Lifelong learning and dispositions for learning are an important part of young children’s education and care. It’s a message for adults too. Twenty years after Australia’s first Adult Learners’ Week it’s that time again: to learn for the heck of it not for the qualification.
The first day of September begins Adult Learners’ Week 2015, (1 to 8 September). Whatever your age it’s a time to explore all the options for adding a skill, trying a new approach or learning something that never quite stuck the first time.
It’s a week where libraries, communities and learning organisations throw open their doors or their digital archives to let you in. Everything is on offer from growing fresh vegetables to oral story-telling and using digital tablets for health and wellbeing (www.adultlearnersweek.org/event/ipad-q-a). It’s a week to value learning as well as learn for the heck of it not for the qualification.
You can turn up to a class in the neighbourhood or tap into the global community. Make use of the many online learning opportunities that are putting lifelong learning on small devices in your pocket that can be read on a train, listened by podcast in the car or viewed with a friend in a cafe.
Australia first celebrated Adult Learners’ week in 1995, so 2015 marks the twenty year anniversary. This year it overlaps with National Literacy and Numeracy Week (see ideas and tips for educators and parents at www.literacyandnumeracy.gov.au).
Libraries around Australia offer year round access to thousands of online courses, magazines and newspapers, digital archives and a host of other resources. Adult Learners’ Week might be a good time to browse and find what is available.
Try Lynda.com through your local library, an online video training library that offers marketing, software, design and communication skills training. All you need is a library membership.
Find events, activities and inspiration at Adult Learners’ Week site: www.adultlearnersweek.org.
Get to grips with Twitter in Alice Springs (www.adultlearnersweek.org/event/get-to-grips-with-twitter)
Learn to use skype at Victoria Point Library (www.adultlearnersweek.org/event/learnit-skype)
Have Digital literacy demystified at Prospect Digital Hub in Thomas Street Nailsworth, South Australia (www.adultlearnersweek.org/event/digital-literacy-demystified).
Some suggestions for a mix of personal and professional online and mobile favourites:
- ECA’s Learning Hub for online webinars and modules on topics of interest to early childhood educators
- Learning Potential (a free app for parents on using apps and devices with children from ‘high chair to high school’)
- KidsMatter and Smiling Mind (smilingmind.com.au) for health and wellbeing or consider brainpickings.org for tips on creativity, philosophy and the writing life.
- learn about culture by listening to a story from the ABC’s Dust Echoes series (www.abc.net.au/dustechoes)
- with a spare few dollars buy a yoga or exercise app on an app shop (e.g. Yoga Studio has beginner and short yoga sessions through to back and balance classes for mobile devices). Share the cost by sharing on several linked devices too
- Raising Children Network or check the technology page of the National Association for the Education of Young Children(NAEYC) for ideas, examples and best practice for educators
- almost anything on TED.com. Start with Gever Tulley’s TED talk on Five dangerous things you should let your children do.
Wherever you live, whatever you choose, whether it’s related to work or your personal horizons—a language conversation class, cooking with new ingredients or composting with worms—lifelong learning is for everyone. Let it open up new ideas, new perspectives, help manage stress levels or connect with new people.