Retro Learning!

My library is filled with books about Men travelling the world and gathering wisdom from, and training with Masters!  Some Physical, some Philosophical, and some Ethical.

I developed myself someone who pursued those things all over the world.  Now, as technology has progressed to a point that allows us to draw from people and institutions that we would have had to spend many years and piles of money to access, if we were even accepted.

I’m sharing one of the most versatile tools in my Utility Kit, this is how I learn wisdom from people and places all over the world that have helped me mold and craft my success!

I can not sing, I can not dance, I can not throw a ball, I can not catch a ball,  I can not create art, and I have no other measurable talents that you can think of.

Yet, I lead a very successful and unconventional life that I achieved through developing skills. Skills that seem incongruent, but when pieced together fit together quite nicely!

This is how you go from where you are, to having a bedrock of skills that you can apply to running your own location-independent business and lifestyle.

I cobbled together a set of experiences that led me to develop a skill set that has allowed me to flourish in life. Now I get lots of emails asking how. Dante Nero shared a Tweet that sums up how we are going to unpack this!

My friends and I decided to frame it as if it were a University curriculum and mapped our skill sets out. Then I found legitimate, well-referenced, top-rated online resources that teach those skills!

  • Get familiar with MOOCs and how they work.  We are going to squeeze every bit of free learning that we can out of them!

MOOC = Massive Open Online Course.

MOOCs are free online courses.  They are online courses that are run by universities that range from large, well-known multi-national institutions of higher learning, to small, niche education institutions. Some are as short as two weeks and some run for a full standard semester.  We are going to start with two “semesters” worth of classes that you can devote no more than two hours a day working on.

There are countless places that offer quality MOOC courses, you can see a very comprehensive list at https://www.Mooc-List.com/.  I can’t stress enough how important choosing one platform and doing all the Frist Half courses there is.  It’s easier than switching between platforms when you take time every day to study.

These represent the best, and I want you to choose your classes by choosing from:

https://www.FutureLearn.com/

https://www.Udemy.com

 https://www.EdX.org/

https://www.khanacademy.org/

What that means is that you are going to have to do serious compare and contrast of the same courses taught by different teachers on different platforms.  They all have sections that allow you to read what past students have said about the instructor and the course material.

Folks, this is how I got my edge in BitCoin!

When you do decide on a platform and a course DO NOT QUIT! Finish the classes you enrolled in on that platform.  For the next section, switch platforms if you like.  I don’t care if you are failing the course, you can take it again because it’s free.  Quitting becomes a habit. Do not let that bad habit form!

First Quarter.

Improve your reading and writing, because you don’t read at the level you think you do as you think you do.  Just because you read for fun and know all the language you need for your job does not mean you read and write at a level that would make you more successful.

I am always developing my reading and writing skills by engaging in subjects unrelated to my career and education. That’s why I am ahead of the curve when competing with other Editors/CopyWriters/CopyEditors/GhostWriters for clients!

~I write proposals to companies; 

~I write letters to show appreciation;

~I write down my ideas because I can hold myself accountable if they are written clearly;

~I am constantly reading long, boring emails from companies that offer me contracts;

~I read specific requests from clients that are completely entitled to ask me for complex services because they are paying me from a top-tier salary scale;

~I re-read things I have written to be certain I am expressing my ideas correctly;

~I read current information that directly affects my profession;

All of these reasons will apply to you if you are planning to become independently successful.  We can define independence later, for now, let’s just use the definition you are thinking of.

We are completely in control! We can all model our education after the paths that other successful people have already demonstrated will get us where we want to go!

I suggest inviting a successful friend out for coffee and asking them what classes they think were the most influential in their education, and what classes they would add to the studies of someone learning to become successful in their field.

Reading and Writing

Here are a few examples from Coursera that would be great choices to start.  Pick one focused on Literacy/Reading and one focused on Writing. I strongly suggest starting with a Beginner/Introductory level course.  Even if you are an accomplished writer already, you will need to master the fundamentals that are standard in academics so that your ability to write is in line with other professionals. remember, you can always look for classes that are directly linked to your profession.

