Next teach-out topics include elusive sleep, digital footprint


Sleep deprivation, fake news, privacy and reputation, and the internet’s effect on human society are topics that will be discussed in the next round of the University of Michigan Teach-Out Series.

Registration, which is free and open to all, is now open for the second round of teach-outs to be offered beginning in October and early November.

Teach-outs are short learning opportunities designed to focus on specific issues that are relevant to and affect many individuals. They bring people together on the internet to share diverse perspectives, and allow individuals to engage in meaningful interactions about current topics.

“With teach-outs we have moved beyond the broadcast model to create sustained two-way engagement with multi-generational, global public audiences,” said James DeVaney, associate vice provost for academic innovation.

“Teach-outs are conversations that combine the deep expertise of U-M faculty with lived experiences and intellectual curiosity from world citizens looking to level up to understand and confront society’s most important problems. The result is greater understanding of our diverse perspectives and shared experiences and new opportunities to develop solutions.

“As we expand the Teach-Out Series around the world, we are also working with faculty to incorporate these timely learning experiences into existing curricular and co-curricular activities at U-M.”

The next four offerings and start dates are:

Fake News, Facts, and Alternative Facts — Oct. 2

Sleep Deprivation: Habits, Solutions, and Strategies — Oct. 23

The Internet and You — Oct. 30

Privacy, Reputation, and Identity in a Digital Age — Nov. 6

Sleep deprivation is a problem that many face. This teach-out is designed to be a starting point for many to sleep better and help their friends or family with sleep problems.

“Sleep deprivation has reached epidemic proportions,” said Ronald Chevrin, the Michael S. Aldrich Collegiate Professor of Sleep Medicine and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Michigan Medicine.

“The reasons are varied — work, school, sports, socializing, politics, kids, binge watching, Facebook, texting, stress, anxiety, jetlag — but the outcomes of too little sleep are more uniform: impaired performance, mood, learning, and decision making, not to mention crashes on the road and serious health consequences.

“This teach-out will teach you some of the science behind healthy sleep, how to achieve it, and how to help others reach the same goal.”

Both “The Internet and You” and “Privacy, Reputation, and Identity in a Digital Age” focus on the impact of technology in our daily lives. “The Internet and You” looks at how the internet has affected human communication and social interactions, and how the internet will affect society in the future.

“Privacy, Reputation, and Identity in a Digital Age” will examine how the collection of big data shapes our digital identities and footprints.

“Since the World Wide Web burst onto the scene in the early 1990’s, the internet has become an inescapable part of daily life,” said Tim McKay, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, professor of physics, astronomy and education, and director of the Digital Innovation Greenhouse. “It has changed the way we communicate, learn, work, shop, and connect.”

The teach-out on fake news was very successful in its first round in March, and the topic remains top-of-mind in our nation. It will cover how to distinguish fake news from real news. It will also explain how the news process works, which can be important to understand given the prevalence of media in our everyday lives.



  1. Sally Lusk
    on September 28, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Please provide schedule information for sleep course. Is it online, at own pace?

    Also, I do NOT wish to register through Facebook. Why can’t I just register with my UM signon?

    • Ramzia Rida
      on September 29, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      Sally, I agree the sign-up was a bit confusing. I didn’t want to use Facebook either. It looks like you have to sign up for a free Coursera account, because the teach-outs are actually run through the Coursera website.

      I don’t think the timing is well-explained. It says the teach-out on sleep is “starting” on October 23. It doesn’t give a specific time, so I guess that means it is somewhat self-paced. But it also says that a teach-out “…takes place over a fixed, short period of time” and the time commitment is “1 week, 4 hours/week,” so I’m not sure if that means that it will be open just for a couple of days, or maybe one week. I’ve enrolled and I plan to sign in sometime in the morning of that day, hoping that they’ll explain better then how the timing works.

    on October 6, 2017 at 3:42 am

    Not being familiar with Coursera, googled it . Horrified by all the negative experiences students have had by signing up to use it. From what I read, it is a corporate money machine. Every student states having had to pay fees. One student has continued having their account billed monthly for the same charges paid in full before using the site. And this is occurring long after the course was completed. Every commentor stated their is no contact information available if you need help or have an issue with their ‘payment system’. Sounds like high risk to me. I for one do not care to pay monthly indefinately for using a site for only a once or twice opportunity.
    Safe Travels

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