The future is going to be different. What each of us knows now will not be enough to address future changes and challenges. How you will solve those problems will involve a lot more than by just having more information; you will need to be creative.
Creative Problem Solving offered by the University of Minnesota is less about learning creativity but focused rather on becoming creative; addressing what is called divergent thinking—coming up with new and better ideas. As a learner, you’ll get promoted to change your own life and habits through a series of challenges, each ending with a different twist. Assessment of these assignments are also designed to help you be more creative; you see the work of others and come up with ideas to improve their work.
Since the first time the class ran in February 2014, learners have gotten new jobs, promotions and some even found a great way to think of something new for dinner. Remember, your level of creativity is not fixed and it can be developed and improved.
Growing populations. Rising sea levels. Climate change. Given these modern-day challenges, how would you design a city?
The University of Pennsylvania’s “Designing Cities” course, which starts on September 14th, aims to answer these questions. Co-taught by Professors Gary Hack, Jonathan Barnett and Stefan Al, learners are invited to create a visual documentation of how their own cities have changed over time, propose a new vision and design solutions with hypothetical future constraints.
Below are some of our favorite assignments from the last course session and we look forward to seeing the next round of final submissions. Get inspired by the amazing work of your peers, and join today!
Courserians, we are writing about a topic we take very seriously – user privacy. As some of you may have seen, Stanford instructor and security expert Jonathan Mayer, who teaches a course on Coursera, recently uncovered some security vulnerabilities in the Coursera website.
Before we go into any details, let us emphasize the most important points:
Partner Trust and Learner Security
The Coursera platform is built with our trusted partners in mind — instructors, administrators, and institutions who work closely with us to deliver online courses to learners around the world. Our approach has enabled everyone to work efficiently, experiment with innovative ways to teach, and create the best educational experience for Coursera learners.
In developing Coursera, we have also worked diligently to protect learner data from external attackers on the internet. We have enlisted third-party security consultants to help us evaluate and improve the security of our systems against external attackers. However, given our partnership philosophy, we have focused less effort on deflecting malicious attacks that might be made by one of our trusted partners. This has left open some gaps, such as the one recently uncovered by Dr. Mayer. As we continuously improve our platform, we are actively developing systems to provide a better balance between enabling our partners to innovate freely, but also securely.
We deeply apologize to our learners for any potential risk to their privacy. In our investigation, we have found no reason to believe that our learners’ personal information has been abused. Our team responded immediately to Dr. Mayer’s report, and has now closed off the vulnerabilities that were uncovered. We continue to monitor and improve our platform to provide the best and safest experience to all learners.
Thank you, to all learners and to our valued partners, for the continued support and confidence in Coursera. We look forward to continuing to offer high quality education, free to everyone.
Information Security Officer, Coursera Infrastructure Team
10. Stay on top of the field (pun intended): Obtain and maintain an in-depth knowledge of the current trends in the sports in which you want to represent a Professional Athlete — including a “deep dive” into the relevant rules and regulations of the sports in which you seek to represent Professional Athletes.
9. Know your clients better than they know themselves: Obtain and maintain an in-depth knowledge of the career paths of the Professional Athletes that you want to represent — “Know Your Client,” as well or better then he or she can know himself or herself.
8. Obtain necessary certifications: As you focus on your specialty sports, you should research and then satisfy the Certification-qualification requirements for each League, Team or Federation in which you want to represent a Professional Athlete.
7. Know your competition: As you do so, continuously survey the relevant Agent competition for representing the Professional Athletes whom you seek to represent — conduct “due diligence” upon, and seek to emulate those Agents whom you most admire and seek to compete against.
6. Data, data, data: In so doing, develop an expertise or “competitive edge” that will allow you to best represent your Athletes, given your chosen areas of expertise — a deep dive into the relevant “data analytics” of your sports will likely be required.
5. You are your own brand: As you develop your Agency practice, take advantage of any personal or professional network connections to “get your foot in the door” with Professional Athletes — use social networking and legitimate “self-promotion” as you advertise your Agency’s advantages at the relevant events in the relevant markets and industry publications.
4. The power of endorsements: have your athletes ‘endorse’ you: As you grow your Agency, ask your current Athletes to serve as “spokespersons” for you, to help you represent others in their peer group of Athletes — be ever-present at the most important games, tournaments, etc., where your Athletes compete, and continue to network during those events.
3. Honor relationships: In so doing, however, never forget to pay close attention to those Athletes who helped start your Agency practice—and treat each and every Athlete Client as if he/she “were your only Client” — while maintaining total transparency and professional integrity throughout the representation process.
