of each country as they have happened.  If you have missed any of the events, you can learn more here.  This week we are jetting off to celebrate Independence Day in Afghanistan, Hungary, Estonia, Ukraine and Uruguay – this is bound to be an exciting week!

 

August 19

Afghanistan

200px-Flag_of_Afghanistan.svgAfghanistan is officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,  a landlocked country located in Central and South Asia that is bordered by PakistanIranTurkmenistanUzbekistan, and Tajikistan, and China.  Through the ages the land has been home to various peoples and witnessed many military campaigns, notably by Alexander the Great, Arab Muslims, Genghis Khan, and in the modern-era by Western powers.  In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the “Great Game” between British India and the Russian Empire.  Afghan Independence Day is celebrated in Afghanistan on 19 August to commemorate the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919. The treaty granted complete independence from Britain; although Afghanistan was never a part of the British Empire. The British fought three wars with Afghanistan.

 

August 20

Hungary

Flag_of_Hungary.svgHungary is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by SlovakiaUkraine, RomaniaSerbia, Croatia,  Slovenia and Austria. On August 20th, each year since 1000 AD, Hungary has celebrated St. Stephen‘s Day, named after their first king and the day of the Foundation of Hungary and “the day of the new bread”. St. Stephen of Hungary (ca. 975 – 15 August 1038), led the country into the Christian church and established the institutions of the kingdom and the church. Celebrated with a half-hour fireworks display on the bank of the Danube in the evening, which is attended by many people on both river banks and is watched by many from the hills on the Buda side of the river.

Estonia

200px-Flag_of_Estonia.svgEstonia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe and is bordered by the Gulf of Finland, the Baltic Sea, Latvia, Lake Peipus and Russia.  Across the Baltic Sea lies Sweden and Finland in the north.  In March 1991 a referendum was held on the issue of independence from the USSR. This was somewhat controversial, as holding a referendum could be taken as signalling that Estonian independence would be established rather than “re”-established, but the referendum produced a strong endorsement for independence.  On 20 August 1991 the Russian 76th Guards Air Assault Division arrived in Tallinn and volunteers organized protection of Toompea and the television broadcast tower. On The Popular Front of Estonia organized a rally in Freedom Square which called for the independence of Estonia. That same day, late in the evening, the Supreme Council of Estonia, along with the leadership of the Estonian Committee agreed an “On the independence of the Estonian state and the establishment of the Constitutional Assembly”, thus proclaiming the restoration of Estonian independence.

Ukraine

Flag_of_Ukraine.svgUkraine borders RussiaBelarusPolandSlovakia, HungaryRomania, Moldova, the Black Sea and Sea of Azov.  On 19 August 1991, conservative Communist leaders of the Soviet Union tried to restore central Communist party control over the USSR. In response, the Supreme Soviet (parliament) of the Ukrainian SSR in a special Saturday session overwhelmingly approved the Act of Declaration. On 24 August, the parliament called for a referendum on support for the Declaration of Independence. In the independence referendum on 1 December 1991, the people of Ukraine expressed widespread support for the Act of Declaration of Independence, with more than 90% voting in favor, and 82% of the electorate participating. Since 1992, the 24th of August is celebrated in Ukraine as Independence Day.

August 25

Uruguay

200px-Flag_of_Uruguay.svgUruguay, officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, is a country in the southeastern region of South America. It is bordered by Argentina and Brazil with the Atlantic Ocean to the south and southeast.  Uruguay remained largely uninhabited until the establishment of Colonia del Sacramento, one of the oldest European settlements in the country, by the Portuguese in 1680.  In 1816 a force of 10,000 Portuguese troops invaded the Banda Oriental from Brazil; they took Montevideo in January 1817. After nearly four more years of struggle Portuguese Brazil annexed the Banda Oriental as a province under the name of “Cisplatina”. The Brazilian Empire became independent from Portugal in 1822. In response to the annexation, the Thirty-Three Orientals, led by Juan Antonio Lavalleja, declared independence on 25 August 1825 supported by the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata (present-day Argentina). This led to the 500-day-long Cisplatine War. Neither side gained the upper hand and in 1828 the Treaty of Montevideo, fostered by the United Kingdom, gave birth to Uruguay as an independent state.

 

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

 

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

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Join us next week when we visit Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Moldova and more!

Make music with MOOCs!

