Making Your MOOC

My hat is off to those who develop and deliver Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to participants scattered around the globe—and the IT professionals who provide technical support.

My best friend spent a weekend at my house last month, and, of course, she brought her iPad. She didn’t ask for our Wi-Fi password, but somehow was able to access her e-mail and surf the ’Net while my husband and I made a quick grocery run in the morning. Fast-forward to Monday morning after I dropped her off at the train station to return home.

When I turned on my iMac—which had remained blissfully idle for once over the weekend—a message popped up on the screen: The IP address for this iMac has been modified.

“Hmmm,” I thought. “Why would it do that?” Then I tried to access my e-mail. Couldn’t get in. But my Facebook page loaded. Then it froze. So I unplugged the modem and the router and restarted my computer. Still no Internet. I tried different browsers. Next, I checked my Network settings. Uh oh! A message under the Wi-Fi setting said the IP address was self-created and could not connect to the Internet. I unplugged, rebooted, said a little prayer, crossed my fingers and toes. No luck.

I called my service provider, but was on hold forever. By the time my husband got home, I was ready to hurl my computer out the window and renounce all technology.

Luckily, my husband suggested I shut everything down again and leave the house for a while. So we grabbed a bite to eat and went to a local car show, where my blood pressure finally started to return to normal.

When we got home, I decided to give it one more try and turned on my computer. Voila! Internet access was restored. I’m a bit fuzzy on the details, but one of my co-workers said the same thing happened to her husband—apparently my friend’s iPad hijacked my iMac’s IP address. Who knew?

Since I was in the midst of researching this month’s cover story on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), this whole incident got me to thinking about the technical intricacies of delivering e-learning on a very large scale to participants scattered around the globe. My hat is certainly off to those who develop and deliver such courses—and the IT professionals who provide technical support. See "Do's and Don'ts for MOOCs and SPOCs" for an extensive look at the do’s and don’t for successfully implementing MOOCs and their cousins (Small Private Online Courses or SPOCs). One of the experts who provided advice is Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX and a professor at MIT, who created and taught the first MOOC on edX. He will be one of the keynoters at our Training 2017 Conference & Expo in San Diego January 30-February 1, talking about reimagining education in the workplace (www.trainingconference.com).

I’m also happy to announce that October has been declared National Learning and Development month, thanks to the Academy of Learning and Development for Holiday Inn Club Vacations, whose request was approved by the Registrar at National Day Calendar (http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-learning-anddevelopment-month-october/). I hope you’ll join me in learning a new skill this month—clearly, I could benefit from some technical Mac training!

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Editor's Note

Training Top 125

Minneapolis, MN (November 18, 2014)—Training magazine, the leading business publication for learning and development professionals, today announced the finalists for the annual Training Top 125, which ranks companies’ excellence in employer-sponsored training and development programs.

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