Published on December 13th, 2019 | by Sunit Nandi0
Furthering Your Education As A Senior: Do It Online
There is an idea that anything technology related is for the next generation. Not much thought is given to seniors who are not as out of touch as we imagine.
It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. In fact, there is a trend in which seniors are looking to further their education. Even in retirement, people don’t want to stop learning.
For various reasons, even the older generation is looking online to finish or further their studies.
It doesn’t matter how old the student, an online education has a lot to love. In this article, we will look at some of the things seniors should be doing to get an online education.
Get up to speed
Though many seniors are internet savvy, there is a different level of understanding required to study online.
That means learning some new ways for them to use a computer for productivity. For instance, you may need to learn some of the basics of how to use all the different Google products.
There are Google Docs for word processing. Google Sheets is a free version of Microsoft Excel for spreadsheets. And at this point, everybody is familiar with Gmail for email.
Using a site like Support Your Tech will help learn ways to get the most out of these programs. There are so many tricks to using these programs that whole courses could be dedicated just to that.
When you master them, then you will have a very powerful tool at your fingertips.
Look for ways to save
There are many benefits to studying online, but one of the best for seniors is how little it costs. In some cases, you may even be studying for free.
Definitely shop around before settling on a college or courses so you can see which ones will charge the least.
If you are over 60 in most cases, there are some deep discounts.
For instance, the University of Massachusetts gives a credit of $857 towards tuition for an undergraduate degree per semester.
Even if you are not looking for a degree, there are many sources for a free, and yet still high quality, education. Apple U offers many classes straight out of a university syllabus for free.
Things as mundane as how to recondition old batteries and using permaculture instead of a lawn are all available to broaden your horizons.
For a comprehensive list of free education opportunities online, check out this article from AARP.
Don’t pick just one school
The beautiful thing about learning online is trying out a few things to see which avenue you would rather pursue.
Think of all these online classes as a buffet. Take a little of this and a little of that and then decide on the main course after you’ve gotten a taste.
You may start out with the idea of learning more about a subject like psychiatry but then stumble upon some marketing classes and realize that you like that better. You’re free to then pursue that without any issues. If you were in your 20’s in a regular university then things would have been a lot more complicated.
Take some time to evaluate the classes that you take and think about if you really want to go that route. If you are at all hesitant, then don’t be afraid to change course. You can always circle back to the original plan f things are not working out.
Have a clear objective
Ok, I just said in the last section to go with the flow. Well, once you have sorted through some possible scenarios, it is time to narrow the focus.
You should at least have an idea of why you are looking to further your education. Ay reason is a good enough reason. You could be looking to come out of retirement and need to have a specialized degree in the field you are interested in. Or, you simply want to keep the brain nimble.
Once you’ve decided why you want to study online, and you’ve taken a few courses to settle on the right subject, then go with that. Talk to some counselors if you need to make sure you are taking all the right courses to make sure you get to your goal.
Go at your own pace
Don’t let the excitement of doing something new draw you into going to fast. Take one course at a time until you feel like you can do more than that.
Even though the logistics of studying online are much easier to deal with, you do still have to buckle down. Luckily, the time spent commuting to campus can now be spent actually getting work done which helps your productivity. Yet, if you try to do too much, your studies will surely suffer.
Take the first semester easy and see how it goes. You’ll likely need that time to get your feet wet and find your pace.
Ask for help
When you inevitably hit a roadblock, you may feel like your age is responsible and feel embarrassed. Put those thoughts aside as everybody needs some help at some point during their studies.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your professor, counselor, or even other students when you aren’t understanding something. Many online classes have a forum or whatsapp group to discuss things. Make sure you are part of the group so you always have a support network.
If you are really struggling, then see if there are tutors that could help you get past your obstacle.
Don’t give up
Whatever you do, see it through. Once you set out on this path, you may find yourself wanting to learn more.
It may also prove to be a bigger challenge than you had expected. Don’t let that stop you! Eventually, you will find your rhythm and before you know it you’ll be graduating.
Whatever your reason for going back to school, it will be very rewarding and will definitely keep you young!