Wednesday, October 1, 2014

MOOCs, TED Talks, and "The Great Courses": Creation Corner Column for October 2014

Here are various examples that help us, from secular sources, as we advocate and take action on behalf of the environment.
MOOCs.  "The New York Times" declared 2012 to be "the year of the MOOC" (massive open online courses).  See MOOCs: The Essential Guide by Jonathan Haber (MIT Press Essential Knowledge series).  Using "google search", enter your topic (e.g., Christianity and Ecology mooc, or creation care mooc).
MOOCs can be university-based online courses or personal online learning; free or not; some have starting dates, others are self-paced; some you can audit, others provide certificates of achievement; some may have pre-requisites and a time commitment, others not; some are videos, others live lectures; some have "classroom" discussions, others may use online forums (peer-to-peer social learning). is a MOOC source.  Courses include those on sustainability; greening the economy; our energy future; climate literacy; navigating climate change conversations; climate change in four dimensions; etc. , another MOOC example, offers courses such as global warming science; Blue is the new Green (global water crisis); human health and environmental change; making sense of climate science denial; solar energy; energy 101; intro. to environmental science; etc.
TED Talks "1800 talks to stir your curiosity" says the site.  Of interest to us are Nicholas Stern's "The state of the climate and what we might do about it"; "How not to be ignorant about the world" by Hans and Ola Rosling; and others on the disappearance of bees, the danger of science denial, plastic recycling, a critical look at geoengineering against climate change, etc.
The Great Courses are widely advertised (www.salegreatcourses).  These DVD lecture series include ones on Francis of Assisi; Science and Religion; Earth's Changing Climate; Earth at the Crossroads: Understanding the Ecology of a Changing Planet, etc.
Note: Mike Ochs began this series entitled "Creation Corner Column" in October 1997 (see newsletter at ) and it was adopted as a blog in March 2011 by the web site at LutheransRestoringCreation.