The notion of any school being the main funnel of education is changing. As learners, we take advantage of learning opportunities from any available resource.
This has led to a trend of “do-it-yourself” learning. This strategy offers several advantages and is based on the fact information is:
* available in any format, anytime, and anywhere on the Internet.
* customizable to meet the needs of most adult learners.
* often interactive for adult learners whose learning style is best suited for this time of learning.
* user created content, allowing learners to access the latest facts created by experts.
* available through open content resources.
Cloud Based Applications
Along with just-in-time and do-it-yourself learning methods, we are supporting these learning strategies with an increasing use of cloud-based applications (i.e., housed somewhere in the Internet world and not in our computer).
The continuing acceptance and adoption of cloud-based applications and services is changing the way we configure and use software and file storage. It seems it no longer matters where our work is stored; what matters is that our information is accessible regardless of where we are or what device we choose to use.
Mobility is the name of the education game, we are relying more and more browser-based software which is device-independent.
Our learning is increasingly collaborative in nature. Through the use of social and professional networking opportunities, our needs for continuing education is creating a climate in which we adults, our peers, and our instructors are all working towards the same goals.
Over the past few years, the emergence of new Web 2.0 (and often free) tools has made collaboration easier than at any other point in our history.
The future of continuing education is still evolving. Who knows how all the technological applications and demands on adults will change as we move further into the 21st Century. Remember where education was just 50 years ago or even 20 years ago.