Going back to school

Online learning is booming

“Children and college students aren’t the only ones turning to online education during the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of adults have signed up for online classes in the last two months, too — a jolt that could signal a renaissance for big online learning networks that had struggled for years.

“Coursera… added 10 million new users from mid-March to mid-May, seven times the pace of new sign-ups in the previous year. Enrollments at edX and Udacity, two smaller education sites, have jumped by similar multiples.”

New York Times, May 26, 2020

Read the whole article.

Help for going back to school

With the increasing number of parents being laid off because of Covid-19, many parents may be making the leap to improve their career outlook by obtaining another degree. BestColleges.com offers tools to improve their job outlook during this unknown time: the Back to School for Parents Series that includes multiple guides that delve into adult learning, financing resources, and a student loan guide:

Being a Parent in College:
https://www.bestcolleges.com/blog/being-a-parent-in-college

Financial Aid Resources:
https://www.bestcolleges.com/financial-aid/

Private Student Loan Guide:
https://www.bestcolleges.com/financial-aid/private-student-loans/

Five important steps to take

If you’re thinking about going back to school, the Business News Daily website has a valuable guide worth checking out, What You Need to Know About Going Back to School for a Career Change.

“It’s important to make your decisions about higher education in an unemotional, logical way, and that’s exactly what this guide will help you do,” says the article, listing five key steps to take:

  1. Know your motivations for going back to school.
  2. Investigate alternative routes to get the job you want
  3. Plan your finances for going back to school as an adult
  4. Research a career change before quitting your job
  5. Research schools when you’re going back to college

The article provides further information, references and links in the discussion after each step.

Online learning

Despite present issues, most adults see online learning in their future.

An online learning article in the New York Times (4/24/20) discussed the shortcomings of the sudden and unexpected way colleges and universities had to replace the classrooms with the internet because of the pandemic. Instead of an orderly transition to transforming the learning experience to digital technologies, “What is happening now is we had eight days to put everything we do in class onto Zoom,” said Vijay Govindarajan of Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.

If anything, what people are mistaking now for online education — long class meetings in videoconference rooms, professors in their bathrobes, do-it-yourself tools made of rubber bands and cardboard — appears to be making them less, not more, open to it, writes article author Jon Marcus.

“But advocates for true online instruction say that students’ experience of taking courses on their own schedules over mobile platforms may come back to them later, when they’re ready to move on to graduate or professional educations,” said article author Jon Marcus. “Already, more than half of American adults who expect to need more education or training after this pandemic say they would do it online, according to a study of 1,000 people by the Strada Education Network, which advocates connections between education and work.”

Read the full article: Transforming Higher Ed?

The coronavirus pandemic has changed learning dramatically, probably forever. Online learning is almost the only way you can obtain schooling today (April 2020.)

Online learning is the best, and for the time being about the only, way to get formal instruction.

Fortunately, there’s a broad world of online learning to explore. If school is on your agenda, check out the numerous online colleges that are available today. Here are some valuable resources:

  • EarnMyDegree.com at http://www.earnmydegree.com.  This website is searchable by more than 50 career options, type of degree and type of school. It has many features to help connect prospective students to quality education options.
  • ELearners.com at http://www.elearners.com. Searchable information on accredited online degrees, online colleges, on-campus degree programs, online certificates, online courses, and online training, plus that a guide that answers questions about distance learning and online education.
  • Guide To Online Schools at http://www.guidetoonlineschools.com.  An education directory specializing in online degrees, online schools, and distance learning. It offers links to 119 schools offering a total of 2,532 programs. Enables you to compare all online colleges in the U.S.
  • TheGreatCourses at http://www.thegreatcourses.com – A global resource for lifelong learning and personal enrichment. Thousands of in-depth videos taught by the world’s greatest professors, unlimited access to engaging and immersive learning experiences. Available on a wide variety of internet-connected devices
  • Lynda.com at http://www.lynda.com – an online learning platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology, and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Through individual, corporate, academic and government subscriptions, members have access to the Lynda.com video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts.
  • MIT Opencourseware at http://mitopencourseware makes the materials used in the teaching of almost all of MIT’s subjects available on the Web, free of charge. With more than 2,400 courses available, OCW is delivering on the promise of open sharing of knowledge.
  • Academic Earth at http://academicearth offers a broad collection of free online courses from the world’s top universities as well as an ongoing series of original videos. These videos tap into the belief that a great deal of learning happens outside the classroom in those unstructured moments when provocative questions are raised, debated and sometimes answered.

Community centers, art and photography classes, trade schools, etc.

Community centers are great places to find courses in everything from art to photography to basket weaving.

Tami Adachi, rebooting ace
  • My wife, Tami, found a notice in a recreation department flyer about tennis lessons at a community center. Always one for a new challenge, she signed up, even though she had never played a game of tennis in her life. It clicked for her. She got a coach, worked hard, joined a U.S.Tennis Association team at a community tennis club, moved to an advanced coach, and has become an accomplished player. She found a way to reboot herself at a community center — you might find a golden opportunity at a center near you! (Check out Tami’s guest blog at [link to come].
  • To find a community center where you live, go to Google and type in “community centers [your city]” and you will be astounded at the instant results. I tried this for a random selection of cities around the country and in nearly every case, found multiple community center listings. I also found Google to have somewhat better results, with maps. To refine your Google or Yahoo search, type in “art classes [city]”, “photography classes [city]”, or “trade schools [city]”. Sad to say, most community centers are probably closed these days. But when we can venture out of our homes safely, do check out those near you.

The resources are out there, and it has never been easier to find them. When you think about the opportunities we all have for learning, stretching, growing, venturing out, you will probably find yourself wondering why you haven’t already been taking advantage of them.

Now’s (almost) the time! When you can, go forth and search, and find, and do!