Jan Davis writing on lifelong learning…
Where are you, right now, right this second?
Maybe you’re in a cubicle plotting your escape…or planning your next promotion to a corner office with windows. Maybe you’re sitting at home pondering how to grow that garden, but you never seem to get started.
Wherever you are, you know there’s somewhere else you’d rather be – somewhere money takes you, or freedom gives you time to do as you please. Some place you want to go, but can’t because of lack of skills. But how can you go from where you are, to where you want to be?
The more usable knowledge you have as an adult, the more you’re in control of your life. Just having the ability to learn and find knowledge is a skill in itself. The important thing is to be open to learning new things in order to gain what you want.
Become a lifelong learner…someone who learns throughout their life to better themselves, gaining freedom and choices along the way. Lifelong learning includes any means you use to gain knowledge – formal and informal training, mentoring, reading and doing. And lucky for you, lifelong learning is easy in today’s internet world, no matter where you live.
Most colleges and universities now have online or distance learning departments and programs. Students can complete many different degrees, from certifications to doctorates online.
Open-source learning is the new buzz in lifelong learning. It allows you, the learner, to take charge of your learning through the power of the internet. You can learn in your own time and – with the education and training world embracing online learning – the availability of quality information and training is increasing on a daily basis. No matter where you live or what you want to learn, you can now do it online.
Even if you don’t want a degree, check out your local college for non-credit courses. Many colleges have a continuing education or community education department. They offer courses in everything, from yoga to photography to Microsoft Office. Instructors are normally professionals in the field who also teach at the college.
If you don’t want, need, or like formal education, there are other lifelong learning opportunities. Informal education includes any training that doesn’t lead to a degree or certificate. This includes non-credit coursework from an institution, seminars from industry, self-taught knowledge, and more.
It’s so easy to search the internet and gain knowledge. Find people who are already doing what you want to learn — people who have like-minded ideas and philosophies as yourself. Read their blogs, watch their videos, and sign up for their newsletters.
There is no age limit and definitely no criteria for what you can learn.
And, of course, the best means of learning is doing. So just start doing; don’t wait until you know everything, because you never will. And half the fun of learning is doing.
Editor’s note: Jan Davis hosts the website Everyday Homesteading.
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