Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. — Mahatma Gandhi
School and I always got along. Unlike some of my classmates, I was always eager to make my way to the classroom, in K-12 and then throughout college. And don’t even get me started on my love of school supplies (my Fall highlight). I think I was lucky, because that love of learning has stuck with me throughout my entire career.
Now that I’ve turned 50, I think it’s more important than ever to take advantage of, and even create, learning opportunities. Beyond the personal, everywhere I turn, it’s clear that there’s a growing emphasis on keeping skills sharp. The world is changing, and people need to stay up-to-date. And technology is helping to make it happen. As a huge fan of technology, I really applaud all the innovation that is making it even easier for people to access new thoughts, ideas, and information, right at their fingertips.
We really are in a golden age of learning. With barriers to knowledge dropping, windows of opportunity are opening up, powered by incredible technology advancements with even greater access. On a cool project working with the Microsoft Education team, I learned about Skype in the Classroom, where kids in St. Louis can see and interact with kids in Moscow. What a great way to learn about other cultures first-hand — so much more engaging and impactful than a book. This type of learning can be an eye-opening experience that provides a broader perspective by bringing the whole world closer to home.
With the recent worldwide pandemic, now more than ever, we are all learning about the world, ourselves, our colleagues and our peers from home through our screens.
And no matter how you like to learn, there’s a way. You just have to look up, look around, and see what’s out there. Digital learning platforms are everywhere — Khan Academy and Coursera being just a few examples. Public libraries provide free access to e-books and audio books, just a download away. It’s not just organizations; individuals are populating YouTube with instructional videos on any topic you can imagine. Don’t want to read? There’s always Audible.
My resolution this year has been to make a conscious effort to set aside time to learn. The way I choose, often ends up as a podcast while I’m walking outside (or on the rare occasions when I get to drive). I’d love to hear what the rest of you are doing — shoot me an email!