Last week, I finished my Future Learn course on Smart Cities, so I felt after six weeks and a fair number of words committed to virtual paper, a conclusion post of some kind was needed.
This course has been a massive eye-opener for me. Unlike other Future Learn courses, which I took specifically to improve my professional skills, this one simply looked interesting to me while I was browsing. I had no real idea what the course might entail, but I don’t think any single subject since University has inspired so many blog posts all at once.
It’s been equal parts case studies,explanations and overviews, and actual practical work, including sets of exercises on Padlet. (which is a simple and fantastic app that’s nice to know about). It was nice to have actual short pieces of ‘homework’, even if it was a bit makeshift to put together!
Overall, it was a very wide-reaching course with introductions to a lot of ideas, and a big change from other Future Learn courses I’ve done, which focused on very specific topics. It covered the basics of everything from finance to project management to ethics, as well as discussions on practical projects such as smart water meters or open data sources. Much of the course needed a lot of reading outside the given material, though I didn’t struggle to understand it, there were just a lot more layers to each topic.
It also encouraged me to look further into projects around the city where I live, some of them I knew a little about, but other s I had never heard of. Manchester is much more connected to other European cities in large-scale, long-term civic projects than I suspect a lot of people realise.