Examples:

For people that want to follow my path as an Editor/Writer/Proofreader, I suggest:

Academic and Business Writing, from UC Berkley X

Length: 6 weeks
Effort: 3-5 hours per week
Price: FREE
Add a Verified Certificate for $49 (Note: This is optional. -Watt)
Institution: UC BerkeleyX
Subject: Communication
Level: Introductory
Languages: English
Video Transcripts: English

About this course
College Writing 2.2x continues the introduction to academic and business writing for English Language Learners. In this part of the course, students focus on understanding the demands of different styles of writing, and continue to improve grammatical correctness, vocabulary development, and revision and editing skills. The five-week course includes material on vocabulary, tone, diction, and editing, all in the areas of academic and business writing. Students will have the opportunity to write on a number of different topics and ideas, always centered on areas of interest to them. The course materials will be offered via readings and videos. Assignments include short writing assignments, quizzes, journal entries, and longer pieces.

and

https://www.edx.org/course/how-write-essay-uc-berkeleyx-colwri2-1x-0

https://www.edx.org/course/how-write-essay-uc-berkeleyx-colwri2-1x-0

https://www.edx.org/course/english-grammar-style-uqx-write101x-3

https://www.edx.org/course/journalism-social-change-uc-berkeleyx-j4sc101x-1

We can get creative and freestyle with our writing after we are able to show that we have a good grip on fundamentals!

Freshmen: 12 credits + 2 electives from 4 choices for the first half and 12 credits + 2 electives from 4 choices for the second half.

I had the good fortune to stumble across fellow intrepid adventurer and stalwart traveler Fatimah Farahah. She runs a great web page about her life abroad and did an article about a deal she found online for a TESOL/TEFL course that is normally $599-$729, on sale at Groupon for $69.

Being the tight-fisted, bargain hunting financial professional I am; I couldn’t resist the deal. I’m glad I bought it. I won’t re-hash the same issues that she went over in her post, check it out for yourself. I will tell you that it’s definitely worth it.

Before I began the course, I was considering living in China, Brazil, or Egypt and being a Digital Nomad is an excellent way to cover the daily living expenses I may incur there.

I’m recommending the course to you because even though I have years of experience on my resume, having this simple certification opened up quite a few more doors for me and gave me a notable increase in base pay. It’s definitely a “community college” level course, with a few flaws. However at the end I of the process I was given a .pdf certificate that clearly states I completed a 160 TESOL/TEFL course. It’s worth the few hours I spent taking the course.

Alternatively, if you prefer a more fundamental STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) path to learning, a dear friend and client I work with came up with the fundamentals of what he would set up as a road to independently succeeding in the world of IT (Internet Technology)!

Basic Math 101

Length: 12 weeks
Effort: 6-8 hours per week
Price: FREE
Free Certificate
Institution: PACE Mathematical Foundations
Subject: Mathematics
Level: Introductory
Languages: English
Video Transcripts: English

About this course

The PACE Mathematical Foundations MOOC is an online program designed to enhance your mathematics skills in the areas of Number Theory, Algebra, Geometry, Probability and Statistics. This MOOC is designed to help develop the skills needed to be successful in college-level mathematics. Other aspects of the Math MOOC include access to college tutors and discussion forums with other MOOC participants. This course is non-credit and cannot be used to satisfy requirements in any curriculum at Barry University.

https://www.canvas.net/browse/barryuniversity/courses/math101

Responsible Innovation: Ethics, Safety and Technology

Length: 7 weeks
Effort: 4-6 hours per week
Add a Verified Certificate for $50 (optional: Watt)
Institution: DelftX
Subject: Ethics
Level: Intermediate
Languages: English
Video Transcripts: English

About this course
There is no doubt that technological innovation is one of the key elements driving human progress.

However, new technologies also raise ethical questions, have serious implications for society and the environment and pose new risks, often unknown and unknowable before the new technologies reach maturity. They may even lead to radical disruptions. Just think about robots, self-driving vehicles, medical engineering and the Internet of Things.

They are strongly dependent on social acceptance and cannot escape public debates of regulation and ethics. If we want to innovate, we have to do that responsibly. We need to reflect on –and include- our societal values in this process. This course will give you a framework to do so.

The first part of the course focuses on ethical questions/framework and concerns with respect to new technologies.

The second part deals with (unknown) risks and safety of new technologies including a number of qualitative and quantitative risk assessment methods.

The last part of the course is about the new, value-driven, design process which takes into account our societal concerns and conflicting values.

Case studies (ethical concerns, risks) for reflection and discussions during the course include – among others- nanotechnology, self-driving vehicles, robots, AI smart meters for electricity, autonomous weapons, nuclear energy and CO2capture and coolants. Affordable (frugal) innovations for low-income groups and emerging markets are also covered in the course. You can test and discuss your viewpoint.

