Blog Posts

Kindred Spirits in Germany  October 19, 2015

graduation hats tossed in airKiron University is being established in Germany (and in the cloud) as a place for refugees to continue their education while applying for a sylum.  It uses MOOCs in a blended learning model that sounds a lot like Cloud to Ground Learning:
“For the first two years, our students can choose courses out of the whole universe of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), the number one trend in (online-) education of the last decade… Put simple, we take these open source online courses, modify them with the latest e-learning technology like our smart note taking tool Nibster and design elegant study programs with real-life working sessions, projects in teamwork, mentoring, student support and modern, fun ways of learning and testing out of it. All of this is done with the careful supervision of our partner universities as well as experienced professors, experts in education and established educational institutions.”

Plans for Data Science class  October 6, 2015

Data Science class starts Thursday!  Here’s the message that went out to the first class of participants.

Dear Data Science students,

If you haven’t already done so, please be sure to register for the Coursera “Data Scientist’s Toolbox” course starting Oct 5. Go ahead and look around or wait till Thursday evening–you choose!
In the first class, we will…  Read more

How MOOCs Handle Your Questions  September 28, 2015

confused student.jpgWhether you’re learning online or face to face, questions are a sign of success.  They show that your brain is fully engaged–you’re thinking, you’re active, you’re ready to receive and retain new information.
You’re also vulnerable: They express a need, and forward progress often depends on getting answers.  “Why doesn’t this code work?”  “Doesn’t this statement contradict the one before it?”  “Where do I submit this document?”  Read more…

Data Science with Coursera   September 5, 2015

The volume of data being collected in the world is staggering.  It’s also growing exponentially.   So what’s next?  Data analysis, of course!   As Harvard Business Review puts it, Data Scientist is “The sexiest job of the 21st century.”

That kind of talk generates high demand for for courses, and Coursera has responded by bundling a set of nine short courses and a capstone project into something it calls a “specialization.”

In Durham, NC, you can get a strong start on this specialization… Read more

A New Approach: the Group MOOC  September 4, 2015

adult class meetingCloud to Ground Learning is announcing a new opportunity: a group learning experience for three acclaimed Coursera courses in October.  Instead of people in the same community laboring alone, participants will gather together to watch instructional videos and engage in face-to-face discussion.  Read more

 Sustaining Motivation in Online Learning  September 18, 2015

People tend to be disappointed with themselves for not completing the online courses they sign up for.  And that’s an unfortunate outcome of MOOCs.  The creators intend them to improve people’s lives, and learners sign up with high hopes.  If the takeaway is guilt, that’s a problem.

How do we avoid that outcome in Group MOOC classes at Cloud to Ground Learning?  Read more…

Helping People Change: The Essence of Coaching  September 9, 2015

Why are so many people hiring coaches these days?  Beyond sports and wellness, coaching is a big deal in business, career development, education, and many other fields.  It’s all about creating competency in others: helping them find a vision and empowering them to fulfill it.

It’s inherently exciting to discover a vision or sense of purpose in life…  Read more…

Getting Practical in Business  September 7, 2015

If you’re interested in business but don’t want to commit to an MBA, try Coursera.  It offers a series of four short courses (4 weeks each) from the Wharton School of Business.  Together, the courses comprise a “specialization” called Business Foundations.  According to Coursera, this program helps you “…develop basic literacy in the language of business, which you can use to transition to a new career, start or improve your own small business, or apply to business school to continue your education.”

It’s about the mechanics of business: marketing, accounting, operations management, and corporate finance.  It’s about putting legs under someone’s dream, either your own or an existing company’s.  Read more…

MOOCs: The Role of the Teacher  August 18, 2015

When you sign up for a MOOC, you get a particular professor’s view of the subject.  As in a college class, information is selected, organized, and presented according to the experience and opinion of this person who has standing and an official position in a university.  He or she generally delivers the content in recorded lectures; sometimes they’re supplemented by readings.  lecture classA recorded lecture isn’t exactly like a live one; there are no waves of laughter or tension rippling through the room, and no one gets put on the spot or asks a penetrating question.  It’s akin to watching educational TV.

There’s more to it, though.  In both the college and online settings… Read more

The Promise of MOOCs  August 12, 2015

Image by Matthew Plourde, used under CC license 2.0

Massive, Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are  trying to make college classes available to anyone.  They eliminate barriers of distance, cost, transportation, and parking; they have no application or selection process.  All you do is create a profile on CourseraEdXUdacity, or FutureLearn and click a button to sign up.  Cloud to Ground Learners tend to be intrigued by this phenomenon, so I’m going to explore it in a series of blog posts.

What’s in a MOOC?  It’s meant to be a digital version of a college course.  Read more…

More blog posts…

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