Learn Something New

Mar 15, 2018 | Turning 60 and Beyond | 0 comments

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”  Henry Ford

When was the last time you learned something new? “They” say you should try to learn something new every day—it keeps your mind active. I’ve always liked learning. Everything, from becoming a better photographer, becoming a better writer, meditation, what’s new going on around me, to name just a few. Yes, I’m even trying meditation.  It’s why I like to travel–you always learn something new. Just because we get older, the learning shouldn’t be over. Far from it—there are massive benefits to learning new things.

  • You grow as a person, and improve yourself for the better.
  • Learning something new gives you access to new and different experiences that just might be the best thing you ever did.
  • Learning improves one’s self-esteem. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and pride.
  • Learning makes you more interesting. And also makes you more interested to learn more.
  • In some cases learning will take you out of your comfort zone which may be scary but you just might like it.
  • It is proven that learning and keeping your mind active as long as possible will lessen the effects of Alzheimers’ disease or other forms of dementia.

Enrolling in classes at your local university or college is an excellent idea. It’s a great way to keep engaged with others and learn something at the same time.  In most cases those cost money, and are night classes

I have found some invaluable websites for learning—some free and some with a very nominal feel.  Have you heard of MOOC? It stands for Massive Open Online Courses. They have been around since 2006 becoming an even more popular mode of learning by 2012. Courses or even entire certificates are presented online using traditional course materials such as filmed lectures, readings, problems and quizzes, as well as online forums. Offered by prominent universities throughout the world they are taught by real university professors.  The two that I have used so far are edX and Coursera.

edX.com was founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012 and has more than 90 global partners. Here you will find 1900+ courses in computer science, business, economics and finance, humanities, and biology and life sciences. You can pay for these and get a university certificate or you can audit them, in which case they are free. Currently I am taking Write101x: English Grammar and Style through the Queensland University.

coursera.org founded in 2012 by two Stanford professors who wanted to share their knowledge and skills with the world. The have 149 universities participating with 2000+ courses in arts and humanities, business, computer science, math and logic, personal development, social sciences and language learning Here again you can take individual courses and get degrees and professional certificates. And like edX you can pay for the degrees or take them free of charge. I just finished the Stanford Introduction to Food and Health. My next course is International Women’s Health and Human Rights through Stanford University.

lynda.com is another learning platform that has courses in businesss, software, technology and creative skills that has been around for twenty years. You can buy a membership for $19.99 per month or $29.99 for a premium membership which will get you access to 6,400+ courses. Or, in some cases, you can have free access to all courses through your local city library card. I am in Calgary and have free access. I am not absolutely sure if all libraries offer this but I know that many in Canada and the US do. I am currently taking the entire Beginner Photoshop course with Deke McClelland. There’s also an Intermediate and Advanced Level that’s on my list.

Skillshare, Inc is yet another online learning community with thousands of classes in design and business. This one has a cost of $16 per month if you go monthly or $11 per month if you sign up for a year. If you are proficient in a certain subject you can become a teacher and earn your access to the courses. I used this one for a writing course and for some specific lightroom and photoshop instructions.

So there you have it, four online destinations you can check out for absolutely anything you want to learn. So far it is keeping me busy, calming my curious mind and I am learning something new. I will most likely continue learning until my brain won’t allow me anymore. At this time in my life I’m not stressing over getting the best marks in the class; I’m just having fun.

“Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.” ~Jackie Joyner-Kersee

How about you—what have you learned today? I highly recommend taking a look at any of these sites. And please let me know what you think, or if you sign up for any classes.