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History of Rock, Part Two

  • Offered by Coursera
  • 31 August 2014 to 12 October 2014 
  • Estimated Workload: 2-4 hours/week

This course covers rock in the US from the early 70s to early 90s, including punk and disco, the rise of MTV, heavy metal and hip hop. It is taught by John Covach, who has co-edited numerous books on the subject and also plays guitar around the US and Europe. You can also take Part One (self-paced, class already completed) here.

World Music

  • Offered by Open2Study
  • 11 August 2014 to 9 September 2014

This class helps you discover the music outside the everyday tunes heard in the media. Using basic musical elements (melody, rhythm, etc), your musical palette will be expanded. Taught by David Salisbury, a professor at James Cook University who has studied the musical traditions of West Sumatra.

Songwriting

  • Offered by Coursera
  • 13 October 2014 to 24 November 2014
  • Estimated Workload: 6-8 hours/week

This class teaches an effective yet efficient process to write songs. This isn’t Professor Pat Pattison’s first online class, and he has also written many books on songwriting. His former students include John Mayer and Gillian Welch.

Survey of Music Tech

  • Offered by Coursera
  • 6 October 2014 to 17 November 2014
  • Estimated Workload: 5-7 hours/week

In this class, you will create music using digital audio software, develop your own software, and learn about the history of music production tools. Professor Jason Freeman is also a composer and computer musician, and uses technology (mobile music, networks and others) to create collaborative musical experiences.

Tweet us which of these looks most interesting to you!

Happy Learning,

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How to Become a Guardian of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy

After a fantastic opening earlier this month with great critical reviews as the cherry on top, Guardians of the Galaxy proved to be a win for Marvel.  Of course, being the superhero nerd I am, I went and saw it opening night.  Superhero-Nerd-Me loved the action, tech, and comedy while E-Learning-Nerd-Me spent the entire movie whispering loudly to my poor friend (and everyone within a 4 seat radius) that Star-Lord is a total autodidact!

Just as a quick reminder, autodidacts are fabulously awesome people who love learning and teaching themselves new things.  Star-Lord probably turned to autodidactism more out of necessity than a pure love of learning, but he still dances to sweet ’80s music and refers to ‘The Legend of Kevin Bacon’ from Footloose – so he retains the awesome factor, in my opinion.  Check out these instances that proved Star-Lord AKA Peter Quill caught the autodidact bug.

 

 

Musical Tech Prowess

Depositphotos_9262656_xs26 years after being abducted from Earth as a child by ‘space pirates’, Peter still listens to music on the same
walkman from the same audio cassette with the same headphones.  It is probably safe to assume that in all his struggles and travels from planet to planet, Peter’s beloved music system broke down from time to time.  Considering that he likely didn’t have contact with too many Earthlings, he had to figure out how to fix everything himself.  The key words here being: ‘figure out how’.  Plus, I don’t know of any battery from the ’80s that would still have enough juice to power a tape player after 26 years – so Peter probably had to engineer a replacement power source on his own.  Conclusion: Autodidact.

Bonus:  Peter’s ship, The Milano, had a cassette player and speakers installed.  Considering we don’t make extraterrestrial spaceships here on Earth (at least not to the knowledge of us ordinary folks), he probably installed that himself too.

 

The Ultimate Linguist

Here on Planet Earth, we have hundreds of different languages – sometimes dozens within the same country.  Unless every being on every planet except Earth exclusively speaks English, there were probably several different languages that Peter had to learn in order to jump from world to world and continue to communicate with ease.  Considering the fact that he grew up around pirates, there probably weren’t too many maternal figures or teachers around to teach Peter – which means that he largely picked that up on his own too.

When he left Earth, Peter was definitely more than 8 or 9 years old – well past the threshold where humans can pick up languages extremely rapidly.  The fact that he picked them up so well at his age points to his fantastic self learning skills as well.

 

So You Think You Can Dance?

Well you don’t have much on Star-Lord, the Amazing Dancing Alien!  Kids don’t have fully developed motor skills – that’s a well known fact that explains why kids are usually not the best dancers.  That’s also why it is so extraordinary that Peter left Earth as a child, didn’t have access to Terran movies or culture, but picked up how allguardiansmovieto dance (albeit ’80s style) completely on his own based solely on 26-year-old memories.  He beat his ultimate nemesis in the movie by distracting him through a dance off !

Imagine what he would have been able to do on Earth with access to a dance teacher and pop culture.  Granted, becoming known as a Guardian of the Galaxy is a pretty cool title, but the Next Michael Jackson would have been pretty spectacular too.

