When a human being comes to life, the desire to develop personally and professionally starts taking shape. As we all know by now, education is one of the most important aspects of life. In order to help the society, contribute to the world economy, establish your standard of living, you need good education. Most importantly, to be an asset for yourself and those around you, you need a goal which automatically comes from learning and development throughout the years.
Let’s take a look at what lifelong learning really means.
What is lifelong learning?
In layman terms, lifelong learning simply means a desire to initiate a self-induced education focused on personal development. Mostly, lifelong learning is associated with learning and development that occurs outside a formal institution. However, there’s no standard definition to the term. Lifelong learning can also mean a formal education with the voluntary desire to achieve personal fulfilment.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for online education and distance learning skyrocketed. As a result, not only are people learning new things apart from their formal education, they are actually choosing career streams and job opportunities based on other sources of education and learning.
In a way, it can be said that the pandemic has produced a generation of youth that is multitalented with varied interests. Also, in a country like India where lakhs and crores of graduates go into the market every year, it is the need of the hour to optimize, upgrade and upskill yourself.
Therefore, the demand for skilled individuals has boosted the concept of lifelong learning. Nowadays, corporates, universities and schools constantly encourage their stakeholders to familiarize themselves with the latest trends and tools in the market. When a person enthusiastically partakes in the quest for constant and continued learning, then it can be termed as a perfect example of lifelong learning.
What is the importance of lifelong learning in a person’s life?
It doesn’t matter if you are pursuing your personal or professional interests, lifelong learning can help you achieve inner satisfaction. It aims at bringing out the natural human drive to be curious and explore new things.
Lifelong learning can help you by:
- It can help you recognize your true passion, drive and interest
- It can help you achieve mental, emotional, social and intellectual satisfaction
- Constant learning and growing will help you improve your self-worth
- It will help you by defining and working towards your goals more clearly and concisely
Who are lifelong learners?
The answer to the above question is not tricky! We are all lifelong learners in some or the other way. Our schools, colleges, institutions, jobs and most importantly – life – are constantly teaching us something new a mile a minute.
Everyday socialization, formal trainings, self-studies or research on new trends and topics are all examples of lifelong learning. In the end, we learn for ourselves, not for others, because one can only impart knowledge when they themselves know about the topic at length. Thus, a forever quest of learning and gaining knowledge for personal fulfilment is lifelong learning.
Why are people indulging in lifelong learning?
Despite formal education and training at various levels, a person may have deviated interests which may require him or her to be skilled at something niche. In addition, a person or a student may just be curious to know about new things. With the advancement in technology, penetration of internet and presence on social media, people can easily identify the latest trends and topics. Therefore, it can be said that as people are becoming increasingly self-aware, the hunger to power through, discover new things, network and invent is escalating. To quench this thirst, people are engaging in lifelong learning through various mediums. With the click of a button, you can have easy access to courses, knowledge and insights.
What are some real-time examples of lifelong learning in Education 4.0?
For better understanding, let’s take a look at some simple examples that can be classified under lifelong learning in modern-day education.
- Learning a new technology: Adapting to and learning new software, tools and smart devices
- Developing new skills: cooking, sewing, programming, dancing, singing, painting, etc.
- Learning a new sport: Cricket, basketball, football, martial arts, self-defense, etc.
- Self-taught learning: Learning a new language, starting a podcast, researching and writing on topic of interests and the list goes on…
Platforms that enable lifelong learning
Almost all internet platforms encourage users to engage in lifelong learning. The major source for lifelong learning is the web or the internet.
Platforms like Udemy, Lifelong Learning Platform (LLP), Coursera, Skillshare, Edx, MasterClass, General Assembly, Khan Academy, Byjus and much more encourage learning from anywhere and everywhere. Due to their flexibility, personalized and user-centric patterns, they are the most popular lifelong learning and development platforms in Education 4.0.
In order to figure out your personal and professional goals, you must always keep an open mind and be reciprocative towards change. In a time when the world is going through multiple upheavals, you must always be ready to upskill, learn and help out. In a herd full of sheep, if you want to be a game changer, you must constantly learn and develop through any means possible. Engaging in lifelong learning is already a major trend and you must undergo at least some sort of learning everyday to achieve inner and mental peace.