65-year-old earns Masters, wins OLLI award

A Titan with an appetite for learning is the recipient of the 2017 Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) Betty Robertson Award.

Sanford “Sandy” George graduated from Cal State Fullerton in May with a master’s degree in geography while attending simultaneous courses in religion at the University of Southern California, where he plans to earn his third bachelor’s degree.

“Everyone needs a hobby,” 65-year-old George said of his 12 years as a part-time student while employed with a company that manages internet access for USC and several large, private universities.

– See more at: http://news.fullerton.edu/2017sp/GeorgeSanford-RobertsonAward.aspx#sthash.C8lSfjDF.dpuf

Makerspaces–Where Creators find Camaraderie

(Editor’s Note: In this age of falling government funding for community education programs, it is edifying to find places where lifelong learning meets entrepreneurism. Programs that use the principles of community education–fee based, user supported, managed as a business–are truly the future of lifelong learning. Because a program that is self-supporting is in no danger of being discontinued due to the whims of funding organizations)

by Esteban Bustillos, Enterprise Reporting Intern

Dallas Morning News

The main work space hums with people working on everything from metalworking to tinkering with robots. It may look quiet on the outside, but the work inside never really stops.

The people of the Dallas Makerspace don’t want anyone to be confused; it’s not a replacement for college. But it is a space where creativity and education flourish in one form or another.

“School doesn’t stop. Or, I should say, your education doesn’t stop, even if your schooling stops,” said Olson, the former board member. “Like, if you’re 70 years old and you want to learn about microcontrollers or something, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, you would have had to go back to college for that. And now it’s like there are people who want to teach you that. You just have to show up and pay attention.”

Read article…

Cold showers and personal growth

What does taking cold showers have to do with lifelong learning?

Adam Krueger of The Ascent put that on his list of things to do to stay committed to lifelong learning. His rationale?

Note: if you improve yourself by 1% everyday for an entire year, you will grow by 38x (1³⁶⁵=37.8)

Here are some more items on his list. What are on yours?

11-Mar-17: Starting taking cold showers (for the last 60 seconds)

12-Mar-17: Set goal of learning one new song per week on the guitar

13-Mar-17: Started listening to Audiobooks at 3–4x the speed

14-Mar-17: Started keeping my shoes organized

15-Mar-17: Decided to learn to juggle, practicing a few min daily

16-Mar-17: Began reading 3 book summaries (~10 min each) daily

17-Mar-17: Limit eating out to bare minimum, learn new recipe weekly

18-Mar-17: Limit alcohol to a bare minimum

19-Mar-17: No more snoozing alarm clocks, no more than 7 hrs sleep/night

20-Mar-17: Build tracker for bills as a reminder

21-Mar-17: Limit TV usage to 2 hours per day

22-Mar-17: Saying people’s names when I say hello, brushing teeth with weak hand, do one charitable thing a day, stretch for 10 minutes a day, spend 15 minutes a day on personal improvement

23-Mar-17: Picking up one piece of litter a day

24-Mar-17: Drink 3L of water a day

25-Mar-17: Start keeping track of calories with myfitnesspal

26-Mar-17: Try a day without the internet next weekend

27-Mar-17: Start attending weekly Toastmasters sessions to become a better public speaker, start meditating 5 minutes daily, take one online course at all times, learn to play the game “Go”

28-Mar-17: Sketch one thing at least once a month for the rest of 2017

29-Mar-17: Find a mentor by the end of April (to chat with on a regular basis)

30-Mar-17: Make it to work on time everyday, and start posting on Medium in the mornings

31-Mar-17: Start volunteering at least once a month (look into options and find a place by April 7th)

1-Apr-17: Start quizzing myself in Chinese for 10 min daily using a flashcard app; start shampooing hair every other day (as opposed to every day)

2-Apr-17: Explore downtown Toronto by riding bike each weekend in spring, summer, and fall of 2017; Bike the 24km to my parent’s place uptown and back at least once this summer

3-Apr-17: Start donating blood, register as an organ donor, use less energy heating and cooling home, start buying some fair-trade products, start using reusable bags when grocery shopping

4-Apr-17: Eat an orange in the shower each morning, keep kitchen clean, jot down 10 ideas every day

5-Apr-17: Read fiction for 5–10 minutes a day

6-Apr-17: Ignore eNewsletters until the end of the day, and write down lesson learned from each book I read

7-Apr-17: Strike up a 1+ minute conversation with a stranger each day, read over Medium posts for grammar

8-Apr-17: Include a header image on all Medium posts

9-Apr-17: Drink a class of kefir each morning

10-Apr-17: Run at least one mile every single day

11-Apr-17: Plank once a day for as long as possible

12-Apr-17: Substitute baby carrots for regular carrots for morning smoothies

13-Apr-17: Buy a foam roller and start using for 5 minutes daily

14-Apr-17: Take the stairs (as opposed to escalator) wherever possible

15-Apr-17: Climb the stairs in my apartment building from ground to 50+ once a week

16-Apr-17: Play Spikeball with friends on at least 10 occasions this summer

17-Apr-17: Take one picture every day

18-Apr-17: Hold the door open for others for one straight minute each day

19-Apr-17: Wearing earplugs from now on at loud events

20-Apr-17: Add a “quote of the week” to the whiteboard in my room for inspiration

21-Apr-17: No longer dispose of cardboard in the recycling chute (which we are not supposed to do)

22-Apr-17: Recording and posting a one-minute video each day

23-Apr-17: Using an RSS reader for news consumption

24-Apr-17: Set a timer for 5 minutes before bed and spend the time jotting down all the things I want to accomplish the following day

