Lifelong learning, E-learning and your library
Learning in a digital environment
We are experiencing a shift in education. We spend a lot of time exploring online, watching videos on our mobile phones and other devices, posting and engaging online and so our learning experiences change. We hear these new terms, E-learning, Online learning, Blended learning, Massive open online courses, all interesting new ways for the lifelong learners we all are. The digital revolution enables us to access much more information than ever before. But even more exciting is that we can get better at anything we are interested in by taking online classes. It is simply ‘what’s next’ in our digital evolution.
Are you a lifelong learner?
We are all lifelong learners, we learn every day, as we go about our daily lives and follow our interests and are engaged in the work field or with personal projects. It may simply be learning about a new recipe on YouTube, learning how to take care of our pet or about our new mobile device or taking care of our health. When it comes to special interests, a certain topic, a project or a specialty in a professional area you can now choose to develop your talents and skills by taking an online course. Learning and educating yourself is literally in your own hands. Online education is here. The range of courses is diverse. You can study at your own pace.
What are MOOC’s?
MOOC’s are Massive Open Online Courses aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. These MOOC’s are offered by universities and other educational platforms around the world to learners around the globe. For personal growth, work or lifelong learning MOOC’s have become very popular because they make learning convenient. You decide when and where and how. A lot of these courses are free, all you need is a computer and Internet access, tablet or smartphone (+app). Ready to take your first MOOC? Take a look at the list of MOOC providers on the library’s website.
So, where does the library come in?
The library provides a learning environment. The library is prepared to support the needs and aspirations of online learners and is currently forming interest groups.
For example, the library recently formed a study group of amateur photographers who all followed the online course “The Art of Photography’ at www.open2study.com. Participants followed online classes in their own time and in the comfort of their homes. They met once a week to discuss homework and assignments in the library.
The library provides access to technology tools to get work done (free Wi-Fi, study space, computer space with Internet access, office software, printers). The library also provides relevant current and historical information, access to reference works, and is a place to get work done.
Are you a mentor?
The library is looking for mentors to guide adult study groups, to stimulate them and help them to get things done in order to complete their course, and earn a certificate. If you think you could mentor a study group that is taking an online course on a topic that you specialize in or know a lot about, don’t hesitate to contact your local library at firstname.lastname@example.org.