Posts

Re:Purposed Art: A Parallel to Online Learning?

Lisa invited me to the Re:Purposed Exhibit at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota last week. I was delighted to have the chance to go.

The exhibit features ten artists who take discarded refuse from bottle caps to plastic bottles to faded pink flamingos to crocheted tams and audio cassette tapes to make art. According to the exhibition book, the artists’ first motivation is not to recycle or make a political statement about waste in society but to offer perspectives on issues of identity, record “time and changing circumstances”, and build spaces that co-locate “dance, performance art, community organization, and environmental activism.”[1] Little of this was immediately apparent to me! But the exhibition guide had interviews with the artists that helped me appreciate each composition more than I could have on my own. Read more

5 Steps: Tear down those cubicle walls and unleash the genius within!

We all have our rituals. On Sunday, mine is putting laundry in the washer, getting something hot or cold to drink (weather and season dependent), and then reading the New York Times online. I may have moved to Maine almost 30 years ago, but I am still a New York girl at heart!

As I was performing this ritual last week, an article jumped out at me as certainly germane to the Women’s Learning Studio blog posts for the last several weeks on learning with others online.

It caught my attention just because of the title: The End of Genius, an opinion piece by Joshua Wolf Shenk. He begins the piece with: “…the lone genius is a myth that has outlived its usefulness. Fortunately, a more truthful model is emerging: the creative network, as with the crowd-sourced Wikipedia or the writer’s room at “The Daily Show” or — the real heart of creativity — the intimate exchange of the creative pair, such as John Lennon and Paul McCartney and myriad other examples with which we’ve yet to fully reckon.” He gives examples of how genius morphed from everyone having genius within (pre 16th century) to solo creator after the Renaissance. Read more

Entrepreneurs Find Super-Powers Learning Online

Entrepreneurs  are natural wayfinders.  They puzzle through mazes to emerge with new answers to old problems and pursue their dreams of achieving impact wherever they are.  They might be in a job, self-employed, working in their own or someone else’s business, or volunteering to expertly serve their communities.

We like to believe that entrepreneurs possess Superman-like speed, vision, strength, and ability to keep getting back up when knocked down by forces (or fears?) that keep many of us doing the same-old thing far too long.

Entrepreneurial super-powers might be debatable, but one thing isn’t.  In this digitally networked era, the most successful wayfinders will connect to ideas and people on the internet to learn; find their way; apply learning; and draw maps for others to follow. Net-savvy entrepreneurs recognize that working must involve learning in order to improve performance and succeed in the long-term. And they realize that most learning opportunities online are free.

Read more

Directory

Venture Lab – Stanford University

From its website

Venture Lab is one of the primary platforms used by Stanford University to offer free online courses. Venture Lab’s philosophy is to make online courses more fun and engaging by making them more experiential, interactive, and collaborative. On our platform, you will not only have access to lectures by Stanford professors, but you will also be able to form teams with people around the world and work on projects that have an impact.

Our first class on technology entrepreneurship attracted around 40,000 students from over a hundred and fifty countries. We are thrilled to offer more courses across a wide range of academic disciplines, and we invite you to join Venture Lab today!

Summary

The Venture Lab at Stanford University offers courses on entrepreneurship, creativity, finance, technological entrepreneurship, and new learning environment design among others. One of the courses that educators and other curious learners might want to consider enrolling in is on Designing a New Learning Environment. Instructor Paul Kim, Chief Technology Officer and Assistant Dean, for the School of Education, Stanford University will teach the class in 2013.  He invites us all to ponder these questions in the course description.

What constitutes learning in the 21st century? Should reading, watching, memorizing facts, and then taking exams be the only way to learn? Or could technology (used effectively) make learning more interactive, collaborative, and constructive? Could learning be more engaging and fun?

TU Delft OpenCourseware

From its website

…largest and most comprehensive university of engineering sciences in the Netherlands. TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality.

Summary

It is a member of the United States OpenCourseware Consortium.  See explanation below:

Delft University of Technology has joined the OpenCourseWare Consortium in offering the world free access to certain course content online. TU Delft OpenCourseWare (OCW) seeks to capitalize on the potential of the internet to eliminate borders and geographic distance as obstacles to the instantaneous exchange of knowledge and new ideas. Unlike distance learning programs that charge tuition, provide formal instruction and limit participation, OpenCourseWare offers all course materials free to everyone with online access. Educators from around the world may upgrade their classes; students may enhance their coursework or pursue self study; the general public may glimpse the depth and breadth of what leading universities are offering and benefit from reading lists and lectures.

