Well, I am now officially a Courserian. I began my trek toward learning on Coursera (a leading MOOC) yesterday.
My course is titled, “Leadership through Emotional Intelligence.” The 6-week journey will be lead by Richard Boyatzis, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Organizational Behavior, Case Western Reserve University. His introductory lecture (video) demonstrates his passion for the material and gives me the impression that this could be fun and engaging.
So, like a good student, I set out on my adventure … watching the requisite video lecture, reading my journal article as assigned and even the next lecture (off YouTube), and then entered the discussion thread to begin my assigned post.
There I found dozens of “earlier birds” that had beaten me to the threads – chattering away on their leadership experiences – good and bad, and engaging in lively exchanges with their classmates. I, of course, dove right in (I had previously earned an MS online, so this was not new for me).
A couple of witty and exceptionally insightful posts (if I do say so myself) later, I was done. But, always the inquisitor, I thought it might be interesting to learn a bit about my “mates,” so I opened a new thread and asked where folks were from before retiring to my bed for the night.
Seconds later my I-phone, I-pad and laptop all began to “bling” (is that the right descriptor for that God-awful sound?) incessantly. “I’m from the Big Apple!” “Hi from Toronto.” Hello from Cleveland, Chicago, Montana, Wisconsin … on and on … the posts chimed in.
They came from Bulgaria, Pakistan, Mexico, Argentina, UK, Russia, Poland, Brazil, China, Japan, South Korea, Palestine, Moldavia, Jamaica, Venezuela, South Africa, India, Singapore, Australia, Croatia, and a few places I never even knew existed. You name it; I got an email from there last night.
Suddenly, I realized, in my zest for knowledge, in my zeal as a new Courserian, I had forgotten to change my settings to avoid being notified of each new post!
There are 70,000 “mates” in my class. Let me repeat that, 70,000. In one classroom.
Aside from my novice attempt at ‘meeting new friends’ … what have we learned here?
This matters, that’s what we learned. This can change everything. It has the potential to disruptively change education. And workforce development. And corporate training. Maybe even geo-political understanding among peoples.
I have been telling audiences all over the globe that the “new normal” is really a talent war … a global race for figuring out how to skill and re-skill people better, faster, cheaper than the competition. Win that war, and you win the future. Lose it, and …
This matters. Tune in. Get ahead of this curve.
I’m a Courserian. And I have lots of new friends. And this is only Day 1.
Until next time,