Learn what you want – using technology

By Lory Rochon

What are the reasons that some adults shy away from learning? For some, it is the fear of not being successful or of being judged; for others, it is the cost or the time commitment. These fears (and others) can be addressed by using free internet sites to participate in self-directed learning. Self-directed learning allows you to choose when, where and what you learn. No-one is watching you, no-one is marking your work, and for some, there is no charge. There are many different websites that you can go to in order to learn almost anything.

If you like to learn by watching demonstrations; then, try out sites such as https://youtube.com. Type the word “video” after your topic into a search bar and you can start watching videos. If you need to learn something specific, such as how to use your new phone, you can just type the brand and model number of your phone into any search engine and watch a video showing you how to use all of your phone’s features.

If you are someone who would like to improve your reading and writing skills, there are many great websites that may be just what you want. A great site for learning (or refreshing) your grammar, sentence structure, and writing skills, is the online writing lab at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/ or, you can pick from many topics offered at no charge through the KHAN academy at https://www.khanacademy.org/. Finally, you might like to try the S.A.T. (Standard Academic Testing) practice websites to find activities that will improve both your English comprehension skills as well as your vocabulary.

Choosing when, what, and how you learn can take some of the fear out of learning some new things. When you are learning what you want to learn and not what someone else tells you to learn, you become more engaged in the learning process and consequently, will be more successful in what you are trying to learn.

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