Lifelong learning

You might think my undergraduate degree in Philosophy or my graduate degree in Education would have taught me to believe in lifelong learning, but actually, it was my certificate from a community college that taught me I can learn new things at any age and that that’s what life is about – continuing to learn, grow and change¬†throughout life.

I fell in love with community colleges when I attended one to learn web design. I went on to work at that same college for 11 years, first on the college web team and then as an Online development facilitator. It changed the trajectory of my life. I even met my spouse there!

Helping others to learn the joys of lifelong learning has become my passion. When I can help an instructor find new ways to engage students and put them on their own path of learning, I am excited. And because I know there is no “typical student,” especially in community college (which is one of the things I value about them), I am a huge believer in Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL is a great way to reach all students and give them a way to author their own education. It naturally leads to students pursuing additional learning on their own because they see that there are multiple paths to their objectives. And I believe, it makes a student more likely to continue to pursue learning throughout their lifetime.

My Active Learning Roots

Walnut tree and porch
This walnut tree at the farm carried us kids on a tire swing for years and years.

The summer I was 8 yrs old, my parents took the family on a drive. My dad was big on drives down roads he was unfamiliar with.

By the end of the day, my folks owned a 75-acre horse farm at the end of a long, rocky, dirt road in eastern Pennsylvania. (No horses included.)

My parents were city and suburban folk. They didn’t know what they were doing for the first few summers we were there. The nearby farmers and my grandparents who had grown up on farms helped my folks figure things out, and my parents read books, studied what others did and tried doing a lot on their own.

I learned that you can install a wood stove if you work together to figure it out. I learned that you can learn to fix the well’s pump even if you never have before. I learned that you don’t need to know everything, you just have to know how to learn and then you have to try. The farm was the root of my active learning style.