More Life Long Learning Opportunities

I recently watched the Age Without Borders Virtual Summit. One of the sessions was about Life Long Learning and the diverse, worldwide opportunities for keeping an active state of mind as we age.

Several sessions dealt with the University for the Third Age. There are local U3A’s in countries all over the world, offering a wide range of local leader-led courses. There is also a website, offering online courses to anyone  This is a membership organization.  For an annual membership of about $20 USD, you can take as many independent study courses as you want in that year.  (Since this is an Australian-based organization, the fees on the website are quoted AUS).  There is no equivalent in the US for leader-led courses, but Road Scholar has a page on its website listing Lifelong Learning Institutes in the US.  You can search by zip code for one near you.

The March 2017 issue of AARP Bulletin has an article on online courses (Get Enrolled, page 37.)  They list several additional sites for online lifelong learning courses.

Big Think is defined on Wikipedia as a Web portal that features interviews, multimedia presentations, and roundtable discussions with speakers from a range of fields.  Big Think has also been described as a YouTube for ideas.  The Big Think website offers short articles and videos with a team of experts.  There is also a subscription channel called Edge for businesses.  I did a search for material on retirement, and Big Think listed 264 articles and 82 videos, although many of them had a very limited connection to retirement.  However, there was some very good material from experts such as Joseph Coughlin, director of MIT’s AgeLab, and the economist Paul Krugman. These are free.

The Great Courses.  These have been around since 1990, offering CD’s and DVD’s of college level course lectures.  Now, Great Courses have gone digital, with a subscription streaming service through their Great Courses Plus website.  You may find, however, a selection of Great Courses at your local library, either CD’s or DVD or streamed.  I am currently watching an online course on The History of the Ancient World on Hoopla, through my local library, however I am limited to five lectures a month. There are a few individual lectures on, plus previews of some courses.

Open Yale University.  These college level lecture courses are free, but no college credit is offered.  Actual Yale professors were taped in class and posted on youtube.  I did note one course that resides on Coursera.  These courses start at specified times, they don’t seem to be available on demand.

EdX  was mentioned in my first article.  It is a MOOC offering college level courses from schools and institutions around the world.  Some are self paced, others start at specific times.  They are free.



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