In recent years, there has been a growing surge of appreciation which supports the notion that learning in non-formal and informal settings is seen as crucial for the realisation of lifelong learning.
Informal learning generally results from daily activities related to work, family life or leisure. It is not structured and usually does not lead to certification and in most cases it is unintentional on the part of the learner.
Take a look at schome.ac.uk for a good overview.
Lifelong Learning has been called a variety of names including liberal education, adult education, and continuing education and continuing professional development. It can be interpreted ideologically in different ways. On one hand lie the central tenets of personal development, inclusion, equality of opportunity in society. Seen this way informal and lifelong learning may be personally rewarding for the participants but have no direct economic benefit to wider society. Alternatively there is a more instrumental and internationalist approach that seeks to make explicit the links between learning and the economic health of the nation by focusing on outcomes such as employability and productivity and efficiency.
In the UK we have a few developing strategies and initiatives designed to encourage lifelong learning, one of which is Sure Start it is aimed at early years development.
Whilst on the subject of learning and education, a quick mention about MobilizeThis 2008 it is a yearly held, free event.
MobilizeThis 2008 provides a snapshot of a cross-sectorial range of contributions to discussion involving the practical and constructive use of ICT’s in the education and related industries.
This is a free event with limited spaces for participants no matter where you are located.
MobilizeThis 2008 is about getting connected, exploring and resolving challenges facing organisations as they seek practical means to realising social dividends with clients, creatively engaging in real learning experiences that embrace the horizons and enable others to access what we would otherwise take for granted.
I am pleased to announce that I willbe presenting at this years event, his subject matter being – User Freedom and Autonomy As They Relate To Network Communication Technologies In Education. Alex Hayes will also be presenting. The event will be held on the 22nd – 24th October 2008, check out the webpage for further details.