As an educator, I felt obligated to try a Massive Open Online Class, the latest fad. When I heard that Canvas is offering MOOCs at https://www.canvas.net/ I decided this would provide an opportunity to sample both a MOOC and the popular open-source Canvas Learning Management System.
Jowever, the Canvas MOOCs that interested me in January 2013 were all Full. In fact almost every class was Full. This seemed strange because MOOCs are supposed to accommodate tens of thousands of students. I heard later that Canvas may be limiting the number to about 500 per class. Another possibility is that some of them had simply not opened up.
The only class I saw that was accepting enrollees was Gender in Comics. Aargh. I haven’t read comic books since I was in junior high school and I generally do not think gender is of much importance in much of life. However, I wanted to get into a MOOC so I registered figuring I could always drop the class before it started.
Today is March 22 and I received some instructions about the class including a list of about 50 comics students are expected to buy and read. This is interesting because there has been some flack about MOOC providers requiring students to buy materials. I happen to think it’s a great idea and that it may be a way for Open Doors Group to get some sales of its Project Management Skills for All Careers Book.
However, looking at the comics and the class requirements — 3 to 4 hours/week including attending online lectures and even creating a comic book. No thanks! I’m too busy. Also, I am 100% convinced I will disagree with almost everything the instructor says.
Still, I keep hearing that we boomers are stuck in our ways and not in tune with current culture. So I decided to take the plunge. I can always drop out. Also MOOCs have no grades or credit so, theoretically, I do not have to put in the time. That is, of course, only theory. Decades of trying to get an A+ in every class (certainly not succeeding) means that I will put in the time. Other work will get pushed aside.
So I ordered the first week’s three comics, paying a little over $12 for versions that can be read on various pads (I do not own one) and on the web. The first 2 or 3 weeks are current comics. Later in the course, we will look at comics I remember: Superman and Wonder Woman. The ones I liked (Archie, Katie Keene) are not there.
The instructor cited several sources for the comics; I chose comixology. It provides a Flash reader that has multiple modes to view. Then I plunged in. The first book is a series. It is much like a soap opera or a chick flick. All about relationships; almost no action or plot or careers. However, it is still a page-turner. Boy A loves Girl B who loves Girl C (who loves Girl B but not that way) who loves Boy D who only loves himself.
ORGANIZATIONAL HEALING with career coach Ivan Temes
(includes some references to career search)
Tuesday, April 19, 7:30 p.m.
Call to reserve a space (FREE)
(650) 988 9800
East West Bookstore
324 Castro St., Mountain View
– Build a foundation of TRUST
– Turn Fear into Productivity; Bring forth creative ideas
– Increase Loyalty at all levels
– Have your customers go WOW!
Learn how to QUICKLY:
– Embody Compassionate Leadership
– Implement an environment of appreciation and results
– Ensure Positive Attitudes and Teamwork
– Show that you CARE and TAKE ACTION
Ivan Temes, Founder of Leadership and Loyalty, has coached thousands at career centers, shelters and universities and works with military veterans to gain employment. He also directed customer care worldwide and his book ‘Care You Have the Power’ includes inspiring examples from CEO’s, employees, Steve Young and many others.Â Â www.ivantemes.com
My friend Lynne Mercer is offering an outstanding Palo Alto home at a rock-bottom price:
To all my friends, colleagues, readers, and anyone lucky enough to see this message: Happy New Year!
2011 should be a great year — the economy is picking up, the Giants won the world series, and the sun is shining.
Bill Buxton won the Best Services business model contest at Santa Clara University for an open textbook idea.
I am proud to be part of the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement.Â The philosophy behind the movement is that intellectual creations should be widely shared with credit to the creators. The open licensing of these creations is made possible by intellectual property rights, not a threat to those rights.
The difficulty with OER is the business model. So far the international community has not succeeded in creating sustainable production and cash flows similar to those achieved by the open source software movement.
I propose Viable Intellectual Resources (VIR) as a new term and a new business model.
Viable: because the model must produce and maintain high quality materials (and because the word ‘sustainable’ has been claimed by the environmentalists).
Intellectual: to tie the term and the business model back to intellectual property and because ‘educational’ is too narrow and ‘digital’ is too broad.
The heart and soul of VIR are creation communities.Â These organisms are made up of the creators of high quality intellectual materials: authors, photographers, illustrators, editors, copy editors, technologists, project managers, designers, and others.
The basis for the business model is very-high-volume, very-low-price as in The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid by University of Michigan Professor C.K. Prahalad.
Viable Intellectual Resources are community-sourced by named experts, not crowd-sourced by anonymous amateurs.
The pilot for VIR is an open Project Management textbook; 38 project managers have joined that creation community.
I will be writing much more about VIR in the future.
The Rice University Connexions conference is the highlight of my travels that start today. Connexions is the premier open educational resources repository.
I will also be facilitating open textbook workshops in Orlando January 26, St Petersburg January 28, Ft. Lauderdale February 1, and Houston February 3. Florida community colleges have signed up about 80 open textbook fans and advocate/trainers and Texas is a strong competitor. The Florida Distance LearningÂ Consortium (FDLC) also has an outstanding repository Orange Grove Texts Plus. The FDLC staff deserve all the credit for the high registration. FDLC staffÂ plus people from St. Petersburg and Broward Colleges are providing instructors for the workshops. Houston Community College is doing the same for the Feb 3 workshop.
Creative Expressions has an ongoing art exhibit this month at Mail Street Cafe in Los Altos, California.Â You can drop in any time and see the exhibit. The group is having a reception on Friday, January 15 from 5 – 7 PM.Â I will be there and hope to see you there, too.
My friend Cathy Smithwick, one of the artists, says “The exhibits are of Mandalas that we painted on single sized pizza boxes (they were clean and unused).Â Some of you may have seen the monks in Tibet creating sand mandalas on the grounds of their temples that are swept away and destroyed as soon as they are complete.Â Ours are a bit more permanent, having been painted in acrylics.Â Each one is unique since it is the design of the creator.Â If you happen to go and I am not there, you can find mine.Â It is very colorful and has a circle of dolphins swimming around it.Â There are blues, yellows, reds and, of course, purple in the color scheme. “
Let us all resolve to relate to people in more meaningful ways — an hour with one person is better than 140 characters sent to hundreds. Let us also ask which activities produce lasting value and spend more time on those rather than the ones whose output is fleeting.
John McLaren transformed San Francisco and the Peninsula from an arid treeless semi-desert to a park-like environment that we enjoy daily. The gruff Scot was employed by the estates of San Mateo county and later by the City of San Francisco. Sunset Magazine called him a true master gardener and the highest horticultural authority in the West.
Mandatory retirement at age 70 was waived by the San Francisco city council. McLaren continued his work until his death at the age of 96.
Many people take up gardening in their retirement; McLaren gardened on a grand scale throughout his long adult life and was well-paid for that mastery.