Monday, April 13, 2015

Replanning & Update on my MOOC progress

A few weeks ago, I wrote about MOOCs and the ones that I was interested in at that time. In the interests of accountability (to myself, if no one else), I thought I'd post an update.

Spring break threw me off a little bit, I only worked on one class that week, and several more started up.

Also, I'm learning my limits for how many MOOCs I can take at a time (that is, 2 or 3). I have so many interests, that it's tempting to take them all "now." I need to resist that, and focus on what is doable.

First, a recap on last week, and then an update on my MOOC progress.  Last week:


  1. Monday, I applied to several more jobs, to get that ball rolling again.
  2. Tuesday, I finished Codecademy's Java course. I had finished Python in March. My next plan for Codecademy will be their website design, because it's a necessary skill for my potential business, but I haven't started that yet.
  3. Also, Tuesday, the Job Club resumed.
  4. Wednesday, I started reading through the information from the Unemployment Office, Women's Business Center of North Alabama, Small Business Administration.
  5. Thursday, I paid bills and contacted my banks.
    • My only major debt is my mortgage, so now I know what steps to take if that becomes an issue. 
    • I also spoke to their business lender, who had ~2-3 papers on writing a business plan and a list of organizations around town that support small businesses. I know I've been in touch with some of them already, but I need to look at the list for who I've missed.
  6. I read two of my library books, and started more. Look for a review of Ladies Who Launch: Embracing Entrepreneurship & Creativity as a Lifestyle later this week. Currently reading  AntiPatterns: Refactoring Software, Architectures, and Projects in Crisis.
  7. I also went to a Chamber of Commerce event, the Grand Opening of an IT business in town.
  8. I spent a good chunk of Friday starting my tax return.
  9. Saturday morning I worked with a team delivering phone books, as a fundraiser for my husband's Community Band.
  10. Saturday afternoon, evening, I performed with the Huntsville Feminist Chorus in our Spring Concert at UAH. Then I went over to Yuri's Night for a few hours. Sunday morning, we reprised some of the songs at the local UU Church. Sunday afternoon, the UU Church had an event where Brett Jones spoke about his book, Pride: The Story of the First Openly Gay Navy Seal.
With all of that running around, I didn't do a lot of my MOOC homework last week. I watched the lectures for Programming Mobile Applications, and started the lectures for Intro to Electronics.
  1. MITx 16.00 Introduction to Aerospace Engineering: Astronautics and Human Spaceflight, March 3 - May 5 on EdX
    • I am more than 50% complete on this, and was keeping up with it until last week, even through spring break. My plan is to get the current week's work done tomorrow, to catch back up. I did not take the Signature Track, but I would very much like to complete this honor course.
    • Oh good, I just double-checked the homework assignment, and the Aircraft Accident Report is due NEXT Tuesday (4/21). So I can work on it Thursday / Friday.
  2. Georgia Institute of Technology Introduction to Electronics March 15 - May 7 on Coursera
    • Here, too, I did not sign up for the Signature Track. But in this case, it's not because I'm worried that I couldn't do the work. It's because this is a refresher of coursework I already completed. So I don't think it gains me anything.
    • I caught up on Week 2's homework (from Spring Break) late, and did Week 3's on time. Week 4 just ended, and I got about half of the assignments done. I plan to catch back up on this again this week, probably Thursday / Friday, after my taxes are done.
  3. Harvardx CS50x3 Introduction to Computer Science, I started this week, the schedule allows the work to be completed by Dec 31, on EdX.
    • I watched Week 1's lectures, downloaded Stitch, and have read the assignment for P-set 0. I still plan to do this, but because of the December deadline, it's taking a backseat to my current work.
  4. University of Maryland, College Park Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems: Part 1 March 25 -April 19 on Coursera
    • This one had some verbiage about not doing honor certificates, and strongly encouraging everyone to sign up for the Signature Track, including information on applying for financial aid. So I applied for financial aid and did the signature track.
    • Week 1 went well. The labs were for 0 credit, I did the first lab and started the second.
    • Week 2 finishes today. I watched the lectures on Friday, but haven't started the lab yet. It's on the agenda for this afternoon / evening (If I can get it done tonight, there's only a 5% penalty.)
  5. University of Maryland, College Park Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems: Part 2 March 25 - April 19 on Coursera
    • I think I've rescheduled this to the May 7 session.
  6. Rice University An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python (Part 2) March 27 - April 24th on Coursera.
    • I know this is backwards, but I think with my background I should be able to do it just fine. If not, then I can always retake it after Part 1.
    • Because it was out-of-sequence, I did not sign up for the Signature Track. Also, because I'm full up with 1, 2, and 4, I am going to wait and take this in-sequence instead.
  7. Rice University Principles of Computing (Part 2) March 27 - April 24th on Coursera
    • Another in backwards order.
    • Just like 6, I'm going to wait and take this in-sequence.
    • Really, these two can wait. I'll probably do the Python Part 1, then Part 2, then maybe Principles of Computing Part 1, and then this.
  8. Microsoft Dev204x Programming with C# April 7 - May 19 on EdX
    • I missed week 1. It would be really nice to catch up this week, but I'll have to see.
The rest didn't start until May.

I've found and registered for the business classes in a Coursera sequence. These were focused on the accounting and financial side, which is where I'm weak. I think the first starts in May. Like the Android Applications courses, these are critical skills for my potential business, so they're a high priority.