Lifelong learning has kept popping up into my awareness over the last few weeks.
So, pressed for time again this week, it seemed providence that “Talks for lifelong learners” was one of the topics of This Week on TED.com in my inbox.
The talk I chose from the selection offered was “The nerd's guide to learning everything online” by John Green. Grab a cuppa and enjoy.
Summary And Relevance To Internet Marketing
John Green starts with a funny story about a map produced in 1937 by the General Drafting Company, showing that “The way we map the world changes the world.”
So you may like to think of learning as a map that changes your world and the route you take through life.
How Was Your Learning at School?
Despite being considered a fairly bright kid, I hated school and saw studies and exams as just a series of hurdles to be overcome until I could get away from school.
It was almost BECAUSE learning came fairly easily to me that I disliked school. Being good at lessons, like I was, wasn't cool. It was cool to be good at sports – and I was always bottom of that particular class.
Learning being “uncool” was parallelled in John Green's experience, but then he had the fortune to go to a school where learning became “cool”, desirable and enjoyable. He flourished.
How was your learning experience?
Never having had any enjoyable learning experiences (at school) I just couldn't wait to get away from a study environment. No “uni” for me, thanks very much. However much my parents and teachers cajoled, for once I stood firm and got my own way.
So imagine my horror – in my first job – to be immediately sent on day release to learn business studies at college.
Learning Becomes Cool
Oddly enough, learning business studies and related topics was enjoyable. I finally found subjects that interested me. So I subsequently took my degree in systems management and analysis by distance learning with the Open University.
This was where I had my “John Green” experience….. Becoming a learner in a “community of learners” became cool, fun and desirable.
Learning in a supportive and like-minded community can expand your horizons and – like a good map – point you in the right direction towards new experiences. Because learning is very much about what happens outside of the classroom.
Lifelong Learning For Baby Boomers
For “baby-boomers” like me, there's so much more to learn since we left school than there was at the time. And by the same yardstick, certain skills once considered essential have been rendered obsolete. To quote some trivial examples:
- Use of Word Processors has reduced the need for short-hand typists
- Do you use “mental arithmetic” – or a calculator / spreadsheet?
- Instead of learning calligraphy, youngsters now learn to use a computer, phone, tablet
- Instead of learning grammar and spelling they write in my pet hate: “text-speak”
- The history and politics of the last 30 years is, well, new
- Heck, even the names of the countries I was brought up with have changed. (Haha – Pixabay doesn't even know what the “map of the commonwealth” is.)
It's a fair bet that some of today's uni students are studying subjects / learning trades that will be obsolete way before they retire.
The “job for life” is no more.
So we'd all better get used to the concept of lifelong learning, to be ready for if / when we need a new direction.
Luckily learning is so much easier, more enjoyable and more accessible than it was “way back when”.
Lifelong Learning Is Cartography, Not Hurdles
When was the last time you Googled something to ask a question? (For me it was in the last couple of hours.)
There's a fair chance the results brought up a YouTube video (blogging message here as an aside).
John Green points out that YouTube is like a whole new classroom / learning community, where “students” (viewers) can learn subjects they never even thought of, ask questions, and exchange opinions in the comments.
For instance, try Googling these phrases to be set off on a whole new learning path:
- Get smarter every day
- Minute physics
Learning Online Business
When I took my first job as a computer programmer in the 1960s, and HAD TO learn business studies and systems analysis, I had no conception that I would end up running an online business and learning Internet Marketing.
I'm old enough to be of a pre-Internet period. Yes, really. The Internet wasn't always there! It certainly wasn't as accessible to everyone as it is now, with even my 8 year old niece confidently sending thank-you messages via a Facebook videos. (Yes, I know she's not technically old enough, but her Mum supervised.)
So my business studies courses had no “Internet Marketing” module and what I have learned about starting an online business has been pretty much self-taught.
Actually, that was penny-wise and pound-foolish. To make faster progress any entrepreneur should consider structured training to get into profit more quickly and avoid using obsolete techniques.
It's ironic that my earlier rather wild approach to learning online business appears to have been based on a saying attributed to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder.Move fast. Break stuff. Unless you're breaking stuff, you're not moving fast enough. Mark Zuckerberg Click To Tweet
It would have been better for me to have taken a more structured approach to learning Internet Marketing, because when you start an online business….Sometimes you don't even know how much you don't know. Click To Tweet
Perhaps if I had known how much I didn't know, I would never have ventured down this route!
The map of my life might have gone in a different direction. Who knows whether for good or ill!
Luckily I found a source of training to help me on way, going as quickly or as slowly as I like, Internet Marketing College (affiliate link).
A Supportive Learning Community
Remember John Green's supportive learning community? Well I found my online support group in several Facebook groups of bloggers and online marketers that I will introduce you to if you purchase one of the above courses. (The correct group to introduce you to depends on what you purchase!)
So, while I've been doing my “moving fast and breaking things” exercise, these group members have been there with glue and a shoulder to cry on. For a few years now they have cheered me on and pooled their knowledge to help me.
Baby-boomer or baby, you'll find friends in these groups. We have members of a wide range of ages, so don't be shy. As the weeks go by you'll probably see a few members commenting on this blog post to share their experiences.
We are more than a life-long learning community – it's like a family. Celebrating each others' successes, sharing troubles. And because members have a wide range of skills, we're always helping each other learn new skills.
These groups are a learning experience in themselves and have introduced me to topics I would never have thought of. As I've gained in experience I've been able to contribute more too, and that's confidence-boosting.
Learn Internet Marketing Here
Check out all the training you can access with Internet Marketing College. (Affiliate link.)