Younger people have been privy to the benefits of online education for many years now, just because online developments tend to reach the "digitally native" set faster than others, who don't necessarily spend enormous amounts of time on the Internet. Online education is still in its relative infancy, but as it becomes popular, more and different types of people can benefit. Online education is especially well-suited for baby boomers for many reasons. Here are a few to consider:
1. You can continue learning from the comfort of your own home.
This is perhaps one of the best reasons for taking courses online. Many who have retired but want to pursue further education may sometimes feel uncomfortable or out-of-place learning alongside those who are much younger than you. With online courses, you can skip out on that tedious classroom environment altogether.
2. You can gain knowledge while honing your technology skills.
This is another great reason, particularly for baby boomers, who may not know their way around computers and the Internet as much as they would like. Online classes force you to become more adept at using computers through mere exposure.
3. It's much more economical than taking adult or continuing education classes.
Baby boomers are an intellectually curious bunch, as the popularity of adult and continuing education classes demonstrates. Having worked at a continuing education school offered at university before, I know that classes can often be very expensive. Courses online are substantially cheaper (sometimes free!) and much easier to register for.
4. All you need is a computer and Internet connection, so you can still take classes and travel.
Baby boomers are constantly traveling, so perhaps your concern about continuing your education is that you'd have to give up your wanderlust lifestyle. With online courses, the classroom essentially becomes anywhere you want it to be, as long as you have your laptop and access to the Internet. Some courses may require books, but almost all the information you need can be found online.
After retirement, continually challenging yourself is extremely important in keeping both your body and mind fit. Online classes offer an easy and affordable way to keep your mind still going. For more information about online classes, check out this AARP article on e-learning.
Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she writes about education, online colleges, online degrees etc. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.