25-Apr-17: Stop cracking knuckles

26-Apr-17: Stay disconnected for the first hour after getting up each morning

27-Apr-17 to 9-May-17: Quit my job to start non-profit, drink green tea at least once a day, write down one mistake I made each day that I can learn from, do at least one run and one bike for the cure each year, call grandparents at least 3 times a week, get a compost bin and start using it, start standing while playing the guitar, start cutting my own hair, spend 25 minutes a day on self-improvement, become a vegetarian within 100 days, made rule to never accept more than $75k annually in personal income, spend 5 minutes a day learning to type properly, learn to drive stick

10-May-17: Spend a few minutes each day reviewing this growing list of changes

11-May-17: Take daily mood quiz on moodscope.com

12-May-17: Writing down 3 things a day that I am grateful for

13-May-17: Draw something every day

14-May-17: Add a slice of lemon to a glass of water daily

15-May-17: Creating a Vision Board and reviewing it monthly

16-May-17: Stop using Instagram

17-May-17: Smiling & saying hi to strangers in the elevator

18-May-17: Putting my phone and wallet/keys in opposite pockets

19-May-17: Reach out to one new person a day for advice on my startup

20-May-17: Using the pomodoro technique to manage time

21-May-17: Start 30-day wall sit challenge, and then continue to do one 5-minute wall sit a day

22-May-17: Learn one new word a day

23-May-17: Brainstorm and write down 10 uses for a random object each day

24-May-17: Write at least 100 words daily on any topic

25-May-17: Use the Rule of 3 to identify the three most important things I want to focus on accomplishing each day at work

26-May-17: Using the ‘5 Why’ technique to get to the root cause of problems

27-May-17: Switching my iPhone wallpaper during work hours as a reminder to leave my work at work

28-May-17: Try again with online iOS development course and commit to 15 minutes of learning per day

29-May-17: Only checking and responding to emails once each morning

30-May-17: Only visiting Medium once a day

31-May-17: Always climb the stairs two steps at a time

1-June-17: Watching one new TED talk a week

Read article here…

Never too late to learn

by DELIA CELLINI LINECKER, Investors Business Daily

You’re never too old to learn, as the saying goes. At 87, Michelangelo said, “I’m still learning.” For 102-year-old Thousand Oaks, Calif., resident Gerri Cowardin, learning has been a lifelong endeavor. A retired O.R. nurse, she has attended classes offered by California State University Channel Islands’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Camarillo, Calif., along with her 74-year-old daughter, Geri Gretan.

Last semester, Cowardin took a bus from her residence to the OLLI campus in Thousand Oaks to attend music classes; she enjoys opera. Gretan, who was also a nurse, enrolled in science classes about stem cell research and DNA.

“There is no homework, no grades, just learning for the sake of learning,” Gretan told IBD.

Gretan says her mother, who trained to be a teacher before changing career paths, has always been an avid learner. “She loves to read and still does crossword puzzles,” she said.

Read more…

Should lifelong learning be free?

In Britain, Emily Chapman argues YES:

Everyone should have the right to access further education, at any stage in their life. For many people, adult education and lifelong learning provides a much-needed second, third or even fourth chance. It supports the most disadvantaged to enter and return to work, gives people agency over their lives and allows them the opportunity to change their career path and learn new skills.

Read her reasons here…

Will your job disappear?

by Tom Hood and Bill Sheridan, Maryland Association of CPAs & Business Learning Institute

New technologies are transforming the accounting profession, and they’re also transforming the skills we’ll need to stave off extinction.

In a paper titled “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible are Jobs to Computerisation?” University of Oxford researchers Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne tried to gauge the odds that certain occupations will be completely automated within the next 20 years. Among their predictions:

  • Tax preparation: 98.7 percent
  • Bookkeepers: 97.6 percent
  • Accounting and auditing: 93.5 percent

In fact, only seven occupations – cargo and freight agents, watch repairers, insurance underwriters, mathematical technicians, hand sewers, title examiners, and telemarketers – fared worse in the study than tax preparers.

Read how they recommend lifelong learning to stave off unemployment…

Ireland has fallen behind in lifelong learning… again

Lifelong Learning Report shows that Ireland’s participation in lifelong learning has fallen again.

Of the almost 2.5 million adults aged 25-64 years in Ireland at the end of 2016, there were 167,100 lifelong learning participants.  Lifelong learning participation in Ireland declined slightly between end of 2012 and end of 2016 going from 8% to almost 7%.  Overall Ireland ranked 20th out of 28 countries.


Staying ahead of the curve

“Lifelong learning expands the mind and comes in a variety of modes,” says Nuala McGuinn, director of the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development at NUI Galway.

“It can include a short or long-term course offering certification in a structured format, or a non-formal course which requires a few hours of your time delivered online, in the workplace or wherever it suits your learning needs.”

The key outcome is that you have learned something new, you have broaden your thinking about a particular topic and enhanced your skills in some way.

Employees who undertake some form of professional development report higher levels of job satisfaction, which is good news for employers as this leads to greater staff retention.

– See more at: http://businessandfinance.com/staying-ahead-curve-importance-upskilling-continuous-professional-development/#sthash.1RBqZZWV.dpuf

Encouraging lifelong learning

Lifelong learning is exciting if you love learning, exhausting if you do not. My classes in China are similar to those in Dodge City. There are students who are energized and engaged about learning new ideas. They rapidly embrace the idea of leadership and lifelong learning. Others who just want to know if this is on the test struggle. They want to graduate college and be finished learning — they want the test to be over. NOW I am telling them that the world they are planning for will only be temporary and that they will need to keep changing, keep learning.