Did someone say ‘Lifelong Learning’ ?

Over past 50 years, scientific and technological advances have had a true impact on learning. This can no longer be limited to being defined as something which occurs in a particular place at a particular point in time where one’s knowledge is applied. Learning is now defined in continual terms through daily interaction with the world around us.

Lifelong learning – or learning which takes place over the course of a lifetime – Can be defined as flexible and diverse learning which available at different times and in varied places. It also favours learning that occurs outside of traditional academic or school environments given how it is the permanent and voluntary pursuit of knowledge motivated by personal or professional motives. This type of learning can occur either via online training programs or on-site training and is based on four pillars:

  • Learning through the mastery of learning tools,
  • Learning made possible when individuals are trained for innovation and prepared for work environments of the future,
  • Learning together through conflict resolution, discoveries of others, and prioritizing individual skills and talent.
  • Learning linked with the capacity to produce actions and reactions that are adapted to the environment.In order to make Lifelong Learning both possible and accessible there are several established contexts for it including: home schooling, adult education through the acquisition of professional and personal skills, continuous learning offered by higher education institutions, online tools and apps, etc.The concept of learning throughout one’s life has become all the more important with the arrival of new technologies which have affected how we access information, how we collaborate and the way we communicate. These new technologies allow for daily learning in real time. These changes are now considered to be the new normal and in order to survive and develop; organizations and individuals must adapt and improve their knowledge and abilities in order to answer to this perpetual evolution. To this end, it becomes crucial to know how to learn in today’s world and the understanding of tools in a web 2.0 world that is in constant state of change.

Lifelong Learning must however face its own challenges in order to continue to exist and thrive. The information technology movement has also had the side effect of making these skills become rapidly obsolete with the arrival of new products and services. The necessary skills are in constant evolution and always on the rise. Companies ask for greater flexibility as well as communication skills and put more emphasis on the importance of the quality and level of engagement of employees in order to remain competitive as an organization. This leads to a higher need for making high quality and accessible education for children. Studies have also shown a drop in the abilities and competencies of adults in the work force.

In conclusion, it is important to remember that changes due to globalization, technology, demographics, and employment have led to a spike in demand for diverse training programs and devices. In addition, economic, personal and societal pressures today combine to underscore the fact that learning throughout one’s life has become a necessity.

Caroline Irrmann, web editor