It is never too late to learn a new skill, develop a new interest or even revisit old interests we left behind when we were younger due to lack of time and family and work commitments taking over as priority. Just because we turn 50 does not mean that we aren’t curious. A new website called Love to Learn (www.lovetolearn.co.uk) has recognised this and conducted in-depth research into what us over 50s are most interested in. Ceri Wheeldon chats to Gill Jackson, Director of Love to Learn, to find out more:
So tell us about the research you’ve just done
We’ve conducted two big pieces of research over the last few months and specifically honed in on the 50+ generation. We found that adults in their 50s are overwhelmingly upbeat about the benefits of their age group. They have greater freedom and financial security and 87% of people in this age group have a huge appetite to learn new things and taking up new hobbies.
So what are over 50s curious about?
Lots of things but computers and the internet, followed by modern history, family history, gardening and digital photography are the most popular subjects people want to learn about.
What makes Love to Learn so different?
It’s theUK’s first dedicated website that offers a wide range of online courses for adults who want to keep learning, in an informal way, in their own time, at their own pace. The courses are fun with videos and activities, and users can save their answers and ideas in the own online Workbook.
How easy is it to master a digital course?
For those people who aren’t that proficient on a computer, how easy is it for them to master a digital course?
First of all, I have to say, it’s easy to use. That was one of our key requirements when developing the site. People can just go to www.lovetolearn.co.uk and then have a look around the site and the courses on offer. We have deliberately made the site easy to navigate and to use. Then, once they’ve seen a course they like the sound of, they can try the first part for free and then go on to buy the full version from there.
What kind of courses can I learn on the site?
For those who are thinking about taking up a new hobby or developing new skills, the site is a great place to start. It’s currently offering courses in Family History, Internet Basics, Digital Photography, Starting an Enterprise, Turning Points in Modern History, Memory Training and How to Read Paintings
We’re also planning courses for people who are interested in growing their own vegetables, sewing and quilting, create your first website, and scanning and editing old photos.
If I’m not that au fait with computers – do I need to be to get the best out of a digital course?
No. We’ve specifically designed the courses to be simple to use and to navigate. 100% of our users polled said they found the site easy to follow
What’s the benefit of doing a digital course compared to a night class?
There’s quite a few I think. People can take up the variety of leisure-themed courses in the comfort of their own home, at a time and a pace to suit them. They can stop and start the courses as and when it suits them, which makes it even more flexible.
Doing a digital course also offers learners a hassle free way of learning, something new, and does not involve having to travel to classes at awkward times and in faraway places. It’s a lot more cost effective as people don’t have to pay for transport, petrol and parking.
97% of our learners said they would recommend the courses, which shows these are popular.
Who have you worked with to develop the courses?
As Love to Learn is part of Pearson, the world’s largest learning company, we’ve been able to access a number of leading experts in their fields to develop the courses. For example, we’ve partnered with the likes of Imperial War Museums for the Family History course, Go ON UK for the Internet Basics course, the Royal Photographic Society for the Digital Photography, and the Financial Times for Starting anEnterprisecourse.
I’d like to turn a hobby into a business. Can you help?
I have a hobby I’d like to turn into a business. What advice can you offer?
Many over 50s are starting their own business. Check out the Starting your Own Enterprise course for more information.
How much is an average course?
Full price courses start at £24.99 and the first part of each course is free to trial (approx 30-45 mins of learning). We’ve also included a gift option at the checkout level so people can give a course as a present to loved ones or family and friends.
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