The course is for all engineering students who are looking for a methodical approach to judge responsible innovations from a broader – societal- perspective.

https://www.edx.org/course/responsible-innovation-ethics-safety-delftx-ri101x-0#!

Personal Finance

Length: 5 weeks
Effort: 3-4 hours per week
Price: FREE
Institution: PurdueX
Subject: Economics and Finance
Level: Introductory
Languages: English
Video Transcripts: English

About this course

EdX keeps courses open for enrollment after they end to allow learners to explore content and continue learning. All features and materials may not be available, and course content will not be updated. Check back often to see when new course start dates are announced.

Have you ever watched the evening news and wondered what the anchor meant when she said: “…and the Dow closed 50 points in choppy trading today.”

Have you ever watched Mad Money on CNBC as the host screamed BUY BUY BUY or SELL SELL SELL and clapped your hands with his energy while having no clue what was happening?

Have you watched a movie where successful Wall Street characters dropped cool sounding financial jargon and you smiled and nodded without knowing what they were saying?

Have you ever had someone talk about Roth IRAs and 401Ks, and as you nodded, your heart was racing?

Have you ever received multiple credit card solicitations in the mail and wondered which ones to sign up for or even if to sign up for any at all?

If you answered yes to any (and maybe all) of the above then this class is for you.

Want to better understand investments? How credit works? How and why insurance products like life insurance, health insurance, and property insurance might be relevant for you? How to maximize your retirement savings? This course aims to make finding the answers to these questions, and many other similar questions, interesting and fun.

This personal finance course is divided into four modules: investments, credit, insurance and retirement. Each module is independent and may be studied on its own, although studying them together provides a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness across modules and the various tradeoffs across them.

Throughout the course, we will explore interesting and relevant real world examples so that you can better understand the underlying concepts. We will also relate relevant academic research to the topic on hand and show how the research findings are relevant to your daily financial decisions.

This course provides practical, ready-to-use solutions to use in your daily life. All solutions may not be equally important for you given your age and priorities, but they will certainly be relevant to you at some point in your life.

https://www.edx.org/course/personal-finance-purduex-pn-17-2#!

Communication in the Workplace

Length: 4 weeks
Price: $60
Professional Education
Institution: FullbridgeX
Subject: Business & Management
Level: Introductory
Languages: English
Video Transcripts: English

About this course

In many careers, the foundation of your professional success is your ability to inform, persuade, and build relationships at work. In this self-paced career development course, you’ll practice communicating, forming teams, and planning projects in a variety of contexts. By the end of the course, you will have the skills and knowledge you need to become influential in the workplace.

This is the second course in Fullbridge’s four-part Career Development XSeries, designed to prepare you to succeed in the modern workplace. 

https://www.edx.org/course/communication-skills-teamwork-fullbridgex-career2x#!

Public Speaking

Length: 3 weeks
Effort: 6-8 hours per week
Price: FREE
Add a Verified Certificate for $49
Institution: RIT
Subject: Business & Management
Level: Introductory
Languages: English
Video Transcripts: English

About this course

When asked, many people cite public speaking as one of their biggest fears. In fact, many renowned public speakers admit that they were once extremely anxious about speaking in front of groups.

Good public speaking is more than a performance. It is the result of:

  • Critical thinking
  • Well-organized narrative
  • Reasoning
  • Research
  • Preparation

In this course, part of the Soft Skills Professional Certificate program, you will study methods that help to reduce anxiety, build confidence, and customize a process which will results in successful speaking experiences.

This course is designed to equip you with knowledge of the principles necessary for formal public speaking with an emphasis on organization, evidence, language use, strategy, delivery, ethics, and effective use of media aids.

This course may be audited free of charge. Learners also have the opportunity to earn a verified certificate of completion. Exclusive learning opportunities such as live events hosted by subject matter experts will be available for verified learners.

https://www.edx.org/course/public-speaking-ritx-skills105x-0#!

People Management

Length: 6 weeks
Effort: 4 hours per week
Price: FREE
Add a Verified Certificate for $150
Institution: IIMB
Subject: Business & Management
Level: Introductory
Languages: English
Video Transcripts: English

About this course

Do you aspire to be an ideal people manager? The journey from being an individual contributor to a people manager requires significant personal development and growth. If you are a first time manager, you may have asked yourself:

  • Where did I go wrong in managing this particular employee?
  • How should I give feedback to my subordinates?
  • How do I handle potential assessments?
  • How should I motivate people who report to me?

