Online Learning and Senior Citizens





Online Learning and Senior Citizens


Many seniors are now discovering the joys of distance learning. If you’re sixty-five or older, and you regret not getting a high school or college degree years ago, you might consider online learning. It’s never too late.

Some seniors would feel uncomfortable attending in person a high school equivalency program or college; they’d feel out of place among much younger students. And some seniors may struggle with hearing loss, or find their hands are too shaky for speedy note-taking, which could make lectures uncomfortable experiences. Online learning, by contrast, allows you to customize your classwork and learn at your own pace. You don’t have to commute, either, so it’s perfect for seniors who no longer drive. 

Seniors don’t necessarily have to take online courses toward a degree, either. They can simply sign up for an e-class here and there for personal enrichment, for the pure fun of learning. You never know how your coursework could become useful in daily life. Perhaps a botany course would spur an interest in gardening. Maybe you could apply what you learn in a physics class to improve your golf game. Or maybe you’ve always liked reading about history and want to study it in a more comprehensive and formal way. This kind of learning can add purpose and vigor to days that otherwise might drag.

Happily, distance education can be affordable: plenty of scholarships and financial aid funds are available to senior citizens. And many colleges will offer reduced tuition to people in their sixties or older. Laptops have dropped in price in recent years, too.

Better still, doctors will attest to the health benefits of engaging in online learning as you advance in age. When you study new material you engage your brain fully, which keeps your neurons as sharp and flexible as possible and helps ward off memory loss and concentration problems. Your brain is like any other muscle: the more you use it, the more you stimulate it in new ways and challenge it, the stronger it will be over time. Some research even suggests this kind of learning can add years to a person’s life. 

Why not take the distance learning plunge? Recently, there have been people in their nineties graduating from rigorous e-learning institutions. So if the idea of graduating at the same time as your great-grandchild appeals to you, this is your chance.




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