As learning business professionals, most of us are already aware of the importance of lifelong learning – in both our personal and professional lives. But it seems – until recently – that the rest of the world has been slow to acknowledge the significant impact that lifelong learning has, and will continue to have, on how we live and work.
It’s been five years since Massive Open Online Courses first emerged, and since then they’ve become a popular option for those who already have a traditional education, but are looking to keep their learning going and enhance or update their current skill set.
We are in the midst of a historic transition in education, in which we are providing more options and flexibility in creating learning cultures that significantly raise the expectations of what our students can accomplish. We now can effectively support students who traditionally have not succeeded. You have heard it before; learning can be available anywhere, securely on any device, in any format, and potentially connected to anybody 24×7.
Doreetha Daniels received her associate degree in social sciences from College of the Canyons, in Santa Clarita, California, in 2015. But Daniels wasn’t a typical student: She was 99 years old. Daniels wanted to get her degree simply to better herself; her six years of school during that pursuit were a testament to her will, determination and commitment to learning.
Clif Smart, aptly-named President of Missouri State University, told recent graduates that whether they continue their formal education or not, none of them should be finished learning–
I believe you can’t live a fulfilled life without continuing to grow and learn. So I shared with them some of the things I had learned since I completed my formal education 30 years ago. Some items were to be amusing; all were based on my experiences.
Here we go…
• Stop by Andy’s frozen custard when you come back to Springfield. The strawberry concrete is worth the calories.
• Never buy a timeshare. You will have a difficult time selling it, and it will likely cost you several thousand dollars to unload it. I witnessed that from watching my parents try to sell a timeshare in Las Vegas. Painful.
• Work hard. There really is no free ride, and those who don’t work hard eventually pay for that lifestyle.
During a speech at Amherst College, Jeb Bush’s last point was that the United States should encourage “a culture of lifelong learning, starting at the earliest levels.”
He urged a “customized” learning experience, “where children learn in their own path and their own way, where teachers manage the learning system in the classroom, but we gain growth every year — and that there’s no tolerance for passing kids along just because of their life circumstances.”
Continuous learning has become essential.
And workers — especially older workers — know it. My Next Avenue colleague, career coach Nancy Collamer, recently wrote that nearly 40 percent of workers over 50 told the Pew Research Center that they believe continuous training is essential to their future career success. FWIW, Mark Zuckerberg gets it, too: As The Economist notes, Zuckerberg sets himself new personal learning goals every year.
Problem is, as The Economist points out clearly and bleakly, employers and policymakers are doing precious little to provide the necessary training to keep U.S. workers at the top of their game. In fact, Palmer maintains, “employers seem to be less willing to invest in training their workforces” than in the past, partly due to financial pressures and the growth of automation and outsourcing.
Read article: http://www.nextavenue.org/survive-age-automation/
In my experience, taking courses on edX is a great way to learn a skill to meet a career need, supplement your studies, or simply for pure enjoyment.
Numeracy is a vital part of being able to function in work-life and as an active citizen. Developing a successful approach to numeracy can have a huge positive impact on a country’s economic and social wellbeing. Yet we understand far too little about how effective adults, and in particular those belonging to vulnerable groups in society, are at solving everyday mathematical problems or about how emotions, stress and other pressures affect their ability to learn mathematics and make use of what they have learned.