 

If you think Star-Lord is an ultimate autodidact, check out Groot!  He learned to dance as a baby:

Images from: Marvel Comics and Marvel Cinematic Universe
http://marvel.com/guardians

 

 

 

Around the World in 62 Days: Day 43-49

Around the World in 62 Days

 “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” ~ Aldous Huxley

 

We’ve made it to days 43-49!  When we finish this week, we will have visited over 51% of all countries in the world! If you’ve missed any of our earlier journeys, you can catch up here, here, here, here, here and here!  We are in for a busy week! Hang on to your hat as we take off around the world to places like South Korea, Gabon, Indonesia and Bahrain!


August 13

 

 

Central African Republic

200px-Flag_of_the_Central_African_Republic.svgThe Central African Republic is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by ChadSudanSouth Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo and Cameroon. What is known today as the Central African Republic has been inhabited for thousands of years, however, the country’s current borders were established by France.  France ruled the country as a colony starting in the late 19th century until the Central African Republic gained independence in 1960.  Subsequently,  the Central African Republic was ruled by a series of autocratic leaders; by the 1990s, calls for democracy led to the first multi-party democratic elections in 1993.

 

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Pakistan

200px-Flag_of_Pakistan.svgPakistan is a sovereign country in South Asia. Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre (650 mi) coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman, and is bordered by IndiaAfghanistan, Iran and China. It is separated from Tajikistan by Afghanistan’s narrow Wakhan Corridor in the north, and also shares a marine border with Oman. Ruled by many empires and dynasties over the centuries, it was most recently a part of the British Empire.  After a struggle for independence, Pakistan was created in 1947 as an independent nation for Muslims from the regions in the east and west of Subcontinent where there was a Muslim majority. Initially a dominion, Pakistan adopted a new constitution in 1956, becoming an Islamic republic. A civil war in 1971 resulted in the secession of East Pakistan as the new country of Bangladesh. The post-independence history of Pakistan has been characterised by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with neighbouring India.

 

August 15

India

200px-Flag_of_India.svgIndia, officially the Republic of India is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, and the Bay of Bengal, it shares land borders with PakistanChinaNepalBhutan,  Burma and Bangladesh. India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia. India was gradually annexed by and brought under the administration of the British East India Company from the early 18th century. The United Kingdom administered India directly from the mid-19th century. In 1947, India became an independent nation after a struggle for independence that was marked by non-violent resistance led by Mahatma Gandhi. Vital to India’s self-image as an independent nation was its constitution, completed in 1950, which put in place a secular and democratic republic. In the 60 years since, India has had a mixed record of successes and failures.  It has remained a democracy with civil liberties, an activist Supreme Court, and a largely independent press.

Liechtenstein

200px-Flag_of_Liechtenstein.svgLiechtenstein, is a doubly landlocked alpine country and a microstate in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland and Austria.  With an area of just over 160 square kilometres (62 square miles), and  an estimated population of 35,000,  Liechtenstein has the highest gross domestic product per person in the world when adjusted by purchasing power parity.  Liechtenstein Day celebrates Hans-Adam II formally turning the power of making day-to-day governmental decisions over to his son, Alois Philipp Maria,  to preparing for the transition to a new generation.  The Prince hosts an open day at his castle on the 15th of August every year where guests are treated to local drinks, delicacies, and the opportunity to meet and mingle with the Princely Family itself. Later that night the castle is lit up by an elaborate projection system and a world class fireworks display and street fair goes on late into the night.

Republic of the Congo

200px-Flag_of_the_Republic_of_the_Congo.svgThe Republic of the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa, bordered by GabonCameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Angolan exclave of Cabinda.  The region was dominated by Bantu-speaking tribes, who built trade links leading into the Congo River basin. Congo-Brazzaville was formerly part of the French colony of Equatorial Africa. Upon independence in 1960, the former colony of French Congo became the Republic of the Congo. The People’s Republic of the Congo was a Marxist-Leninist single-party state from 1970 to 1991. Multi-party elections have been held since 1992, although a democratically elected government was ousted in the 1997 Republic of the Congo Civil War.

South Korea

Flag_of_South_Korea.svgSouth Korea is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. It shares land borders with North Korea, and oversea borders with China and Japan.  Korea became part of the Japanese Empire in 1910 and after its defeat in 1945, Korea was divided into Soviet and U.S. zones of occupation, with the latter becoming the Republic of Korea in 1948. Although the United Nations passed a resolution declaring the Republic to be the only lawful government of Korea, a communist regime was soon set up in the North that invaded the South in 1950, leading to the Korean War that ended de facto in 1953, with peace and prosperity settling-in thereafter.

