Thanks to the Internet, it’s never been easier to find new education opportunities. For young people just starting their journeys into higher education, colleges and universities have made teaching and learning online an integral part of their curricula. But for adults who are interested in lifelong learning, the Internet is a veritable treasure trove of resources.
The phrase “lifelong learning” implies more than just a continuing education program offered by your local university: it involves breaking down long-held assumptions, exploring new cultures and subjects, and finding new ways to see the world. Lifelong learning can also be a practical way to advance in your current career, or to begin a new career. No matter what you decide to study, taking the time to pursue lifelong learning can improve your quality of life.
Build your own news Aggregator
With today’s media over saturation, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the news, and keeping up with every story is impossible. One way to keep informed about what’s going on in the world is to build your news aggregator. There are websites that serve as news aggregators, like Huffington Post, but creating your own gives you more freedom to choose a diverse set of news outlets: adding international news outlets like BBC or Al-Jazeera can offer new perspective on American news, and you can add niche blogs and websites about subjects that interest you. Google Reader is an aggregator that allows you to read RSS feeds, both online and offline. You can also follow various journalists, bloggers and news outlets on Facebook and Twitter.
Earn or finish your degree
If your interest in lifelong learning involves getting ahead at work or pursuing a new career, a formal education is the best choice. Many adults are choosing to pursue online degrees, which allows them to work at their own pace and fit classes around work and family obligations. You can also take classes at your local college or university, or talk to your human resources department about training opportunities. Be sure you do your research and have a clear educational goal in mind before you register for a program.
Free online courses
There’s a trend in higher education that’s gaining steam: offering free classes online to the public. This new approach to education springs from the desire to “change the world by bringing education to places that can’t be reached today,” according to one of the professors teaching an artificial intelligence course at Stanford to more than 80,000 students this October. But this massive course isn’t the first attempt at free education from world-class university: Yale has a comprehensive catalog of recorded lectures and materials for free on their Open Yale Courses site. And the University of the People operates with the same goal of offering free education to underserved communities all over the world. But anyone can take advantage of these programs—taking classes online at no cost is a great way to start exploring a subject you might want to study in-depth.
Finding new ways to pursue lifelong learning can do more than foster an interest about the world around you. It can also help you find direction in your own life. Explore your options, and you can develop a more open, nimble mind.