Tag Archives: strategies

Is ‘Learning’ for a Reason, Season, or Lifetime?


A quick answer: Yes! Although this response depends on what ‘learning’ means for different people. Learning how to read, for instance, could mean something different from learning how to rap, text, or even write a blog. With countless examples like these, people can come up with all kinds of reasons for learning.

Same goes for the seasons for learning. They are timeframes that could range from months in a year, years of age, or an age and era representing the sign-of-the-times. It would follow that a lifetime for learning includes learning that never ends and continues throughout every stage of living.

So why the question? Well, simply to highlight the power of choices, but the limitations that comes with decisions. The question, “is learning for a reason, season, or lifetime” can suggest a selection that must be made between them. If made, at that very moment, learning is limited by that decision. In fact, learning is even limited by posing a question with only three options.

So I leave you with a thought: What would learning be without limitations?  Imagine if we never had to make up reasons for learning, such as having to wait next Fall to start school,  or planning for milestone ages of 30, 40, and 50-years-old as new opportunities to learn more.  

If learning was limitless and without these options, what would you choose?        

 

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Working Value of Education


“Who says you can’t put a value on education,” points a friend illustrating a chart by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The results favor the relationship that the higher the education, the lower rate of unemployment.  Yet, these numbers do not give any more comfort to those who may have a job with less education, and especially to those who are currently jobless or under-employed (educated with more schooling or not).

Yet this chart raises some important questions about the connection between education and work. So what can we learn about this issue?

First, maybe we need to start a different discussion. For example, some philosophers have questioned the ‘centrality of work’ and its dominating role in our society. Other thinkers see work as giving essential meaning to our personal lives.  Nevertheless, because many people still need to work, these kinds of discussions can come up empty if not tied to real-life solutions. 

Here is where the role of education is critical.  I would agree, it doesn’t help a jobseeker to hear that he or she must take more time, to spend more money, to get more education without any guarantee of a job waiting at the end. 

Therefore, there must be a closer link between education and the certainty of work. One of the drawbacks to selling the need of education is that it looks like an isolated pursuit, disconnected from the real world and current issues. More education requires a measure of time, patience, and money that appear unavoidable, yet conflicts with our technological, high-speed, microwave era.

Simply there’s no time. People want their degrees now, expressed as wanting to  learn what’s needed today-in-a-day. Offering alternatives may devalue the traditional process of education and undermine the efforts of those who have put in additional time and effort.

But what if education was apart of the job?  Not just continuing professional training for people with some level of experience and expertise; but rather positions for those with no experience, where jobs are created upon changing needs and connected to local schools, colleges, and universities for approved instruction and support.  

A suggestion in this different discussion would be for us to turn the old expressions such as “hands-on-training” and “learning on the job” into serious strategic approaches to pursuing work while getting an education:  Sort of working internships for adults where a person who has a job, or looks for one, is fulfilling the needs for more education, satisfying the requirements for current credentials, and hopefully securing the paths for continued employment.

How Adult Learning Can Change K-12 Education


Adult Learning & Continuing Education is an emerging field that still has a long way to go in defining its discipline and securing its place in society. Yet there are significant points and challenges that must be understood. 

A common challenge has been distinguishing itself from traditional elementary and secondary schooling, always known as kindergarten through highschool (K-12).

An important point is that although college education is included in the field, Adult Learning & Continuing Education focuses more on post-college instruction, continuing-professional education, and learning for multiple situations.

Overall, the distinctive quality of the field is both common and unique. Common like any other academic discipline such as law, medicine, and even K-12 education. But unique in looking from two perspectives: the perspective of expert and of experience.

For example, those who study law, do not often learn how to be a client; medical doctors study medicine, but not enough time concentrates on learning how to be a patient.  K-12 educators learn how to teach programs, but not always about what it means to be a student.  Perhaps that’s why many believe that lawyers are the worst clients, doctors are terrible patients, and it’s harder to teach a teacher.

