How to Become a Programmer in 9 Weeks: Week 4

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Recap: Follow Me from HTML Illiterate to Professional Programmer

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

 

3 Highs:  

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

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

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

 

3 Lows:  

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

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

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

 

The Immersion:  

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

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

 

Takeaway Advice

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

Featuring World Science U

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

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

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

E=mc2-explication

 

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

 

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

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

Coursera Courses Starting in October

Coursera Starting Soon

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

 

October 1st – 4th

October 5th – 11th

October 12th – 18th

 

October 19th – 25th

 

 

October 26th – 31st

 

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

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

Featuring MR University

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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 two courses offered by MRUniversity.

Development Economics

 

“Why are some countries rich and others poor? This fundamental question has been on the mind of economists since Adam Smith wrote “The Wealth of Nations” in 1776.  This is a full course that covers all the major issues and developments in the field of development economics. Unlike typical college courses, we will take you to the frontier of the discipline, covering recent research as well as more established material.”

 

Great Economists: Classical Economics and its Forerunners

“This course covers the history of economic thought up until the “Marginal Revolution” in the 1870s and features a video for each chapter of Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations.” The videos will answer important questions such as: Who were the first economic thinkers? What are the very origins of economic thought? What did earlier economists understand but has been lost to the modern world? Why is Adam Smith the greatest economist of all time? How did the economic issues of the 18th and 19th centuries shape the thoughts of the classical economists?”

There you have it – two 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!

How to Become a Programmer in 9 Weeks: Week 3

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Recap: Follow Me from HTML Illiterate to Professional Programmer

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

 

3 Highs:  Shortcuts Galore

Bootstrapping EVERYTHING: Bootstrap is an HTML and CSS based front-end framework that saves a ton of time when it comes to laying out a webpage or app.  I’ve been using Bootstrap a lot more this week, which has left more time to work on design aspects and back-end applications.  It is essentially the perfect way to cut out busywork!

Git Init!  Using Git from the terminal can seem unnecessarily involved when I just need to make one update to my GitHub account, but now that my projects are including dozens of files, Git makes file sharing a lot easier.  I won’t say I’m a complete pro at using it yet – merging is still a pain in the neck when my HTML file suddenly has a row of ‘>>>>’ in the head.  I do think, though, I’ll be pretty good by the end of the 9 weeks!

The Front-End:  It seems like everyone is beginning to veer toward the side the like best – front-end or back-end – at this point.  I definitely like learning about the back-end and plan on developing proficiency in the area, but I’ve always been partial to art and design and front-end development makes way for this life-long interest as well.  I’m definitely looking forward to learning more design and UX principles as well!

 

3 Lows:  The Mysterious Errors

Error!  Errors.  Every two seconds.  Literally.  Even my instructor got stuck for a few moments trying to figure out why I kept getting errors in my JavaScript.  This can be extremely irritating when I need to keep up in workshop, but debugging has been a good experience in that if I get the same error enough times, I can remember how to solve the problem myself in the future.  Still, it is pretty frustrating while its happening.

The Terrifying Terminal:  Said Errors generally occur while working in the terminal.  Typing blogs and sentences has become second nature to me over the years, especially with my inclination toward writing, but typing for programming is very different!  We use keys that are rarely used in every-day typing (like ‘ } ‘ and ‘ ` ‘ ), which means that they aren’t engrained in muscle memory yet and my fingers still get clumsy as I type them.  As a result, I make more mistakes which aren’t easily rectified in the terminal; I always have to retype the entire line.

Node is NOT for Newbies: This is actually something that I’ve read in articles often.  I won’t say that Node can’t be learned by baby programmers like myself, but some concepts are a bit harder to grasp and there is a ton of stuff to learn before being able to do the smallest things.  From my understanding, this is the main difference from a language like Ruby.  The big advantage of Node (and really MEAN stack in general), though, is that its all JavaScript.  There is no need to learn a completely different language for different functions, which is pretty powerful when it comes to putting together complex code and learning new things within the stack.

 

The Immersion:  When Sleep Sounds Better than Money

Naps:  I’ve never been the kind of person who can take a short 30-minute nap during the day.  I’m still not – if I fall asleep, I’m out for at least an hour usually.  Naps have become necessary to keep myself going during the day without burning out, though, so I’m definitely getting used to them for now.  I’d like to go back to sustaining myself during the day since I won’t exactly be able to nod off at work half way through a meeting, but for now, I’ll just take whatever amount of sleep I can get!

Dining with Developers:  Food, as usual, is fantastic at Coding House!  Sarah made these amazing street tacos with a mango salsa for lunch one day…they were absolutely delicious.  I’ve made up my mind to fill up a notebook of her recipes as thick as my coding notes before I leave here!

Post-Bootcamp:  I have always been very clear about the fact that being at this bootcamp is a way to put myself in a programming mindset that will allow me to propel myself forward in the learning process during the months following the bootcamp.  I’ve really been working toward preparing for this during the past week by noting down all the things I didn’t fully grasp but don’t have time to go back to since we are moving so quickly.  I’ve also been making a list of related technologies and methodologies that I’m seeing online or the instructors are mentioning so that I can go back to them.  My goal is to spend a year or so after the bootcamp not only working as a programmer to practice and develop my new skills, but also continue to learn on my own rigorously through online tutorials and computer science MOOCs.  Of course, learning will be a life-long process in this career, but the next year will be essential for conquering the learning curve!

 

Takeaway Advice

  • Just because something seems annoying or useless, doesn’t mean its time to give up on it.  Practice with it for a bit.  Chances are, the technology is popular for a reason and you’ll end up loving it too.
  • Don’t let yourself be overcome by errors and mistakes.  Accuracy will come with time and practice!
  • Be realistic about your learning expectations.  Learning to be a proficient programmer in 9 weeks is frankly not realistic.  However, it is within your reach to learn how to learn programming, which is immensely valuable in its own right.

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.

universiteplus east west

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!