FOLLOWING SHARE ONLINE
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During lunchtime last Friday, UMass Memorial’s Central Billing Office opened its doors for the costumed children of employees to trick-or-treat among the cubicles . . . and receive candy from the jesters and bakers and witches and pirates who work there. What a way to transform the workday! What a fun family event! So many adorable minions! Nice work, CBO.
FREE CLASSES, IT’S TRUE
More details have been requested about the recent tidbit touting free online classes through edX.org.
- The project was founded by Harvard University and MIT, and a number of colleges and universities have since joined in.
- New courses are continually being offered.
- The program does not adhere to a traditional academic calendar.
- At any given moment, a few million students are enrolled in the courses, and the website promotes a variety of ways of interacting with other students in your class, wherever in the world they may be.
- EdX offers certificates of successful completion, but does not offer course credit. Whether or not a college or university offers credit for an edX course is within the sole discretion of that school.
Signing up for a class is just about as simple as registering for the edX site and clicking on the course(s) you want to take. The EdX site has a useful video explaining how it works. (A couple of years back, I signed up for Harvard’s “Food and Science” course. Signing up was fairly simple and straightforward. Keeping up with the course-load after work, however, was trickier. But when else can you use your kitchen as a laboratory?)
REAL FAMILIES vs. WISTFUL SYSTEMS
This week, the Pew Research Center released a report about work-family balance in households that include a mother and a father. This prompted the Huffington Post to wonder why so many government policies and employers are stuck in “Leave It to Beaver” mode--notably highlighting that the US is the only developed country that does not offer paid family leave to new mothers. (Additionally, the article points out that “Almost 40 percent of kids in the U.S. live in a home with a single parent or no parent at all (for example, a grandparent's in charge), according to a different Pew study.”)
It’s perhaps unsurprising, then, that new government regulations on paid sick leave went over well on ballots around the country.
WE’RE NOT THE ONLY ONES
. . . keeping an eye on the labor-management partnership at Kaiser Permanente. In his address at the recent White House Summit on Worker Voice, President Obama stated, “Kaiser Permanente works with 28 different unions to provide good pay and benefits, but also educational programs, and avenues for employees to help improve quality and care throughout the company — which is why they’re considered one of the premier health organizations in the country.”
See you here next Friday! Hope you have a great weekend . . .