30 April, 2019
Senior citizens who have truly taken to a retired life may have some free time on their hands, even if they are running errands and socializing. Typically in India, we do not think of learning as an activity to be taken up, especially after one retires! Most of us believe that learning ends when we finish our college life and start a job. Yes, the experiential learning of life does continue but rarely do you find people enrolling in colleges, universities, etc. for further enhancement of knowledge after that.
Yes, you may have heard of Karthiyani Amma, the 96-year-old, who enrolled in the senior school program to become literate. 89-year-old freedom fighter Sharanabasavaraj Bisarahalli enrolled to complete his Ph.D., and Paul Siromoni, 90, from Chennai, recently earned his Ph.D. All these people prove a point that there is no age to stop learning and that it can continue throughout your life.
Age No Bar
For starters, humans always look out for excuses, and as we age, we are well versed to use our age as one. So, the examples quoted above prove that age is no barrier; well, one has to take into account a lot of logistical issues, like time, travel, course fees, etc. So, what if we say that there are free courses that you can take up any time from anywhere, at your convenience and at little or no cost! No joke, it is possible, and online learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, Udacity, etc. provide good courses on a variety of topics which may interest senior citizens who feel that they have an urge to still explore the world of learning.
One of the most interesting topics for senior citizens happens to be healthy. Most of them are health conscious and try to get information about maintaining their health. While physical health is usually covered, mental health may not necessarily be so. There is a Heath Vibes course offered by Udemy.
This course is designed in a way that it allows one to understand the elements of both emotional as well as physical health. It will enable students to improve their health through self-awareness gained from the course. For seniors, it helps them - live happier, healthier and longer. You could also look up some of the free courses and lectures that are brief and helpful to while the time while improving your knowledge.
Incredibly, there is a Free 5 day Balance Course that you can check out, which is meant for fall prevention, and there is one free course on meditation as well. Well, if you would like to get technical, and really learn a skill, there are few for that as well. Even for getting better at a new hobby like photography or Calligraphy, you can find a course that can be really helpful.
Another course that you may want to look up is Sit Less, Get Active from Coursera. More or less along the lines of the above course from Udemy, this one also teaches and guides people to give up sedentary nature and be active. It is not just enough to make up the mind, one also needs to monitor the same, and that is what this course is all about.
Are you one of those who is interested in traveling and would love to interact with the local people while traveling? Perhaps, you have Europe on your bucket list, how about a mini French course! There is a 3 minute French Course that you can take up to help you along. It is a novel course that teaches the basics of conversation in short videos.
Well, given on top are just a few examples, and there are many such platforms and courses out there, that you can pick up and online. So, all you have to do is make up your mind and get going. Well, but then, a few words of caution! All is not hunky dory if you are doing it for the first time. We are mostly used to sitting in classrooms along with other people, while the world of online learning is totally different.
Remember, that we are mostly pushed to study because of some societal pressure to get a degree and obtain a job, etc. Here, you don’t have that, and nor is there a lookup as to why you have not attended a class, as it is up to you. In other words, you need to be self-motivated to log in and complete the course and be prepared to stick it out alone. It is a different world out there, and perhaps, the one thing you could do is to urge your friends also to enroll and then you can keep tabs with each other on who completed or not.
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