i’m doing this linear algebra mooc because i am incapable of structuring learning for myself right now and i’m really excited about it, i may make some studyblr aesthetic posts soon, get excited

From the size of the ocular cavities and the proportions of the skull, paleobiologists can say, with a fair degree of confidence, that baby dinosaurs were “really cute”.

Yes, that’s a technical term.

Learned at: Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology (Alberta/Coursera)

Extra credit:

How Higher Ed Contributes to Inequality

In 2011, Cornell political scientist Suzanne Mettler highlighted poll results showing a striking phenomenon: About half of the Americans receiving federal assistance in paying college tuition or medical bills believe they have never benefited from a government social program. The results are evidence of what Mettler has termed “the submerged state”—a series of policies, like tuition tax credits or federally-guaranteed student loans, that are practically invisible to citizens. That invisibility, she argues, erodes public support for the very idea of government playing an active role in people’s lives.

Now in a new book, Degrees of Inequality, Mettler reveals how, over the past 60 years, American higher-education policy has gone from being visible and effective (the GI Bill and the Pell grant program) to being invisible and inefficient ($32 billion in federal funding for for-profit colleges with abysmal graduation rates). Congressional polarization along party lines, it turns out, played a major role, as did plummeting federal and state support for four-year public universities.

I spoke with Mettler about why Republicans and reform-minded Democrats switched positions on for-profit colleges; why the liberal arts are underrated and MOOCs (massive open online courses) are overrated; and why corporate lobbyists are able to achieve so much influence in Washington for relatively little money.

Read more. [Image: Butch Dill/AP Photo]

Nearly all the spokespeople and committee members I’ve seen in the press (the library trade press aside) about e-textbook pilot projects come from academic-affairs offices or campus IT, and that worries me.

Preventing the Second Big Deal | Peer to Peer Review

The same is true of the MOOC phenomenon. We need to get librarians in these conversations, and open access in these conversations, before it’s too late.

1) Food. As the first of the laws, food may not be conjured, created or generate in any way shape or form.

2) Money. Similar to food, Money may not be created out of thin air. Contradictory to muggle belief, magical laws governing money prevent it from being created, moved or altered by magic

3) Life. The most prime principle of magic; there is no spell to reawaken the dead.

4) Knowledge. You cannot know something you’ve never heard of. Therefore, as the fourth exception, knowledge can be neither conjured nor generated by magic. Proof of this fact lies in that Aurors are unable to conjure the location of criminals, nor students conjure up the necessary knowledge to pass tests and the sort.

5) Love. The fifth exception is love. “Love Potions” are misleading in that they claim to generate love, however they do in fact only generate a deep sense of lust or desire. There is no way to conjure or generate love – it must be created from within.


The 5 Exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Magic; Transfigurations 101, Lesson 1.

Do You Wanna Go to Hogwarts? Now You Can.

How to educate yourself online for free

A college degree is the adult version of a macaroni painting your parents put on the fridge. Both are trophies valued most by those who hang it up, but one means taking on debt—lifelong debt, as many people in their 50s are still making student loan payments. The problem has pervaded society to the point where calling it a “student loan crisis” is inaccurate because it affects more than students. The price of education is burying the future under bank notes and sending entire families—not just the students attending college—to the poorhouse. 

The most important resource we have is our people. We are wasting our citizens’ lives by not supporting their struggles to advance their education and train for a secure job. We have the tools. They’ve been around for decades. Online learning, credit by examination, evaluation of on-the-job training and academic credit for military service — all of these tools exist and have a proven track record of turning people’s lives around. Is it the snobbery of higher education — and some government leaders — that is grinding the movement to a halt? At a time when our institutions of higher education are being challenged economically and politically like no other time in history, we are faced with the need to better educate more than 60 percent of our current workforce, while simultaneously preparing the next. Instead of debating the strengths and weaknesses of face-to-face instruction over MOOCs (massive open online courses), or other forms of learning, we should embrace both. Remember, there are 93 million people in the workforce today without a degree of any kind.

This was my final assignment for my Coursera Class Learning How To Learn, and I thought I’d share it here. It’s about general study/memorization tips, and a few tips specific to language learning. 

#Coursera #LearningHowToLearn #UCSanDiego #Study tips #Studying #Learning #Languages

Take two and call me in the morning

So just in case you didn’t know about them, there are some pretty fantastic online education resources. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are free online classes from all kinds of institutions and covering all kinds of topics from the humanities to the hard sciences. 

