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If there was one thing that I prided myself as one of the first executives at Coursera, it was being able to hire people who were far smarter, more talented, or more experienced than I was. At a start-up where there are so many major decisions that have yet to be made, so many critical insights yet to be observed, so many twists and turns yet to be navigated, talent (at every level) becomes the difference between success and failure. But hiring well is actually really hard to do. …


I’ve been getting asked by friends for recommendations for good online courses and resources for their students as they are stuck at home. Here’s my round-up of some great online courses and educational activities being offered for free. This list is by no means not comprehensive. For a more comprehensive set of edtech products check out Common Sense Media’s site. Please also add additional great offerings to the comment section. I hope this is useful to parents during this challenging time.

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Outschool

Description: Outschool offers live online courses for students ages 3–18 years old on topics ranging from creative writing, to world history, to math. …


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In the United States, we currently have a crisis with higher education. At the same time as the demand for higher-level skills has never been more acute, the cost of attaining these skills through higher education has never been more expensive. In the next few years, the first universities will reach a $100K a year price tag. Today, over 45M Americans are burdened with college debt, amounting to a whopping $1.5 trillion dollars.

Cost is likely a major reason why Americans are becoming disillusioned with higher education. A recent Gallup poll found that only 41% of young adults (18–29) believe that higher education is very important. …


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A former member of my team at Coursera asked me to share my favorite “books, articles and concepts” on leadership and management, so here they are. If you have a favorite article/book on leadership that’s not on this list, please let me know!

  • Crucial Conversations by Joseph Grenny, Al Switzler, Ron McMillan: At Coursera everyone went through Crucial Conversation training. The training (and this book) gives people a structure to have those difficult but crucial conversations. The book will help you in your personal life too. :)
  • The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane: Leadership comes in all shapes and sizes. Many of the strongest leaders I have worked with are not the most naturally “charismatic”. This book does as a great job of breaking down what charisma is, and how you can harness it, while retaining your own authentic leadership style. …


When I started my first management role, my mental image of what a manager should be was of a sober professional dressed in formal business attire. In an effort to live up to that image, I wore high heels every day, and I hid my natural smile under a serious, thoughtful expression.

I quickly realized that the shoes and the frown weren’t making me a better manager — in fact, by not being myself, I was making it harder to build a rapport with my new reports.

Now, 10 years later, I’m supporting several colleagues as they transition into their first management roles. In working through their challenges, I’ve realized that everyone has preconceived ideas about what a boss “should” be and do — and that those ideas can steer even the best-intentioned individual off track. …

About

Julia Stiglitz

Passionate about increasing access to quality education and meaningful work. Partner @GSV Ventures. Formerly @Coursera, Google Apps for Edu, Teach For America

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