Vidyarjan Nugget # 31: Newsela website

Developing reading habit is not easy. However, help is available. If you wish to consciously develop reading skills in yourself or in your children, students or employees, then have a look at Newsela.

Newsela offers an instructional content platform that can be used by the teachers or instructors to create online classes for their students. It provides content at five reading levels along with comprehension quizzes and writing prompts. Teachers can see the student reading activity, quiz scores and answers to writing prompts. A free plan provides good enough functionality though a professional plan would be useful for professional teachers.

The link to this learning resource is http://bit.ly/vnl0031.

Happy Learning!

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Vidyarjan Nugget # 30: A book titled “Social Science Research: Principles, Methods, and Practices”

If you are planning to undertake a rigorous research to examine a particular social or business issue or if you are planning to do PhD in management or social sciences then you must read this book. It is written by a well-published management researcher, Dr. Anol Bhattacherjee from University of South Florida.

This book covers the entire research process starting with exploration before getting into design and execution. It is quite compact book as it covers all necessary concepts in less than 150 pages.

Though you can buy a paperback copy online, you can download its PDF copy for free! Keeping with the tradition of open source software, the author has made this book open textbook.

The link to this learning resource is http://bit.ly/vnl0030.

Happy Learning!

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Vidyarjan Nugget # 29: Booklet App

When we published Vidyarjan Nugger #25 about 12min mobile app, one of our friends, Mr Maulik Gawarepatil contacted us to let us know about Booklet.

Booklet is an absolutely free app that provides book summaries in text and audio formats. There are no ads and no premium paid plans! Mr. Amrut Deshmukh, who has developed this app, is on the mission of “Make India Read”. One of the six book summaries that you get upon installation, provides the story of why and how he started this mobile app.

The link to this learning resource is http://bit.ly/vnl0029.

Happy Learning!

Vidyarjan Nugget # 28: Web Article titled “Becoming the Boss”

Becoming the manager (aka boss!) for the first time is an exciting milestone in everyone’s career. However, if you ask the experienced professionals about their first-year experience after becoming manager, most of them would say that it was a stressful period. This phenomenon seems to be a universal one.

Harvard Professor Dr. Linda A. Hill, who has (co)-authored three books, namely, Becoming a Manager, Being the Boss, and Collective Genius, wrote an insightful article on this topic in the January 2007 issue of Harvard Business Review. Though it was written almost 12 years back, we found it still relevant today! It specifically discusses five misconceptions (myth vs reality) of new managers. A highly recommended article for new managers and their managers!

The link to this learning resource is http://bit.ly/vnl0028.

Happy Learning!

Vidyarjan Nugget # 27: The New World Kirkpatrick Model

Everyone agrees that training is necessary in business organizations. Many large organizations employ Learning and Development (L&D) professionals in their training department to impart training programs to their all employees. While nobody denies the need of such training programs, many wonder whether these training programs deliver any value to the business organizations.

While training feedback form is a typical way by which effectiveness of a training program is measured, a more rigorous approach is needed to measure the value of training programs. One of the most influential model for evaluation of training programs is the Kirkpatrick Model, developed by Dr Donald Kirkpatrick as the subject of his Ph.D. dissertation in 1954. The model proposed four levels of training evaluation viz. Reaction, Learning, Behavior, and Result. This model was subsequently refined over a period of time and has evolved into The New World Kirkpatrick Model.

Son and daughter-in-law of Dr Donald Kirkpatrick set up Kirkpatrick Partners in year 2008 to provide training and consulting based on this model. Their website provide details of the model and the advice on how to use the model. The website’s “Our Philosophy” section explains the model in sufficient depth. You can access the additional resources such as white papers, articles, forms, videos, etc. by registering at the site for free.

The link to this learning resource is http://bit.ly/vnl0027.

Happy Learning!

