Lifelong learning has become a necessity in the era of globalization. Time needs to be set aside and online education technologies utilized to really make it happen.
Online education can finally help make lifelong learning a reality for millions of people. Most people’s discretionary time is limited and there are many competing demands on it. But few things are more important to success in life than education and ongoing learning, so it is wise for adults to budget time for it and to take advantage of online education. Lifelong learning may not be a goal for most people but it’s becoming a necessity to get ahead in the global knowledge economy.
The Need for Lifelong Learning
The general need for lifelong learning has been recognized since ancient times but it wasn’t until the 20th century that serious and effective methods were employed on a large scale to provide adult education opportunities. Since the 1970s major international organizations like the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and later the European Union have researched and documented specific needs and opportunities for lifelong learning around the world.
In the current era of a knowledge-based global economy, the need for lifelong learning is urgent in every country and it is mainly distance learning or online education that has the capability to fulfill that need. Online education requires digital literacy and broadband internet connections which must be made readily available to those who want better lives.
Lifelong learning programs seem further advanced in the United Kingdom and in other EU countries than in most parts of the world. The U.S. government had initiatives in the 1970s and 1990s but federal support and spending for lifelong learning has not been consistent. Individuals in the U.S. and elsewhere need to take the initiative to obtain the additional education and learning needed for more competitive employment and personal enrichment opportunities.
In large part lifelong learning success does require individuals to
- Determine their personal learning needs
- Plan their own learning
- Find appropriate institutions and programs
- Provide self-motivation
- Evaluate their own learning progress
- Learn in informal as well as in formal settings
The rapid pace of change during the past several decades, growing technological complexity, and the transformation of workplaces in the new knowledge economy underlines the crucial importance of lifelong learning to a successful and happy life for most people.
Establishing Realistic Lifelong Learning Goals
Setting achievable goals is important to effective lifelong learning. Goals will be more motivating if they are realistic. Learning goals can address various needs in a person’s life such as
It’s likely that over time a person will have learning goals in all of these areas and that the goals themselves will need to be adapted to changes in opportunities and circumstances, as well as to the journey through an individual’s life cycle. Adults should plan on continually learning things to enhance their knowledge and skills, even if they have degrees. Those who don’t have degrees will especially need to focus on lifelong learning to supplement their knowledge and qualifications. Investing in education pays off.
Investigate Online Education Opportunities
There are numerous opportunities to obtain education or training through online education. Hundreds of colleges and universities in the U.S. now offer courses and degree programs via distance learning. These online education programs vary widely in scope but most undergraduate or graduate degrees can be obtained wholly or in large part online.
It is in the interest of colleges and universities to keep up with changes in educational needs and technology. Adult learners should not hesitate to contact both local and distance learning providers to obtain guidance regarding appropriate degree programs, courses, fees, and financial aid. The colleges themselves have admissions and financial aid experts to guide applicants and potential students.
Naturally, if someone needs a degree he or she will need to pay toward it, but everyone should be sure to apply for financial aid. Working students should also check to see if their employer will reimburse all or part of tuition expense. Veterans should investigate the education benefits available to them under the GI Bill.
Another great opportunity is online learning platforms like Skillshare, Udemy and Linkedin learning where you can take classes on any topic and improve any of your existing skills.
One of the great advantages of online education is its flexibility which enables many people to continue to work full time while studying for a degree. Classes can be taken and study performed after working hours when convenient for the student.
Take Free College Courses Online
There are many free college courses online. Review these first before spending money on non-degree program courses. Sources of free online college courses include the iTunes U section of iTunes. (iTunes can be downloaded free from Apple.) Dozens of courses are available in many areas, including
- Health & Medicine
- Teaching & Education
Major sources other than iTunes can be found by searching for “free college courses online.” MIT alone offers 1,900 courses through its MIT Open Courseware (OCW) program. The Open Courseware Consortium provides free access to hundreds of courses from dozens of colleges and universities around the world. A person can just focus on what knowledge he or she really needs. However, these free courses typically do not provide college credit or count toward a degree.
Online Education Enables Effective Lifelong Learning And Improving the Skill
The need for lifelong learning is universal and urgent in the globalized knowledge economy. One of the inexpensive platforms that offers lifetime learning and skill improvement is Skillshare. On IMHO Reviews I explain all of the features of the classes along with the pricing structure, pros and cons The advance of the digital age and the widespread availability of broadband internet connectivity have made online education a reality and an effective means of pursuing lifelong education. Once a person has acquired computer literacy and has access to a broadband internet connection his or her learning potential is virtually unlimited. All that is then required is a strong desire for a better life