While digitalization is everywhere, education is often limited to the classrooms. Whether virtual or not, today’s school classrooms are much more than a place for gaining necessary knowledge. Digital education and Virtual Classroom Training helps online students build an attitude that values lifelong learning. Moreover, this is a completely new field within the entire technology sector.
What is lifelong learning?
Learning is about reaching one’s full potential. This mindset spreads beyond the virtual classroom. Lifelong learners are more likely to achieve self-actualization, exude confidence, and are generally happier with their lives despite the challenges they face.
Lifelong learning is an individual’s desire to obtain new knowledge outside of the formal educational system. Developing an attitude where you constantly learn is the only way to succeed in the dynamic environment that we live in today. The abundance of technology is an opportunity that everyone can benefit from, allowing you to easily follow your passion for languages, improve your crafts skills, and even develop a mobile app using resources you can find online. Lifelong learners are motivated to learn and develop because they want to grow both personally and professionally.
Learning for personal development
The desire to gain more knowledge does not require any specific reason. In some cases an online student is driven by the will to create a better version of themself. Additionally, this individual may find satisfaction in the actual process of learning. However, there are some reasons that lead to lifelong learning for personal development:
- For future travel
- Out of personal interest
- As a hobby or the further development of someone’s talent
- A willingness to devote time for self care
- The motivation to keep your brain active
Learning for professional development
Being well-educated is not necessarily the key to finding employment. However, it certainly does help. Moreover, the additional qualifications may also help out in your daily work routine. There are some companies that promote lifelong education. If you have the chance to work for one of them, it is worth taking advantage of the opportunity to further develop yourself and your career. Learning for professional development will give you the chance to:
- Quickly advance in your career
- Earn more money
- Adapt to new circumstances more easily
- Be flexible and think out of the box
- Connect with the team
Lifelong education models
Did you know that:
- The annual growth rate of education is 7-9% globally.
- Companies have invested over $5 billion in education-related technologies.
The widespread adoption of digital education has many advantages. One of them is the possibility to offer access to knowledge to different groups of people (for example, older online students).
In response to the massive demand for more affordable and modular education, many disruptions in education have focused on creating lower-cost digital supply systems. Furthermore, online tutoring has begun to conquer new markets and special educational niches. Additionally, the power of big-data analytics adds new value, creates new online practices, customizes the delivery of knowledge, and helps to model global training programs. Today, there are many online courses of training open to adult learners. The growing interest in continuing education has differentiated the following models:
- Andragogic education
It focuses on the unique and challenging needs of the mature learner in order to have a different kind of educational experience that is more engaging, more flexible, and more appreciative of the learners’ existing knowledge base and experience. Additionally, it is very appropriate for the mid-career adult learner.
- Transformative education
To achieve transformation, something has to occur that captures the learner’s attention. This provokes the online learner to adopt a new way of thinking. This goes beyond learning about information. To facilitate transformational learning, online tutors must help learners become aware and critical of their own and others’ assumptions.
- Appreciative education
The mature learner may actually be an expert in the field being studied. They have a lot of experience and the online tutoring practice should not be based on the relative deficit of knowledge and skills. This model focuses not on new learning or growth but on appreciating and giving voice to the wisdom that one already possesses.
- Pedagogical education
It involves the creation of new internal cognitive structures of the online learner aiming to reorganize their own world. These processes are stimulated and developed through the introduction of new material within the context of the individual learner. The learner takes the new information and tries to both assimilate it and accommodate it relative to what they already know. In doing so, the learner creates new meaning.
How to engage online students in lifelong learning
Being a lifelong learner is a skill that you can develop. Online tutors are also usually lifelong learners. Therefore, the next step is to find a way to spread that passion with the help of some teaching and mentoring techniques.
- Make your students read a lot
Let them create projects using newspapers, books, encyclopedias, crime novels, etc. Stimulate them to be curious and to vary the source of information. Make your students dive into a topic and to not settle for a result until it’s perfect, or nearly perfect.
- Turn mistakes into opportunities
Learning from your own mistakes is one of the best lifelong learning skills anyone can master. There is so much we can learn by making mistakes. They remind us that we’re human and that we tried. They show us better ways to think and work, and also provide insight into hidden knowledge and awareness.
- Set learning goals
Achievements are a great motivator when it comes to learning. Moreover, if your students don’t set goals, they cannot track success and stay on track. Therefore, goal setting is one of those lifelong learning skills that strengthen the desire to learn.
- Involve your students in teaching
Explore new ways to involve the audience in the online tutoring process. Maybe you will choose peer-to-peer communication or another way to stimulate the exchange of knowledge. Sharing knowledge is one of the secrets to keeping your students involved in lifelong education.
- Make a list of all the things that your students want to learn
Don’t always stick to your online tutoring plans. Moreover, during the sessions, try to take notes and write down all the topics that your audience is willing to explore in more detail. Additionally, you can create a new course or assign a project that will challenge and be of interest to your students.
- Try new teaching methods
Experimenting in the virtual classroom is essential, both for the tutor and for the students. Trying a variety of teaching styles will help your students memorize better. Drawing diagrams, watching documentaries, creating mind maps, and using music are some alternative ways that you can start with.
- Connect knowledge to your students’ lives
Some of your students will find it useful to know how certain knowledge will make their lives and jobs better. Be specific and connect the learning experience to their particular situation. Additionally, motivate your online students to pursue a career that will develop their skill set.
- Be an example
Don’t be afraid to show that you don’t know something. On the contrary, be an honest and curious online tutor that always strives to know more. Be the inspiration for your online students.