Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Dysgu am ddim (free learning)

Spiderman and I have often ruminated over the fact that if we were independently wealthy, we would be full time students. There is nothing so fun as learning new things.

Recently we have discovered something called Future Learn which is part of the open university. It is chock full of FREE interesting courses you can take online. Go here and find some for yourself: https://www.futurelearn.com/  The beauty of it is that you can just do it whenever you can--when you've got a bit of spare time, in the evening or on your daily commute --you can do it on your laptop, your tablet or your phone! It is a combination of videos and documents to read and everything sounds so interesting! Many top universities all over the world are leading these lectures and so you are getting the benefits of experts in every field.

And did I mention it was free?????

For the next six weeks Spiderman and I are talking Identifying the dead: Forensic Science and Human Identification. https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/identifying-the-dead 

According to the website:

Join forensic experts to identify the dead

In the shadow of Dundee’s Law Hill, a grim discovery demands the attention of forensic experts. Unidentified human remains have been found and the police need to identify the victim to move forward with their investigation.
After a meticulous recovery of the remains, it will be your job to:
  • document and attempt to explain any evidence of trauma;
  • identify the victim through biological profiling;
  • and undertake a facial reconstruction.
Experts from the University of Dundee’s award-winning Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHId) will guide you through the process of human identification.
They will introduce you to the fields of human identification; forensic anthropology and archaeology; craniofacial identification; and the study of the human body.

Evaluate evidence as the case unfolds

Week-by-week, the case will unfold, providing you with more information about the victim. You will be presented with theoretical material and hands-on learning opportunities, to evaluate the case information and use what you have learned, to piece together clues to the victim’s identity.
You will be able to discuss, with educators and others learners, your thoughts on the identity of the deceased, based on your evaluation of the evidence.

Get your own copy of the murder mystery

After you submit your evaluation of the victim’s identity, all will be revealed at the end of the final week. You can continue your journey into the life and death of our victim in your very own ebook copy of a specially-written murder mystery by international best-selling crime novelist Val McDermid.

Can you use the skills that you will learn on this course to identify the dead?

Doesn't that sound fascinating? We started it last night and it did not disappoint.  It is not too late to sign up for it if you want to join us. Plus, you could pay at the end to get a certificate if this would be appropriate for your job--you could use it as professional development. We're just doing it because we love mysteries and  both are interested in criminology. We love CSI and Waking the Dead and all those types of programmes. I adored Quincy as a child--I often thought I would like to be a coroner as I am interested in the human body.

In October we will be taking a course on Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales. https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/hans-christian-andersens-fairy-tales

We will be learning:

Interpret Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales with experts from his birthplace

You will learn with experts from the HC Andersen Center at the University of Southern Denmark – an internationally renowned research institution located in the writer’s birthplace, Odense.
Each week, these experts will guide a discussion, analysis and interpretation of one of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, including:
  • The Tinderbox
  • The Travelling Companion
  • The Little Mermaid
  • The Snow Queen (the inspiration for Disney’s Frozen)
  • The Story of a Mother
  • The Red Shoes
You will explore the themes of each story, and investigate how they both conform with and digress from the fairy tale. This genre became very popular in the period of literary history to which Hans Christian Andersen belongs, Romanticism, when childhood was discovered as an age that is important in its own right.
But what Hans Christian Andersen did with this genre is absolutely unique - there are no other writers of fairy tales like him.

Explore Hans Christian Andersen’s enduring, universal appeal

The majority of Hans Christian Andersen’s 157 fairy tales have been translated into at least 150 languages. They not only create a fantasy world for children, but also explore universal, sinister and more adult themes such as death, grief and loss.
Through this course, you will discover why his stories have such an enduring and universal appeal - for both children and adults.

Understand the writer’s life - from humble beginnings to global fame

Hans Christian Andersen often described himself as a “bog plant” - his roots were deeply anchored in mire and mud, but he constantly stretched up for the light of the sun.
Through the course, you will understand this analogy, reflecting on how the writer grew from humble beginnings, to achieve fame and acknowledgement as an artist in both Europe and America while he was in his prime. After his death, he became famous in Asia and all other parts of the world.

Since it is free and it is something we can do together I hope we can sign up for a new course every six weeks (most courses run for six weeks with about four hours a week that you need to put into it) and that would be an enjoyable way to spend time together as well as learning new and interesting things.

What could be better?

It is available to people all over the world since you just work through the videos and readings in your own time, anyone can do it. browse the site and pick something of interest and go for it.

It's free! what have you got to lose?

1 comment:

  1. These look very very interesting. You two certainly find lots to entertain yourselves with.