Rector  Magnificus Prof. ir. Karel Luyben also explains U Delft’s mission:

U Delft is dedicated to making a significant contribution to finding responsible solutions to societal problems, at both national and international levels.  Our mission is to deliver Science to Society.  OpenCourseWare is an important way to spread our mission around the world. 

It offers courses from high school to master’s degree college level programs.

TrainingDirectoryUK.com

From its website

  • Network of 5000+ UK training providers offering 37,000+ UK courses covering 100,s of course subjects
  • 16+ years of experience in the UK training industry helps us to help you find the training courses you need
  • We search and email you training course quotes to review and compare course prices
  • If you want to proceed then we can book training course for you

Summary

These courses are fee-based with many of them categorized as “distance education”  or “e learning” meaning they are offered online.  Many rely on tests to demonstrate mastery in an area such as “safe food handling” for servers, cooks, etc. and offer certificates of completion to meet regulatory requirements.  Note:  these courses convey standards used in the United Kingdom and may not transfer to practices regulated in other countries.  They also offer management and train the trainer courses of different lengths, from one hour webinars to 3-4 month long courses.

Skillshare

From its website

Skillshare is a global learning community where you can learn real-world skills from real people … Learn real-world skills from anyone, anywhere. We power thousands of creative, collaborative classes on everything from programming to design to crafts.

Have knowledge to share?

Summary

Skillshare’s manifesto video titled “The Future Belongs to the Curious,” is a premise for living well that we subscribe to at the WLStudio, too.

Skillshare’s weekly email updates its current offerings in a wide range of interests: art, branding, crafts, culinary, design, DIY, entrepreneurship, extracurricular, fashion and style, film and video, music, performance, photography, social good, technology, and writing.

The teachers charge fees for classes. For instance, a one week online class by Jennifer Barbour in March 2013 on How to Write Blog Posts that Build a Community cost $10. Another one week online class by Pei Ketron on Make Your Photos Pop:  Intro to Photo Editing through Adobe Lightroom is $20.  A highly endorsed two week class by Dan Kozikowski on Pull Your Own Data:  An Introduction to SQL is $20.  Yet another interesting option in April 2013 was a class on drinking wine–Get Wine-Smart:  Stop Thinking & Start Drinking by John Boyer, a geography professor at Virginia Tech.  He charged $15 for the two weeks.  By the end you would have presumably consumed a lot of wine and written a blog series about it.  Here is his wine-in-mouth justification for taking the course:

Why would we take this class? Will it help us advance in our career? Will it provide us with all of the foundational knowledge we need, and more?

Ummm…yes, yes, and yes. In today’s world, drinking wine is not just part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, but it is a life skill, a business skill, and a language in and of itself that by being fluent in it, affords you access to the ‘cultured club’: the cosmopolitan, educated, successful, cultured, and classy peeps…and isn’t that we all aspire to become?

 

Lynda.com

Summary

Lynda.com advertises more than 1,617 courses with more being added frequently. The courses focus on software, creative design, and business skills. The courses last 1+ hours in length (many are between 2-3 hours in length but may be more than 8+hours) and are delivered in a video format.  Each course has a detailed Table of Contents that provides topics and time allotted for each, making the courses very handy for quick referencing.

Each course features a few topics available for guests to open and view at no charge.  For instance, WordPress is hugely popular as a blog site/web site design app.  One course titled WordPress Essential Training taught by Morten Rand-Hendriksen was updated in December 2012 to explain the new aspects of WordPress 3.x.  A visitor to Lynda.com may click on certain clips to view the topical content one-time.  Then the viewable clips are closed to playback.

Another valuable course shows learners how to set up Audacity, a free audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and start recording live audio. The one hour-46 minute course consists of four major sections:  Getting Started, Recording, Basic Editing, and Common Tasks.  Within each section, certain elements are viewable.

Lynda.com is available FREE for a seven-day trial basis.  Subscriptions start at $25 a month or $250 a year. Subjects, software, and authors of courses are organized in alphabetic indices, making it easy to cruise through to see what they have.