F  R  E  E

edX - courses from MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, UT, Australian Nat’l Uni, TU Delft, Georgetown, McGill, Rice, and more. There’s an awesome one that starts in October called “Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science” co-taught by pro chefs and Harvard

coursera - courses from CalTech, UPenn, Columbia, and Northwestern among dozens. TakeUnderstanding Media by Understanding Google”, it starts in September. Or "Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative", also starts in September.

Udacity - Still suffering from an Orphan Black hangover? Wondering what to do until season 2? Take "Tales from the Genome"  in Fall 2013

Khan Academy - Bad at math? Hate tutors but need extra help? Need a review of physics or macroeconomics? Khan has dozens of self-paced programs with practice sets and personal stats to keep you keeping track and challenged. 

MITs open courseware has dozens of classes with downloadable content. Take "The Challenges of World Poverty"  or "Introduction to Copyright Law"

Saylor - asynchronous self-paced classes, start when you want and take as long as you need. Full programs of study with core courses and electives. Sign up for “History of Technology” with me or "Art of the Islamic World"


Be prepared to bookmark no fewer than twenty classes you want to take, it’s like a candy store but you can EAT ALL THE CANDY FOR FREE. 

This Online Class Wants to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Lots of us have had the same New Year’s resolution for as long as we can remember.  Losing weight, drinking less alcohol, and spending more time with family tend to top New Year’s resolution lists—but they are also among the most commonly broken resolutions. Although about 40 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, only eight percent of us manage to achieve these goals.

Harvard School of Education professors Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey think we need to use a different approach to change. In their upcoming online EdX course, “Unlocking the Immunity to Change: A New Approach to Personal Improvement,” Kegan and Lahey apply their psychological theory that traditional approaches to making changes can ignore the more complicated underlying reasons people behave the way they do. I spoke with Lahey about why change is so difficult, and how her new course could help people overcome the maladaptive assumptions that are getting in their way.

Read more. [Image: Gary Hershorn/Reuters]

Taking Advantage of Free Online Classes

by Reese

The thing that I’ve been hearing most from my friends after they got out of college is that not being in school makes them feel dumb. I kind of understand the feeling. I’m not nerdy enough to constantly want to be in school, but I have to admit that the novelty of being on vacation wears off pretty quickly for me (around the two week mark). By this point, I’ve rotted my brain with television and Netflix, online manga, youtube, and bad literature and my brain feels like mush. Then I start wishing for the classes that just weeks ago I was swearing I’d kill myself over. So I get the whole “my brain feels dumb thing.”

What I don’t get is how people don’t do anything to change this. With all the technological advances in education – which range from phone apps to websites – not being enrolled in an actual school isn’t an excuse anymore.

Keep reading

Consumer confidence

The thing I’m most mystified about currently in terms of the way people talk and think about the internet is the almost total disdain for traditional labor issues. Everything is about economic efficiency and service to the consumer. If something can save you, as a customer, some measure of time or annoyance, it’s worth employees being fired, or working without health insurance, or losing any perks the profession might have provided. This has been most noticeable in the case of the music industry: scratch a comment box about piracy and you’re likely to find some argument that just because you work as a musician doesn’t mean you deserve to get paid for it. since that would inconvenience listeners. But you can see it in the cases of the postal service, the media, and now the educational system, too. In all cases, the hard-fought protections for workers that have been built up are opposed for resulting in a sub-optimal user experience, and so therefore they must be abolished.

This argument is morally untenable from self-identifying leftists, and so the language it’s couched in is one of historical inevitability. You see it clearly in Clay Shirkey’s recent writings about MOOCs and higher education: it’s not so much that online education would be universally better as it is that it’s coming whether we like it or not, and the only possible response is to get out of the way. If you’re limiting your historical scope to the last couple decades, when laissez-faire economics have been the norm and we’re all suspicious of regulations, then maybe that makes sense. But to broaden the scope to the history of the labor movement in general (and all of these things are at least partially labor issues: see, for instance, Amanda Palmer trying to screw over unionized musicians), the idea that workers should have looked at the massive and unavoidable changes wrought by industrialization and said “well, nothing we can do about that, let’s just succumb to its logic” is inconceivable.

