The Voice - Winter 2020 - 32

ENGINEERING ACADEMY

Lifelong Learning Takes the Stage at
National Engineering Month

O

ver these past months the COVID-19 pandemic has caused
havoc across the world and has forced us to create new
definitions of everyday life. When it comes to education,
our institutions are changing too - specifically through online and
distance learning. As parents, studentss and educators across all
levels adjust to " the new normal " one thing is clear: learning has
moved out of the classroom and into everyday life.
This idea that we can learn from anyone, anywhere, at any
time is not a new concept, but it is essential during these times
of turbulence. Practicing how to learn and expanding our
perspectives as a community will be our greatest asset as we
redefine our approach to economic growth; tolerance of economic
and social inequalities; relationship with nature, and the society
we want to live in.
With that in mind, we're excited to announce that lifelong
learning is the theme for National Engineering Month 2021
(#NEM2021). The European Commission defines lifelong
learning as " all purposeful learning activity undertaken
throughout life with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and
competencies within a personal, civic, social and/or employment
related perspectives. " Leading up to #NEM2021, we encourage
you to become a lifelong learner, but you may be wondering what
exactly that means.

10 Characteristics of a Lifelong Learner:
1. They read. Reading helps us gain a better understanding of
different topics, ideas, perspectives, and people. Reading can
transform how we see the world.
2. T
 hey take courses. Lifelong learners believe there is always
something new to learn. For example, Conestoga College offers
many continuing education programs to help people enhance
their skill-sets.
3. They seek new opportunities. Lifelong learners say yes
to things that push them out of their comfort zones because
they know these experiences often lead to great learning
opportunities.
4. T
 hey embrace change. Change is hard, but lifelong learners
know that change is a part of life and it often leads to personal
and professional growth.
5. They are curious. Lifelong learners want to understand
different people, places and cultures. They want to understand
how our world works.
6. T
 hey are open to new perspectives. Lifelong learners know
there is more than one way to see the world and when different
perspectives collide, innovative solutions can be found.
7. They set goals. They know what they want out of life and are
focused on achieving what they set out to do.
8. T
 hey love making progress. It's not about the destination, it's
about the journey. Lifelong learners know that progress takes
time and they celebrate the small wins that eventually lead to
big successes.
9. They don't give up. Instead of throwing in the towel when
things get hard, lifelong learners persevere. They work hard and
ask for help when they need it.
10. T
 hey believe it's never too late. Lifelong learners know that
an old dog can learn new tricks if that dog is so inclined. Age is
not a factor in picking up a new skill or hobby.
Embrace lifelong learning and attend a #NEM2021 event. All
NEM Ontario events are organized and led by volunteers across
the province. Throughout each week in March #NEM2021 events
will be curated to topics that are relevant to our community. These
include: working with interdisciplinary professions; equity,
diversity & inclusion; spotlight on the college and university
challenge, and; ethics, engineering's impact on society, resilience,
wicked problems, and the future. Please visit nemontario.ca to
attend an upcoming event.

32

THE VOICE Winter 2021


http://www.nemontario.ca

The Voice - Winter 2020

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