2. Attention to detail: Throughout this process, maintain tireless attention to detail as your Agency practice grows— surround yourself with the best and brightest associates and experts in areas where you need additional advice and support. Always remember — your competitors are likely “stalking” your key clients, so you are only one “misstep” away from losing them.
1. Take the Representing the Professional Athlete MOOC: From the course you’ll be able to learn from the Top Experts in the world of sports about the “best practices” for representing your target group of Professional Athletes!
We are now pleased to announce our ability to reopen course access to residents of Sudan and Cuba. Coursera recently received a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury to secure permission and reinstate course access in these countries.
Similarly to the OFAC General License for Iran, export control regulations still prohibit us from offering certain advanced STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects. To comply, we will be blocking enrollment for those specific courses to learners coming from IP addresses originating in Iran, Sudan, and Cuba. However, the vast majority of our courses will now be open to learners everywhere. For more guidance on accessibility or questions, please find an update in our Student Support Center
We thank you for your patience as we strive to bring free accessible education to people around the world.
In the last installment of Coursera for Your Career, “Find the Best Course for Your Professional Development and Advancement”, we walked you through the process of navigating Coursera’s course catalog to find a course that fit your professional goals. In this post, we focus on how to set yourself up for success when taking your chosen course.
Once you choose the right course to develop the job skills you need, it’s time to focus on how to maximize your course efforts into influencing your career advancement.
First, have a conversation with your boss about the course. Talk to him or her about Coursera, why you’re taking the course, its key features, and what you hope to gain from it. Describe how you choose the course, exactly what you will learn (via the posted syllabus), and how it will position you for professional advancement (e.g., a promotion, raise, or lateral move). Explain how the course ties into your professional development short and long-term plans, and how it will ultimately benefit your company.
Second, earn your Verified Certificate. By earning your Verified Certificate, you will earn a university-branded, identity-verified certificate when you complete the course. Fees for a Verified Certificate are usually $50 USD or less, but ask your employer if they will reimburse you for it (FYI - many top companies, like Mastercard, currently reimburse their employees for Verified Certificates!) Verified Certificates add credibility to accomplishments, and will strengthen and validate your motives.
Third, if possible, create a project that ties together or represents material learned. Projects are tangible artifacts to add to your portfolio, signaling what you learned and showing off your new skills. Make the projects relevant and practical to demonstrate the impact of the course, and your newly acquired competences, to your manager.
Fourth, recruit colleagues to be involved in the course as well. Recommend the course to people you work with, and if they join you, start a support team to keep yourself and each other accountable. Balancing deadlines and lectures with work responsibilities isn’t easy, but having co-workers alongside you will encourage you to finish assignments on time. Or, use your co-workers as a resource, asking them for guidance when you have questions on certain topics or areas (you might find a new mentor out of the experience!)
Follow these tips to make the most out of your Coursera experience for your professional development!
The Carlos Slim Foundation, one of Mexico’s top philanthropic organizations, is Coursera’s major partner in the Spanish-speaking world. Our partnership aims to improve access to education among Spanish speaking learners, as well as support opportunities for career development and employment throughout Latin America.
Earlier this week, August 12th, The Carlos Slim Foundation unveiled Acceso Latino, (taken from their Press Release): “a free website created to provide U.S. Latinos easy access to tools and content about education, healthcare, job training, culture and more. This site will serve as a valuable resource to help Latinos succeed in the United States.
“We’re proud to launch Acceso Latino, a completely free website that can provide Latinos access to better opportunities through education, learning English, and job training,” said Carlos Slim Helú. “Acceso Latino will put valuable knowledge at the fingertips of everyone who wants to learn new skills and engage with their community. It is a simple but powerful resource that can potentially help millions of people improve their lives.”
At over 40 million people, Latinos make up the largest ethnic minority in the United States. That’s why Acceso Latino was created: to provide a support network for this growing and developing community. Today, 80% of adult Latinos say that they are able to connect to the Internet. Yet many of them still struggle to find access to high value information that they can use to improve their lives and those of their families.
The Carlos Slim Foundation has identified a number of areas that are most associated with long- term success. Acceso Latino will provide content, free of charge and in Spanish, in each of these critical areas:
Acceso Latino displays information in an easy-to-use format on each topic, complete with videos that walk users of any skill level through a step-by-step process. Acceso Latino is a collaborative effort with organizations that work with the Latino community across the United States.
Dr. Roberto Tapia-Conyer, CEO of the Carlos Slim Foundation, explained how anyone can access the website. Dr. Tapia said. “Acceso Latino was designed with everyone in mind. No matter your nation of origin, age, level of ability, or ultimate goal, the website has something for you.”
