Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Adult learners' week

It's adult learners' week this week and this year's theme is "Pathways".

Learning and access to education are vitally important, particularly at this time when technology rapidly changes and information is in an overwhelming abundance.  Being able to read, write and utilise technology is essential, and people without these skills are increasingly becoming disadvantaged in their ability to participate in society.  The disparity between those who have access to ICT, and skills to use it, and those who don't is commonly referred to as the "digital divide".  This may have significant impact for the clients that our organisations support.

Further, it is important that we understand the necessity for lifelong learning in our own roles (and lives!).  It is no longer likely that a 3-4yr qualification will be sufficient to last you a career.  As information, research and technology expands and increases so too does the need to continue learning and expanding knowledge in your chosen area.  The importance of lifelong learning is reflected in clinical governance statements, organisational and professional ethical charters, and certification/accreditation processes for various professions.

The official webpage for adult learning week is here:

Under the further resources tab there's a really useful list of online resources for:
Literacy resources
Digital literacy
Emotional literacy
Financial literacy
Health literacy
Information literacy

These may be useful for yourself or a client.  Also be aware that local and state libraries commonly run computer and internet skills programs to help bridge the "digital divide". 

The Reading and Writing Hotline also provides numerous resources.

Also worth a look for your information is the Adult Learning Australia website.  Find information on learning theories, adult learning principles, and learning styles.

For suggestions for your own learning you could read up on MOOCs, discussed here a couple of months ago.  It may be useful to consider how you evaluate your learning needs and where you record your learning activities - I will promise a blog topic on this one day, but if you have any suggestions about this please let your colleagues know about them in the comments below.

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