Bahrain

200px-Flag_of_Bahrain.svgBahrain is a small island country situated near the western shores of the Persian Gulf.  Bahrain is relatively close geographically with Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Qatar.  Following a period of Arab rule, Bahrain was occupied by the Portuguese in 1521, who in turn were expelled in 1602 by Shah Abbas I of the Safavid empire. In 1783, the Bani Utbah clan captured Bahrain from the Qajars and has since been ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family, with Ahmed al Fateh as Bahrain’s first hakim.In the late 1800s, following successive treaties with the British, Bahrain became a protectorate of the United Kingdom. In 1971, Bahrain declared independence. Formerly a state, Bahrain was declared a Kingdom in 2002. Since early 2011, the country has experienced sustained protests and unrest inspired by the regional Arab Spring, particularly by the majority Shia population.

 

August 16

Dominican Republic

Flag_of_the_Dominican_Republic.svgThe Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western three-eighths of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti. The Taíno people inhabited what is now the Dominican Republic since the 7th century. Christopher Columbus landed on the island in 1492, and it became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, namely Santo Domingo, the country’s capital and Spain’s first capital in the New World.  After three centuries of Spanish rule, with French and Haitian interludes, the country became independent in 1821. The ruler, José Núñez de Cáceres, intended that the Dominican Republic be part of the nation of Gran Colombia, but he was quickly removed by the Haitian government and “Dominican” slave revolts. Victorious in the Dominican War of Independence in 1844, Dominicans experienced mostly internal strife over the next 72 years, and also a brief return to Spanish rule. Spain controlled the Dominican Republic until 1863. The Dominicans started the war in Santiago to restore the independence from Spanish rule. On August 16, 1965, Spain ended its occupation and Dominican independence was established.

 

August 17
Gabon

Flag_of_Gabon.svgGabon, is a sovereign state on the west coast of Central Africa. Located on the equator, Gabon is bordered by Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, the Republic of the Congo, and the Gulf of Guinea. The first political party to surface in the Gabonese was founded  to improve educational opportunities for the native people. The hopes for gaining freedom strengthened in 1958, when Gabon voted for autonomous status within the French community. The French authorities finally agreed to grant Gabon its sovereignty in July 1960, and a month later on August 17, 1960, the Gabonese Republic was born. Gabonese Independence Day is the celebration of the historic moment, when the independent nation of Gabon was formed. The people of Gabon commemorate this day each year with traditional dance programs, drum shows, and parades. Like many other countries the Independence Day is a national holiday in Gabon.

Indonesia

200px-Flag_of_Indonesia.svgIndonesia is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia and Oceania. The country shares land borders with Papua New GuineaEast Timor, and Malaysia. Other neighboring countries include Singapore, the Philippines, AustraliaPalau, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders brought the now-dominant Islam, while European powers brought Christianity and fought one another to monopolize trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II. The Proclamation of Indonesian Independence was read at 10.00 a.m. on Friday, August 17, 1945. The declaration marked the start of the diplomatic and armed-resistance of the Indonesian National Revolution, fighting against the forces of the Netherlands and pro-Dutch civilians, until the latter officially acknowledged Indonesia’s independence in 1949.  Indonesia’s history has since been turbulent, with challenges posed by natural disasters, corruption, separatism, a democratization process, and periods of rapid economic change.

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

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

 

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Join us next week when we head off to Afghanistan, Hungary, Estonia and more!

Open2Study Courses Starting Soon

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Starting on August 11th, 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.

 

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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.

THE ART OF DRAWING AND PAINTING - Learn the fundamentals of colour theory and application using a variety of media and hands on techniques.

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.  Share your selections in the comments below!

News & Views Roundup (Week of 7/28 – 8/6)

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News

Udacity has finished and released their course on Developing Android Apps! Check it out here! In addition, you can now access the coaching, projects and verified certificate that comes with the full Udacity experience when you take either their Intro to Parallel Programming, Intro to the Design of Everyday ThingsSoftware Debugging, or Interactive 3D Graphics classes.

The Coursera World Cup competition has finished and the top three countries were Singapore, Ireland and Australia. Way to go! Check out all the statistics from it.

edX recently had its first Indian business school partner join! Read about the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore’s partnership and plans with the platform here.

Swati, one of our writers, gives her tips in the Open2Study blog on how to use MOOCs to spice up your job if it’s not as exciting as you would like.

Self-directed Learning

The Coursera class on Learning How to Learn just started, and in honor of that class, Coursera’s blog has 10 Bad Rules of Studying. They include things like passive reading, not investigating solutions, trying to study while distracted, and many more.