But Adult Learning & Continuing Education is a discipline that must learn its practice through sharing its problems, using their experiences as a resource for answers.  In this way, these adults become experts in discovering what kinds of learning works immediately and for what purpose, since results are coming from personal experiences.

So why is this important? Because this field has something to offer, especially to our children.  It gives a second chance to reexamine how we learned as kids: To discover what worked; what didn’t; when we learned best; what kind of study habits were productive; or even whether we had study habits at all. 

If society could see more of this value, then this field could be the research & development for education. K-12, for example, could benefit from findings that transform classes, programs and instruction, constructing more productive approaches for future education. 

In this effort, the fundamentals of education would be explored where current K-12 teachers would be able to advance their lesson plans into subjects and technologies, where we as kids never learned or experienced.

Engaged-Learning: Linking Education to Everyone


What do you think? Should education be a right or a privilege?

To be fair, I’m mostly talking about education beyond high-school or even college. But with rising costs of tuition, the inconvenience of attending, or the enormous time pursuing,  it offers us this kind of choice of going back-to-school or continuing as already predetermined.

In this way, education is a privilege afforded by those who either have the money (or worse, student loans), the time (balancing work, school, and life responsibilities), or convenience (or at least managing it).

But what if education was a right?

Where institutions of higher learning would provide free and low-cost continuing education; where employers would give money and sabbatical time for renewing and gaining skills; where society would embrace lifelong learning and education, as learning for-its-own-sake, to become more informed and enlightened citizens of communities.

This is what engaged-learning could be—and should be: Linking education for everyone at all stages of life and learning.

So, returning to the question: Should education be a right or a privilege? Or better, should we never have to answer this question because someday we will experience no difference.

What Fantasy-Football and Stock-Investing Have in Common


TouchdownAcross many computers, websites, and smartphones there are millions engaged in last-minute rituals of tweaking fantasy football rosters for gameday. Admittedly, I am one of them.

It is an activity only recently I call a hobby, in small part, due to embarrassment; the other, due to a real passion for winning despite its fanciful ways. Unlike arts and crafts that are relaxing and even therapeutic, the task of managing a fantasy football team can be mentally exhausting, layered with high risks and rewards: From looking at the injury status lists, making game-time decisions, and ‘pooling’ free agents in hopes of getting more points.

I thought about how ‘fantasy skills’ could transfer in ‘real life’ actions.  In truth, I think being a fantasy league player, coach, and owner is quite the same as being a stock investor , securities trader, or portfolio manager. 

For example, researching company’s ‘ticker’ symbols for making profitable returns is similar to a fantasy owner looking at icons for winning games.

So I encourage fellow fantasy players to start stock investing too.
We see commercials from Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and TRowePrice and think we need tons of cash to make even more money. Unfortunately, starting with $10,000 accounts simply take some of us “out of the game.”

However, there are a few sites that you can invest as low as $10 a month. I’m not talking specifically about a 401K plan or the IRA (Individual Retirement Account) variety, although these may be helpful as well.

Time for a DISCLAIMER: I’m not an investment consultant or advisor, so you might consider talking to a professional before you act on my advice. But if you are a fantasy league owner, I’m confident you will learn a lot just by checking it out yourself.

These investment sites allow you to forego using a broker and discover how to invest directly:

Computershare:  https://www-us.computershare.com/investor/default.asp?cc=us&lang=en&bhjs=1&fla=1&theme=cpu

BNY Mellon Shareowner: https://m1.melloninvestor.com/mellonone/index.jsp

Some other helpful resources and associations:

Drip Investor:  http://www.dripinvestor.com/index.asp

The American Association of Individual Investors: http://www.aaii.com/

Again, these are opportunities to invest in companies directly and take control of your money as you do your fantasy football team. There are thousands of companies to choose from that ranges from the popular to the less publicized. Of course I wouldn’t tell you which companies to invest, just like I wouldn’t tell you my ‘watch-list’ of fantasy football players.

The point here is that although some may look at fantasy football owners as unproductive, I think you might find stock investing not only as a way to make real money, but also just as rewarding and fun as our Football Sundays.