Free and Low-Cost Resources for Lifelong Learning
So, you want to learn some new stuff, but don’t want to throw a lot of money at it? Understandable. Sometimes it takes learning a few different skills before you find something you want to delve deeper into–which usually means spending money on it. But there are lots of ways to learn stuff for free or almost-free, especially with everything that’s available online.
If you have a library card, you can learn anything you want to–all for free! Public libraries aren’t just for books anymore! They have tons of DVD’s, audiobooks, eBooks, plus free lectures and guest speakers on a wide variety of topics.
Even smaller towns have community centers where people can learn new skills in free or low-cost short-term classes. They also sometimes offer free guest speaker or visiting author series.
If you are retired, you might have a chance to take college courses for free! Many state colleges do this–they offer community seniors free or greatly reduced tuition on a variety of courses. For example, in Ohio there are over 35 colleges and universities that have a free tuition program for seniors.
Meetup is the world’s largest online network of local groups. You can go on and find every type of group you can image and then attend their events. This is a great way to learn new skills and develop new interests. Can’t find a Meetup on the topic you are interested in? Start one! It’s free and easy to do. People will find you once you start a Meetup on the site.
Form a Book Club
Love to read? How about starting your own book club? You could even focus it on a particular genre, such as a group that reads only biographies, autobiographies and memoirs. You could advertise your club for free on community flyers, Craig’s List, at the library and community center.
Most community colleges offer lifelong learning opportunities in the way of short-term, non-credit classes for the community. These offerings change each semester, so contact your local community college to see what they are providing right now.
Teach What You Know
Have you ever thought about teaching a course on something you are passionate about? Even though you would be doing the teaching, there’s no better way to learn. Teachers learn from their students all the time. Check into your local public library or community center to see if they would be interested in offering a class that you could teach.