Vidyarjan Nugget # 26: MOOC titled “AI for Everyone”

Artificial intelligence has been around for decades. It is now getting attention in mainstream press due to its real-life business applications and also because of fear of job losses. There are many learning resources available that can help you understand what is artificial intelligence with enough technical details. But there are not many resources available for explaining AI to non-technical business executives.

If you wish to understand AI in sufficient depth and want to know how it can be used in business then we would recommend you a MOOC, titled “AI for Everyone”. This MOOC is taught by Andrew Ng, whose “Machine Learning” MOOC is very popular and is a top-ranked MOOC. While Machine Learning MOOC is quite technical, Andrew Ng has come up with AI for Everyone MOOC, specifically for non-technical business executives.

This course is four weeks long with 35 videos and four quizzes. If you are interested in knowing what is AI then the videos from first week are good enough. If you want to use AI in your company then you should continue with second and third week. The contents of fourth week are focused on implications of AI in society at large.

The only shortcoming of this MOOC is that it focuses only on machine learning and deep learning and ignores other AI technologies such as case based reasoning and rule-based engines. It may be justified because the current focus on AI is indeed on machine learning and deep learning.

The link to this learning resource is http://bit.ly/vnl0026.

Happy Learning!

Vidyarjan Nugget # 25: 12-min app

We are all pressed for time. Even though we want to read bestseller books, we do not find enough time to read those entire books. Sensing it as an opportunity, a Brazil-based startup offers a website and a mobile app to read summaries of primarily non-fiction books. Its free plan offers one microbook per day. Its paid plan offers more microbooks per day for reading and for listening!

The company claims that its team of experts writes original summaries that cover the most important ideas and concepts from the book. We have read some of the microbooks on the app and found them quite good. As of now, the collection of microbooks is not vast but contains really good picks. We would recommend to try out its app.

The link to this learning resource is http://bit.ly/vnl0025.

Happy Learning!

Vidyarjan Nugget # 24: A talk by Captain Raghu Raman

Our country has got a large unorganized sector, also called as informal sector. As no management graduates or consultants work in this sector, we may think that this sector must be poorly managed.

Captain Raghu Raman thinks otherwise. In a 32-minute talk, he has spoken at length about the management lessons corporate India can learn from informal sector of India. He has examined the minutest of details of the streets of India and shattered generally held myths against this sector.

Captain Raghu Raman spent eleven years as an officer in the Indian Armed Forces , followed by another eleven years in the corporate sector before joining the Government as CEO of the National Intelligence Grid. He is a great orator hence you will find his talk both informative and fascinating.

The link to this learning resource is http://bit.ly/vnl0024.

Happy Learning!

Vidyarjan Nugget # 23: Mindtools website

Mind Tools provides a rich repository of high-quality, practical, on-demand resources that can help one to become an effective and inspirational manager and leader. It offers articles, podcasts, videos, infographics, quizzes, etc. The skill areas include leadership, strategy, problem solving, decision making, project management, time management, creativity, communication skills, etc. We have used these resources extensively and can vouch for the quality.

The site boasts of helping more than 24 million learners per year. It has over 150,000 paid members and more than half a million subscribers to its free email newsletter. Its android mobile app has been installed on more than one lac mobiles.

The link to this learning resource is http://bit.ly/vnl0023.

Happy Learning!

Vidyarjan Nugget # 22: MOOC titled “How to Build a Startup”

If you wish to take only one online course to learn about how to start your own venture, we would recommend you the Udacity course titled “How to Build a Startup”.

This free course is taught by Steve Blank, who is recognized for developing the Customer Development method that launched the Lean Startup movement. Lean Startup movement recognizes that startups are not smaller versions of large companies, but require their own set of processes and tools to be successful. This course introduces many concepts that will be useful for every entrepreneur.

Our key takeaway from this course is the definition of a startup. Steve Blank defines startup as a temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.

The link to this learning resource is http://bit.ly/vnl0022.

Happy Learning!