My grandfather grew up at the beginning of the last century. It was when cars were so expensive you had to rob banks to buy one.
Steam engines were connected to rail carriages and horses pulled carts around the streets. My “Pop” was a milkman for a large part of his life. That meant controlling a horse driven cart to deliver milk door to door. It was when milk turned up in bottles at the crack of dawn heralded by the clopping of hooves.
It was an industrial age.
Most people’s living was earned by the sweat of the brow, hard work and using dangerous machines. Occupational health and safety was still the figment of someone’s imagination.
I remember working during my school holidays in a steel fabrication plant as a teenager and sat behind a machine that creaked and groaned for many a 12 hour night shift. It had big sharp blades and dangerous moving bits.
Meal time at midnight in the workers lunch room was an observation of a parallel universe as brawny labourers paid special attention to newbies that didn’t understand the factory workers social protocols.
It scarred me for life!
The work night was so mind numbing, tedious and boring that dawn and knock off time couldn’t come soon enough. The wages were some compensation to a job that offered nothing but a bleak future.
The benefit was that I realised that I would rather use brains before brawn when choosing a career.
The knowledge economy
If there is one thing that my parents instilled in me from a young age was the value of education. I was also lucky enough to be born with an appetite for reading and learning that has never left me.
Curiosity was also inherited.
Those inclinations and innate abilities led me into teaching followed by a sales and marketing career in technology. This placed me as a consultant and marketer during the “Personal Computer” disruption,…then diving head on into the web industry, social media and blogging over the years.
I have never stopped learning.
The learning revolution
The knowledge economy rewards those that are willing to make their own path and invest in constant learning and education. The changes to how business and life works have been more revolution than evolution as information has moved online.
The social web is something that fits into that paradigm of education and learning as we move into an age of knowing and online expression. We don’t need a library to visit…it is all online.
Want to know?… then Google. Want to find out if a course is good or not…ask your friends on Facebook.
From formal to self directed
To go beyond high school education the choices in the past were limited. It was university or nothing, Formal education was often the only choice. You also had to attend in person and this often involved buses, trains and automobiles.
It took time, travel and money.
But the web has provided a freedom to learn anytime, anywhere.
One of these education portals is Open2Study which provides free, high quality tertiary and professional education online. It’s a fresh new approach to learning that is designed with the online student in mind.
Learning with emerging education platforms such as Open2Study is an effective strategy if you’re curious about:
- Online study
- Looking to boost your professional skills
- Returning to study
- Wanting to learn something new for fun
Currently there are 19 subjects available. Subjects vary from financial literacy to strategic management.
One class that I have started is “Writing for the Web“. The challenge for writing for blogs and websites is that people can easily click away so writing for short attention spans and skimming and scanning is a skill you need to develop. That is if you want build a loyal and faithful following.
My class started this week, but you can still enrol until 9 June and get started.
If this isn’t the ideal time for you to study, each subject will be available multiple times a year, so you can do it later if life is too busy.
What about you?
How are you using online education and courses? Has it changed your learning habits? Are you reading more?
I’d love to hear if you sign up and find out what you think about Open2Study. Nothing like quality free education. It took us from the industrial age to the knowledge economy.
Learn how to market your blog and website with social media
My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” shows you how.
It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.
I also reveal the tactics I used to grow my Twitter followers to over 149,000.
Image by Shutterstock