To keep digging into the question of the “quest for meaning”, today I want to give more details about continuous learning. I don’t think our education solely happens on the school benches. Even if some of us can go back to school during their career to learn new things, there are other ways to keep challenging your knowledge all life long.
I was lucky to have that chance recently, just as I came back from my 2-year charity work volunteer assignment in the Philippines. I had a couple weeks in front of me, and I wanted to be up to date on Social Economy. So I signed up for a 2 month course at 4 hours a week, a MOOC called “Becoming a Change Making Entrepreneur”. This course is founded and managed by HEC and Ticket 4 Change. Video classes are available over the internet, and practice exercises are either multiple choice, or reports to submit to other students. Each student thus becomes an examiner, which keeps the system functional and confronts new points of view.
And it works! For 2 months, I held my schedule and successfully completed my classes. It was great to step out of my comfort zone and search for new knowledge, further certain ideas, and confront new manners of seeing things. The MOOC I mentioned earlier is very active and interactive, with email reminders for encouragement, a student discussion forum, and regular get-togethers to meet each other.
To be honest, the only difficulty is that once you start, it’s hard to let go. The MOOC system opens a door to unlimited knowledge, completely democratic and all the famous universities are joining in. Not only them, but also famous NGOs, and specialized businesses produce online courses to share or teach their techniques and strengthen their know-how. Difficult to be nit-picking about it: virtually all topics can be studied, from education, health, and politics to languages and ecology. Most of the courses are in English, but even for us Frenchies there is a lot to choose from.
More than just continuous learning, what really is striking is the universal access to knowledge that the Internet enables. It brings knowledge and intelligence to the people, for the better! Let’s hope it lasts!