Lifelong learning is defined as the "ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated" pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. The benefits of lifelong learning are both personal and communal. By gaining skills and challenging your mind, you can enrich your own life as well as those around you.

Lifelong learning doesn't have to cost a lot of money or take up a ton of time. That's why we've compiled this short list of life-long learning activities you can do from the comfort of your home with nothing more than a laptop and internet.

1. Watch TED Talks

TED is a non-profit, global organization dedicated to the spread of ideas. These short, powerful talks are captured on video to be shared and spark conversation. 

You can start with our list of Top TED Talks by Women.

2. Take a Course on CreativeLive

CreativeLive brings the world's greatest experts to your computer screen, with live video workshops and courses. Anyone can watch the live workshops - for free - and interact with instructors in real time via chat. After a class airs live, you have the option to get life-time "on demand" access to it by purchasing the course.

Course topics include:

  • Photography
  • Business and marketing
  • Graphic design, illustration, hand lettering, and typography
  • Writing and publishing
  • Sewing, knitting, crocheting, jewelry making
  • Mixed media and scrapbooking
  • Blogging
  • Travel
  • Fitness

CreativeLive is a great resource for starting a new hobby, taking your craft skills to the next level, or working on professional development. For further reading, see our article on their classes for your creative side.

3. Enroll in a Coursera class or degree program

Coursera is one of the leading online education sites, partnering with top universities and organizations to offer courses online. The lessons are pre-recorded in a classroom and groups of online students complete assignments and participate in group forums together.

You can access Coursera readings and videos for free, on your own time. Or pay a subscription to work toward a certificate, specialization, or degree from one of the partner Universities.

Subjects include:

  • Arts and Humanities 
  • Business and Leadership
  • IT, Computer and Data Sciences
  • Life Science
  • Physics and Engineering
  • Social Science
  • Languages

Let us know if you try out any of these three life-long learning activities online. Here's to learning new skills and growing better each year!

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  • Michelle Chang