If you learn on edX and would like to share your story, you can! Read and submit stories to the Tumblr blog edX Learner Stories.

Learn about the many ways to interact during your classes with your MOOC professors in this Iversity post.

What is Team Accredible learning?

Programming is a growing field with lots of demand for talent. As such, there’s no question as to why in the past few years more and more bootcamps and online courses emerged and have continued to do so! Check out our roundup of Treehouse‘s offerings. Starting with a 2 week free trial, these short, interactive courses are an excellent way to get your feet wet with programming.

Around the World in 62 Days continues with Days 36-42! Featuring 3 countries in South America, this week’s look at countries celebrating their independence isn’t one to miss.

Check out these three edX courses starting soon! Thermodynamics, Linux and Immunology are what’s in stock next month!

Mahatma Gandhi: Learning by Doing

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After researching autodidacts for weeks, a trend has become quite apparent – often, these self learners start out performing poorly in school and formal education.  They then begin teaching themselves what they love and go on to be geniuses.  Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, Leonardo da Vinci – and Mahatma Gandhi.

 

Humble Beginnings

It is difficult to imagine that the pacifist who strategically and very intelligently inspired an entire nation was a poor student.  Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was exactly that as a child.  More enamored by sports and games, his performance in school was mediocre at best with his only real strength in English class.

This may have been what inspired him to study law (on his family’s insistence) in England.  Gandhi never became a great lawyer due to his inability to interact cooly with witnesses, particularly during cross examination.  His profession eventually took him to South Africa, however, where perhaps his true education began.

 

Education to Inspiration

While Gandhi always had a passive interest in politics and ethics, he never became truly passionate about them until his time in South Africa.  In the late 1800s, South Africa entered a period of drastic change with its Civil Rights movement.  Gandhi had arrived to serve as a legal representative for some Indian traders in the country, but law was soon forgotten as he began to witness the turmoil unfolding around him.

By this point, Gandhi had spent his time in London focusing less on Law and more on reading texts that interested him and began to form what would become his later stance on life – the Bhagvad Gita and the Bible. These texts eventually influenced his perception on the truth and the purpose of life, but more immediately they sensitized him to think deeply about the conflict in South Africa.

The discrimination started with the native Africans in the area, but Indian immigrants weren’t spared either.  Gandhi was even thrown out of a train once for refusing to leave the First Class car and beaten later for refusing to move for a European traveler.

Exposed to discrimination and racism up close as he had never seen it before during his sheltered life in India, Gandhi began to question the rule of the British Empire and its impact on his people back home.  The sizable Indian population in South Africa faced extreme oppression and as he learned and developed as a social reform leader for the Indians in South Africa, Gandhi’s attention already began to shift toward the conditions back home.

 

The Great Spirit

After gaining great acclaim in South Africa for his work for Indians and later the native Africans, Gandhi returned to India with his nationalist reputation and a new vigor to reform the Indian government.  He entered politics and eventually rose as leader of the Indian National Congress, which served as an intense learning period for him as he met some of the greatest minds in India and picked up on the crippling issues throughout the country.

While he believed in Independence from the British Empire, Gandhi also believed strongly that the problems India was facing was largely because of its own people.  Wedges between political parties, the internal oppression caused by the caste system, unethical cultural traditions like child marriage and feminism were issues that he sought to educate Indians about.

What made Gandhi’s efforts so different from others, though, was his utter devotion to ahimsa, or nonviolence – a concept he picked up during his childhood due to exposure to Jainism.  This point combined with his newly pioneered philosophy of Satyagraha (devotion to the truth) touched his ‘students’ in an authentic way that had yet to be achieved.

He performed long term fasts, led peaceful protests, and spread his word to the entire country.  He taught people that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.  He preached the biblical teaching that if someone slaps your right cheek, turn your head to offer them the left – nonviolent aggression.  Advancing his goal of equality by largely decreasing the negativity of the caste system, Gandhi achieved some level of success in the majority of his goals.  He became a national hero and earned the title Mahatma, a Sanskrit term from the roots maha (great) and aatma (spirit).  He literally became The Great Spirit.

 

Although Gandhi didn’t achieve every one of his goals exactly the way he hoped to, he inspired an entire country (one of the largest in the world) to accept change and embrace unity – he did it by learning from his life experiences and spreading his knowledge quickly and efficiently to those around him.  His main strength wasn’t his IQ or ability to devour and apply theory quickly.  It was his ability to learn from the situations around him and find the appropriate solutions for a given problem.  That’s real world experience!