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Golden age of lifelong learning?

07 July 2015

Recently, I stumbled on this article great article by Tim Brown, one of my favourite design thinkers, to give you a sample:

Adam is a creative soul. He’s well-read, plays music, cooks elaborate meals, and is highly engaged in arts and culture. He’s an engineer by training, and has worked in senior roles in multiple companies, but he’s frustrated that he hasn’t been able to find the space to be creative at work.

In his late 40s, Adam was musing about going back to get another Master’s degree. But with two kids on their way to college, the idea does not seem feasible financially.

I’ve met a lot of people like Adam who are craving new challenges and new ways of thinking and working. They’re lifelong learners... Keep reading

And it got me thinking. Has there ever been a time in the history of human kind when a person could learn as much as they wanted over the course of their lives? Without doubt there have been several periods of enlightenment and many great thinkers who acquired and shared knowledge until their last days, but I am talking about the average person. People like you and me.

It is easy for us to forget how privileged we are to have such wealth of knowledge at our fingertips - anything from iTunes university to the plethora of online courses offered by most universities around the world, to fantastic services like Futurelearn, who's CEO Simon Nelson, I had the opportunity to hear speak at JISC's last Digifest.

Sample of Futurelearn's catalogue

Sample of Futurelearn's catalogue

These are all useful and engaging resources that practically everyone can use to have some fun, learn something new and develop themselves whether they are still at school, at university, working full time, or enjoying retirement.

And this is why I believe we are currently living in the golden age of lifelong learning.

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