The objective of this business and management course is to smoothen the transition for newly appointed people managers, motivate and guide people who are aspiring to become one and to think back and reflect for seasoned managers.

The course will provide learners with an enhanced understanding of the role of people management in organizational context. 

https://www.edx.org/course/people-management-iimbx-hr101x#!

Corporate Finance

Length: 5 weeks
Effort: 2-3 hours per week
Price: FREE
Add a Verified Certificate for $150
Institution: IIMB
Subject: Business and Management
Level: Intermediate
Languages: English
Video Transcripts: English

About this course

Business organizations are constantly engaged in financial decision-making related to financial planning, investments, capital purchases, etc. The right financial decisions play a critical role in maximizing an organization’s business value.

  1. How do we value assets?
  2. What is a good investment?
  3. Does a project create value?

Corporate finance will address these issues to help managers make value-enhancing decisions.

This business and management course will introduce you to the role of corporate finance in an organization and the tools used to evaluate investment proposals.

The course will cover commonly used tools and techniques that help managers make decisions that create value for their organizations such as time value of money, opportunity cost, net present value and internal rate of return.

If you are interested in creating value for your organization, then this course is for you.

https://www.edx.org/course/corporate-finance-iimbx-fc101x#!

Internet History, Technology and Security

Length: Self-Paced
Effort: 12 hours
Price: FREE
Institution: University of Michigan
Subject: Technology
Level: Introductory
Languages: English
Video Transcripts: English

About this course
After this course you will not take the Internet and Web for granted. You will be better informed about important technological issues currently facing society. You will realize that the Internet and Web are spaces for innovation and you will get a better understanding of how you might fit into that innovation. If you get excited about the material in this course, it is a great lead-in to taking a course in Web design, Web development, programming, or even network administration. At a minimum, you will be a much wiser network citizen. 

https://www.coursera.org/learn/internet-history

Successful Interviewing

Length: 5 weeks
Effort: 6-8 hours per week
Price: Paid Exam and/or Final Project
Verified Paid Certificate
Institution: University of Maryland, College Part
Subject: Languages & Literature
Level: Introductory
Languages: English
Video Transcripts: English

About this course
This course can be thought of as “Interviewing I”, while course #3 is “Interviewing II.” Course #3 covers more advanced interview formats, including behavioral and situational interviews – along with the special case of telephone screenings. The logic for including telephone screenings – which happen at the start of the interview process – late in this specialization on interviewing is that those screenings, while happening early in the process, involve all the skills that you’ll learn from course #1 through course #3. 

https://www.mooc-list.com/course/successful-interviewing-coursera

Foundations of Teaching for Learning: Curriculum

Length: Unknown
Effort: 3-4 hours per week
Price: FREE
Free Certificate
Institution: Commonwealth Education Trust
Subject: Education
Level: Introductory
Languages: English
Video Transcripts: English

About this course
Curriculum is a framework for guiding teaching and learning. This course provides an opportunity for you to consider the relationship between the teacher, the learner and the curriculum.

https://www.coursera.org/learn/teacher-curriculum

If what I wrote helps, send $5 in BitCoin to this address.

It’ll buy me coffee to fuel my mind while I write!

 

 

1AAEBJW9gC1bt6U6UjBWS4g6A6zDLhKMCb

~Watt

YusefWateef (at) Gmail (dot) com

Bonus: My friend Anderson did it and became so successful that UDEMY chose him as a featured guest!

 

6 comments

  1. joamitchell

    Nice article. It is worth saying again that many of these courses are free. I know you mentioned this in some of the course notes. I love Coursera (another MOOC site), but I cannot tell you the number of times I have recommended a class to a friend only to have them come back and ask me about the $700 fee for the series of the $49 fee for the course. For that site in particular, it takes a bit of scrolling and clicking to get to the small-print “audit” option. Often, this just means not being able to turn your work in for a grade or extensive feedback, which might work depending on the person’s goals for the course. I also recommend looking for Udemy courses when they are on sale. I just paid $10 for a $200 course and considering that is what I have paid for a very fancy cup of coffee and the course is awesome so far, I am happy to have paid that fee.

    Like

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