Unlocked: the OpenSesame eLearning Blog

Noah Piwonka's blog

For centuries, we have been fascinated by autodidacts, people who teach themselves immense amounts of knowledge and go on to accomplish great things. From the Wright brothers and Benjamin Franklin to Steven Spielberg and Jimi Hendrix, we are naturally drawn to unorthodox success stories outside the confines of education. After all, who hasn't daydreamed about dropping out of school, founding the next Facebook or Microsoft, and making billions? ... [more]

Learning something new is a perennial favourite on New Year’s resolution lists, and many people decide to learn a new language. And why not? It’s a useful skill, can lead to travel (another popular resolution), and is engaging in a way that few learning experiences are. However, languages don’t just have to be restricted to Spanish or French. You can get a lot of use and fun out of languages such as American Sign Language or programming languages. With the internet democratizing learning, there are countless ways to teach yourself a language. ... [more]

In today’s job market, having a certain business skill can be the key to landing a promotion, getting your dream job, and even unlocking thousands of dollars worth of wage premiums. In fact, PayScale has released a list of the skills that lead to the biggest increase in paychecks. Below are five skills that can lead to big bucks and how you can learn them!    Java Wage Premium: 9% Average Increase in Paycheck: $4,200 Java is one of the most popular programming languages which makes designing apps, games, and tools simple. ... [more]

The debate between in-person and online training has been prominent since elearning was first introduced. Research shows benefits of both, and defenders of both sides vehemently argue their points. However, there is a way to maintain the advantages of both without sacrificing any learning. Known as “blended learning,” it combines elearning and traditional classroom-esque interactions. eLearning has been shown to increase student enthusiasm, cost effectiveness, and in many cases, retention and student ability at the end of the course. ... [more]

It’s 2014. Every company worth its salt has a LinkedIn, Facebook page, Twitter account, and maybe a Pinterest or Instagram if they’re especially trendy. However, there are still social networks with hundreds of millions of users that are fairly untapped by web marketers. Reddit, an online bulletin board-esque website, is one of these networks. ... [more]

Have you ever watched an animated movie or played a video game and felt uncomfortable, like something was not quite right? You may have experienced the “uncanny valley.” This theory, first posed by robotics professor Masahiro Mori, states that there is a “valley” where figures look almost human, but not enough to be 100% convincing. This causes us to react with revulsion, because the imperfections cause us to become deeply unsettled. The effect decreases the less human the figures appear. ... [more]

Lately, comparisons between public and private colleges have been a hot topic in the media. Former Yale faculty member William Deresiewicz wrote a scathing piece on why state schools are preferable to Ivy League universities. The annual ranking of American schools has a visible impact on students and university administrations. With student debt now greater than credit card debt and the average graduate having nearly $30,000 in debt, affording college is an ever present concern. ... [more]

Whether you work in a warehouse, restaurant, or office, every workplace has its fair share of risks. From dangerous equipment like forklifts to communicable diseases, it’s incredibly important to know preventative techniques and common safety procedures. An injury or disease can set back work for weeks or even months and have lasting health concerns. The featured courses this week showcase a variety of common safety concerns in the workplace. ... [more]

Successfully creating your own startup is the new American Dream, and with so many companies and ideas competing for attention, it can be difficult to recognize the ones with a decent shot of succeeding. In an age where apps like Yo and Push for Pizza can win the hearts of American consumers, how does one recognize the blend of entrepreneurship, ingenuity, and business acumen needed to succeed? Startup competitions are aiming to do just that. With huge monetary prizes and hours of professional mentoring, startup competitions such as the MIT 100k and UC Berkeley Launch provide a glimpse into the future Googles and Instagrams of the world. ... [more]

Ideas on Whiteboard

Have you ever felt disconnected from an older boss or younger employee? Sometimes it can feel like there’s a fundamental communication difference between different age groups that can’t be overcome. Generational differences is a hot topic in workplaces across the country, and experts say that there are now five generations in the workplace. Understanding how to effectively communicate with every generation is incredibly important for any efficient, productive workplace. ... [more]