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Get Ready for Continuous Education

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By Debbie Gardner

debbieg@thereminder.com

  We’re up to month four of our PRIME redesign, and I want to continue to thank all of the readers who have taken the time to drop me a note, give me a call or shoot me an email with thoughts and suggestions about our new format. We hear your comments, and there may be a tweak or two as we go forward.
    Please keep the comments coming, and stay tuned!
    I have to admit, I was in seventh heaven working on the feature stories for this month’s issue.  I got to indulge two of my passions- spending time in a great bookstore and talking about “continuing education”.
        I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there never seems to be a point today when you don’t have to bone up on something – from navigating the latest cell phone update (or as I call it, where did they put the systems button now?), to how to work the T.V remote or your new washing machine.
        I learned how to fix my dishwasher by looking it up on YouTube. My husband figured out how to unlock our son’s iPhone from advice on a blog.  
Career wise, I took a MOOC – massive open online course  – through the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas last summer on mobile journalism. My husband, who’s completing a long-delayed degree, is taking a marketing class online this summer.
        As Bay Path President Dr. Carol Leary noted in talking about the college’s innovative degree programs, “learning” has been turned on its head by technology.
        “I truly believe the higher education model of 40 years ago, or 20 years ago, will be changed dramatically. I believe we will have very student-centered programs that will allow learning in a variety of ways,” Leary said.
        I’d say that education model is already here. Ask any kid what they’ve been assigned to review on Kahn Academy.
        I may live and work in a digital universe, but that hasn’t extinguished my passion for the solid comfort of books. They are the ultimate virtual reality devices – just you and images conjured up by words on a page. No batteries required – just brainpower. To me, they’re the perfect escape from digital overload.