Visit the website at accesolatino.org”
About the Carlos Slim Foundation
Created in 1986 to impact the most vulnerable populations, the Carlos Slim Foundation has directly benefited millions of people. With a marked sense of social responsibility, efficiency, and proven results, the Foundation has programs in various fields, such as education, employment, health, nutrition, social justice, culture, human development, support during natural disasters, protection and conservation of the environment, and economic development. These programs help improve the quality of life for populations of all ages, fostering the development of human capital and generating opportunities for people, their communities, and their countries.
No one wins when a modern world allows human trafficking to persist.
Human trafficking is deplorable and rampant. Unfortunately, it is not well understood. Passive observers argue that the number of trafficking victims is “inflated” and “incalculable” due to its clandestine nature.
My rebuttal is simply this: “Even ONE slave is too many!”
Unrestrained, illegal, barbaric: human trafficking forces, frauds, coerces, exploits or induces children, women and even men into selling or relinquishing their skills, bodies or body parts. Trafficking dehumanizes and victimizes by making people into objects, currency, pleasurable gadgets or machines. In an effort to expose this violation of human rights, Ohio State University is proud to offer a new course, Human Trafficking, to provide Coursera learners an opportunity to become more informed and engaged agents of desperately needed change.
Human Trafficking is a free, four-week, intensive course that examines domestic and global trafficking from both a conventional and social-work perspective. The purpose of the course is to offer and share information, and to engage in candid, thoughtful discussions related to trafficking between thousands of enrollees worldwide. The assessments are designed to test your knowledge related to the issues, and provide an opportunity to create and share an impactful Public Service Announcement (PSA)! The goal for each of us–separately and together—is to significantly increase awareness related to the epidemic of human trafficking.
As a learner in Human Trafficking, you are not simply watching a news piece passively about a child forced into becoming a sex slave, or discussing the atrocities of deadly working conditions among a group of friends. In this course, you are collaborating with a community of like-minded peers that are eager to make a change for the better. This course empowers you to join a movement in making your community and the world a better place.
Imagine: if the work accomplished in this course leads to even one person escaping victimization, it is worth it.
The course serves as a unique platform to examine human trafficking from a global perspective, discuss anti-trafficking efforts, generate solutions and serve as one prong among many in the fight to eradicate human trafficking. Ultimately, our shared goal in the anti-trafficking arena is to obliterate human trafficking—to expose it and to force the criminality of it so far underground that the system collapses from its own weight and the weight of the masses who demand justice.
Trafficking is a lose-lose situation for the victim as the trauma inflicted on trafficking victims is so potent, that even trafficking victims grow confused about whether or not they are being trafficked. Their oppression, isolation and marginalization result in long-term biopsychosocial consequences that demand the attention and help of those committed to a slave-free world.
I invite you to a global discourse on human trafficking, where not only will your personal voice be heard, but your voice will speak and fight for those who cannot do it on their own.
Seventy thousand years ago, there were at least six different human species on earth. They were insignificant animals, whose ecological impact was no greater than that of jellyfish, zebras or chickens. Today, there is only one human species left: Us. Homo sapiens. But we rule this planet.
The course, A Brief History of Humankind, takes us on a breath-taking ride through our entire human history, from its evolutionary roots to the age of capitalism and genetic engineering. It focuses on key processes that shaped humankind and the world around us, such as the advent of agriculture, the creation of money, the spread of religion and the rise of the nation state. The course invites us to question the basic narratives of our world. Its conclusions are enlightening and at times provocative. For example:
History began when humans invented gods – and will end when humans become gods.
Editor’s note from Coursera: Consider our minds expanded, Dr. Harari…
There will be almost a million unfilled information communications technology (ICT) jobs in Europe by 2020, according to the European Commission (EC). This predicted skills gap might prove a major problem for Europe’s economy.
One of the EC’s proposed solution: open online courses. They believe courses (such as the ones on Coursera) will “foster the talent of ICT and web entrepreneurs, and create new jobs that benefit both the European economy and society as a whole.”
In its research, the EC found that web and app design, Android and iOS) programming are the most sought after skills amongst employers. They also found that over a third of IT professionals consider the #1 way to learn these skills is through open online courses (even more so than traditional education or on-the-job training).
Coursera helps bridge this looming skills gap by providing courses with Verified Certificates or Specialization Certificates in areas that are highly sought-after by employers (starting at about $50 USD). So browse the course catalog today; it’s never too late to go back to school!
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