The system is changing, as the system is always changing, and we’re negotiating that as best we can. The issue here is that some of those changes are being driven by economic interests hostile to the labor rights of the workers in the current system, and that is the precise point at which we’d want the government to step in - or, at the very least, for an organized movement of those workers to actively resist those changes, rather than simply rolling over and accepting a lower quality of life because the government couldn’t get its shit together to fix the looming problems in higher education, music, or whatever industry we’re disrupting today. It’s a blinkered view. All consumers are also laborers, after all. But despite our deep concern for our rights when we’re occupying one of those roles, we’re utterly dismissive of the rights we might have when occupying the other.

Learning to cook made humanity smarter.  

The invention of cooking allowed the body to use fewer resources in eating and digesting food. The digestive tract shrank, and the brain grew. Primates usually spend half the day chewing tough raw food, but we don’t need to, so early humans could spend the time on other things.

Learned at: A Brief History of Humankind (Hebrew University of Jerusalem/Coursera)

Extra credit: Invention of cooking drove evolution of the human species, new book argues (Harvard Gazette, 2009)

Steven B. Klinsky’s idea is for students to take foundational courses through the online venture edX that would prepare them for College Board examinations in various subjects. Those who pass enough Advanced Placement or College-Level Examination Program tests conceivably would be able to enter college as sophomores. That would cut the price of a bachelor’s degree by a quarter.

“No one should be shut out of education after high school because of tuition cost or lack of access,” Klinsky said. His goal: “to create at least one universally available and tuition-free path toward high quality education for anyone who seeks it.”

“I’m just trying to make the revolution that’s already going on more accessible to more people,” he said.

Men Take Computer Science; Women Take Cooking Classes

MOOCs are education’s enigma. They were once trumpeted as the solution to rising education costs, as the revolution that would engage bored students and reach people around the globe. But low completion rates and poor results have plagued the courses, and now educators are wondering what sort of a role MOOCs will play a role in the future of education.

One way to understand what MOOCs can and cannot do is to look at who is taking them and what they are looking to learn. Coursera completed a demographic survey of over 200,000 of its students last fall, and they recently shared the results with me.

To some extent, the survey disproves the theory that MOOCs would engage disadvantaged, under-educated students. Almost three out of four enrollees are employed full time. Another 5.8 percent is retired. The average Coursera student is 37 years old.

Read more. [Image: Pat Wellenbach/AP Photo]

What's In A MOOC? Online Education Lures Masses With TV-Based Courses

by Ysabel Yates

The rise of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is currently one of the most polarizing topics in education. While online education is nothing new, MOOCs in 2012 rose in prestige with the launch of edX, a joint venture between Harvard and MIT that offers free online courses. Observers see the two academic powerhouses entering the space as a potentially massive disruption to traditional education. EdX now has 29 universities participating, including Cornell, Boston University, and UC Berkeley.

Today, MOOCs are spread out on a number of different platforms and are attracting more participants every day. This popularity comes at a time when steep tuition costs, lingering recession problems and a slump in employment opportunities for recent college graduates have many people weighing a college degree’s value against its price tag.

Of course, MOOCs have their promoters and detractors, and there’s no simple answer to what their place should be alongside traditional education. To get a better handle on what MOOCs are and where they’re going, Txchnologist looks at how these platforms are changing the way education is delivered and consumed.

Keep reading

The $6,600 master’s degree marks an attempt to realize the tantalizing promise of the MOOC movement: a great education, scaled up to the point where it can be delivered for a rock-bottom price. Until now, the nation’s top universities have adopted a polite but distant approach toward MOOCs. The likes of Yale, Harvard, and Stanford have put many of their classes online for anyone to take, and for free. But there is no degree to be had, even for those who ace the courses. Education writer and consultant Tony Bates recently noted that until top institutions begin putting a diploma behind their MOOCs, “we have to believe that they think that this is a second class form of education suitable only for the unwashed masses.”
Thanks for the feedback!

Got some great feedback in a short amount of time! Just to share a bit of my plans with you all, I am looking into taking the next step forward with the blog and my art history passion. Up until now I have been maintaining the blog and having one to one tutoring sessions with students around the world. 

I would like to move forward to design my own courses (I have before but just not for art history). I do not know what the pricing and process will be just yet, I am still in the preliminary stages. There are various platforms and ways to set this up so I am currently in conversations with different companies to see what will happen next.

Ideally, I would like to offer affordable courses on art history topics and study tips. I don’t want to have any application process as I am firm believer in accessible education for all. 

I will keep you updated and again, I really appreciate the support!!

I started this project over 3 years ago out of pure interest and passion and it has grown more than I ever imagined! 

Best from Madrid,