People are “hard wired” to learn, and to explore ideas. Most of us were glad when our formal school days were over. We were tired of the tight schedules, tests, grades, deadlines, and rigid class options. You have to admit, there were a few things that you enjoyed learning, right?
Research has shown that learning is good for us to keep growing healthy connections in our brains. This helps to prevent dementia as we age. Learning another language is a great option that is often quoted. There are other activities that are really effective. Explore a new hobby, interest, or career. See what has been discovered since the last time you took a class in Astronomy, for example!! Teaching or sharing something that you learn adds a great dimension to the experience.
The key is learning to use one of the search engines to use for research. I prefer google.com. Experiment with the best terms to use for your topics.
A lot of people enjoy writing blogs, or sharing on the internet in other ways. Many times people will join an interest group, or start one based on a desire to learn something new. Blog writers often learn as they go, and have fun with the research. You don’t have to be a professional expert in the subject, you just have to honor your sources of detailed information. In the past, you would have had to physically go to a library to research a topic. So much is at our fingertips now with the internet.
If you would like to start a free blog, there are a lot of options. Tumblr.com; wordpress.com; blogger.com and so many others. There are “blogger communities: that you can join on numerous platforms based on topics, or categories of your audience. I am a member of a number of groups oriented towards Women Bloggers, Social Media Bloggers, and special interest groups. There is always someone else interested in you or your subject, you just have to find them!
Youtube.com allows you to publish videos about your interests for free. There are also many options to do live video or “radio” podcasts for free. Ustream.com let’s you do a free “live video stream” show and there are a lot of options for radio, like Blogtalkradio.com.
There are great free courses available for lifelong learning. You might want to learn for a lot of different reasons, or just for the pleasure of it.
Some impressive universities share free classes online:
Univ CA Irvine http://ocw.uci.edu/Welcome.aspx
A resource to find other free classes is http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses. Just be careful as you look into some of these portal sites that you know what you are signing up for – email lists, ads, etc.
Learn something that you have always found interesting, or develop new interests. Use that newfound knowledge to share through blogging, videos, or even doing something with a scout troop. Your community might just be online, or you can meet people in your local area as well. Often people start a study group with people at the local library, for example. Use meetup.com or craigslist.com to find other adults near you that like to learn or have a passion for your topic!
Don’t forget to check your local library. Most libraries have a lot of high tech resources for free for the people who live in their area.
The possibilities online and in your neighborhood are limitless!
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