What I’ve been reading and thinking about this week: MOOC’S, salad and hailed heroes.

1.) Kernel Mag – The MOOC revolution that never was (http://kernelmag.dailydot.com/issue-sections/headline-story/14046/mooc-revolution-uber-for-education/)

A really interesting article that looks at how and why the MOOC bubble burst. As someone currently trying to break into the online education market this is useful stuff. Sites like Coursera started of with such valiant and large goals but seem now to be admitting defeat. I think Mike Caulfield nails the point when he says “The hard problem isn’t democratizing access to education….” “It’s democratizing access to the perceived benefits of education. That’s a crucial difference.”

The question is how do we get underprivileged kids who have grown up being told that they won’t ever be able to go to college believe that their lives can be improved by a college education? Bridging this gap is no doubt key but very tricky. Personally I think the answer lies in the exact opposite of what the MOOC sites are now doing. People need to be convinced that education is about more than getting  a job or just a means to an end. It is a highly rewarding venture in and of itself that challenges people to become more cognizant in their day to day lives. Having a knowledge of History, Science, Geography – (whatever it may be) – can make us more socially aware and active members of the community. It also no doubt makes people feel good about themselves, and isn’t this the major hurdle in convincing people that they deserve an education?

2.) The Washington Post –  Why salad is so overrated.  (https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/why-salad-is-so-overrated/2015/08/21/ecc03d7a-4677-11e5-8ab4-c73967a143d3_story.html)

As if the picture of ‘the salads’ without the salad weren’t bad enough, Tamar Haspel also builds a factually driven case for the environmentally challenging realities of lettuce production. In an age where the stresses on sustainable farming and ‘eating right,’ have probably never been higher this is important food for thought (apologizes for the pun – I couldn’t help myself!!) I’ve always known that ordering a salad wasn’t necessarily the healthy option but it was still easy to convince myself that eating lettuce is somehow a good thing, after seeing those pictures (and regretting that Applebee’s salad I had a few months ago) I can no longer pretend this is the case!

3.) The 3 Americans, and solo British Hero who stopped a suspected Terrorist in France. (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34034840)

This was a story I couldn’t help but get emotional about. I’m sure lots is still to come out about this incident and the shooters reasoning but I think for everyone when we hear of things like this the first thing that comes to mind is  – What would you do? I’d like to think i’d be up there meeting the threat head on but as the British hero said until your faced with a life or death situation you never really know how you’d react(I also had to laugh at his very English reaction to the event – a real life have a go Harry!) Lets just hope i’m not in town when that earthquake/tsunami hits……

4.) Bear rolling down a hill (http://mashable.com/2015/08/24/grizzly-bear-rolling-down-hill)

This is just awesome!


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