When Covid-19 struck, the whole world withdrew into the confines of four walls. But education moved beyond those confines like never before! It wasn’t that we did not have online and e-learning avenues earlier. However, with the traditional educators and school children quickly adapting to this mode, perspectives changed forever. It opened up unlimited opportunities for all those who wanted to learn. So, is e-learning for seniors? Let’s explore.
To explore the realms of adult learning, we must delve a bit into the teaching methods of adult learning, which is what Andragogy is. Our schooling has conditioned us to be dependent and guided learners. Even though adults are self-directed learners, it may take time for them to understand this and apply their faculties to make it work. All we need is the zeal to learn and the child-like curiosity to obtain knowledge. So, what can we do to gain that approach?
Here are some tips:
- Have a good understanding of your learning objective. Why are you learning something? This goal must be the driver.
- Pick up topics that have immediate value. Unlike kids, you need not have a long-term outlook. You might learn better if you pick up skills that you can apply immediately in your everyday life. The results are a great motivator.
- Leverage your experience, analyse every piece of knowledge you gain, map it to your goals, and practice what you learned.
- Seek help from your teachers and mentors openly without worrying about the need to keep up stereotypical images.
These tips can help you master whatever skill you want, irrespective of age.
Benefits of online learning
Online learning has multiple advantages that suit the adult learning needs. Here they are:
- The flexibility and convenience of learning from wherever you are, at your chosen pace and time, is a big plus.
- The e-learning market is teeming with many courses, many of which are free. There is a good chance you may not have to spend much to pick up some new skills.
- It also gives you privacy if you don’t want others to know about your learning.
- It keeps you engaged and lends a positive outlook on life.
- If you join cohort-based programs, you will interact with other learners and instructors for a more social and enjoyable learning experience.
- Many online courses facilitate course personalisation to suit your needs. So, you can pick and choose to achieve your objectives.
- It improves your technology grasp immensely. You will learn to use more digital tools and software and become proficient.
- The world is your oyster! You will run out of excuses of time, money, physical and other constraints to avoid learning! You can choose from courses across the globe, whether traditional university courses or informal learning.
- Research says learning new skills can prevent or delay cognitive decline by keeping your mind sharp. And your quality of life improves vastly due to the multiple benefits listed above.
The way forward
So, e-learning is the way to go! What’s the next step?
- Begin with the end in mind. List those things you would like to learn that will help you in your everyday life or enrich your life.
- Explore e-learning platforms such as Udemy, Coursera, edX, Skillshare, Masterclass, LinkedIn Learning, Alison, online courses from Indian and global universities, YouTube videos, specific on-request courses conducted by senior communities and NGOs, etc.
- Shortlist the platform, enrol for the course, and keep going at your pace to complete the program.
- Apply what you have learned to surprise people around you and gain confidence.
At Samarth, we have regular tech sessions conducted by our team, customised to suit the learning needs of our seniors. These are interactive sessions where you can ask and get your queries answered by these experts. The videos of these sessions are also available on our YouTube channel for people to browse through later if they missed the sessions. The key is to ensure lifelong learning, whichever way you choose.