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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, the way we are learning has changed too. Gone are the days where we are tied to a classroom – now we can learn from anyone – anywhere.

Why is lifelong learning important?

This idea of flexible learning is not a new concept, but it is essential during these times of great 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. 

The world of engineering keeps changing – you can change with it.

Now is the time to keep learning, keep growing, and keep thriving – now and into the future. That’s why we’re excited to announce that lifelong learning is the theme for National Engineering Month 2022 (#NEM2022) events. 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 #NEM2022, we encourage you to become a lifelong learner, but you may be wondering what exactly that means. 

Here are 10 Characteristics of a Lifelong Learner. They:

  1. Read – a lot. Reading helps us gain a better understanding of different topics, ideas, perspectives and people. Reading can transform how we see the world. 
  2. 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. 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. 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. Are curious. Lifelong learners want to understand different people, places and cultures. They want to understand how our world works. 
  6. 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. Set goals. They know what they want out of life and are focused on achieving what they set out to do. 
  8. Enjoy the journey. 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. 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. 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.

With this in mind, we encourage you to become a lifelong learner and attend an upcoming #NEM2022 event.

More information about #NEM2022:

Throughout the month of March 2022, all #NEM2022 Ontario events will be happening in one place via the NEM Ontario Zoom account. The goal is to have participants come away with new or deepened knowledge, skills, or values that bring them together, benefit their communities or contribute to employability in engineering fields. All NEM 2022 events will be posted to the NEM 2022 Event Calendar by mid-January, so check back soon to see the full schedule.

National Engineering Month is Ontario’s engineering event of the year.

Learn to change the future of engineering – together. Attend National Engineering Month Ontario events. With bold topics, industry expertise, and diverse perspectives, you won’t want to miss it. To stay up to date on the latest news and information about #NEM2022, please visit our website.

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