Best Senior Learning Ever

Ervin and Beachner Photo

You can attend a class from your living room and ask the professor questions!

As I was interviewing these two, I said to myself, “OMG The Best Adult Learning EVER!”

First a little about these two amazing ladies: Ellen Ervin and Lynne Beachner 

As the former Director of WeMet Distance Learning Consortium, Ellen has worked in all aspects of technology.  Her passion is distance learning because she sees the power in helping organizations and people make connections around the world.

Lynne has worked in education throughout her career in grades K-16 as a teacher/professor, a coordinator of instruction, a principal and an executive director.  She loves the curriculum and instruction side to education because that is where you engage students and create lifelong learners.  She received her Ph.D. from Kansas State University.

Together Ellen and Lynne believe that it is just a matter of time until the world opens up to individuals communicating on a daily basis with museums, archives, health centers, historical societies, community and other groups both locally and internationally in an effort to continue learning and cooperate in projects that will help others. They want to do their part in supporting the inevitable.  The two of them formed the Senior Learning Network, providing interactive learning to senior centers and retirement communities.  Additionally, they have also formed Generations Learning, providing lifelong learning to individuals within their homes.

We talked about their project and I learned:

  • How they started the organization over a cup of coffee and a cookie at Panera

    • A non-profit 501(c)3 organization that can accept donations
  • Why it's so cool:

    • You can Follow photographers on their journeys through a walk in a park, down a canal in Venice, or on-site at a volcanic eruption
    • The teacher can show you artifacts or other things via the conferencing
    • YOU can listen, see, and ask questions in REAL-TIME
    • Technology is similar to SKYPE, the moderator can see who is in the conference
    • If you have a large group, you can break up into small groups and have a small group discussion. Each person in the conference can have time to speak.
    • To join the class, all you have to do is click on a link. Then you can see and talk to the person or persons on the other line.
    • Not sure if the tech will work?  Test it before the meeting if you’d like.
    • Don't want to be seen?  You can also turn your camera off if you don’t want others to see you.
    • You can make remarkable friendships all across the United States by attending the workshops.
    • No limit to location (i.e. they have had programs in Japan and Australia that went across the dateline)  They even had an UNDERWATER DIVER conduct the class!  Uh…OMG, the best adult learning EVER!
    • Many of their programs have been developed for students (K-12) but have been adapted for older adults.
  • How it works:

    • Provide educational video conferences from museums, presidential libraries, national parks businesses, and individuals
    • We discussed the current (2017) fees for the program $40 per month for a senior center, unlimited programing
    • How you can get a free pilot
  • How it helps seniors

    • Create a lifeline for disabled and older adults in senior centers or those aging in place who feel disenfranchised from society.
    • Harness the talents of retired adults who can share interesting life stories, skills or talents
    • Provide well-rounded programming on health education, wellness, prevention, and care.
    • Provide support for business development and mentoring for those who want to reinvent themselves.
    • Create safe places where individuals can talk to one another to give and get emotional support
So now you know why this is the best adult learning ever.


Learn more at www.seniorlearningnetwork.com (for organizations) or www.genlearn.org (for individuals) or 844-744-4344

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Special Thanks to:

  • Angie Strehlow who helps us get great guests that help us with our retirement lifestyle while keeping everything on track…and helps with these show notes!
  • Les Briney, my husband, and Danny Ozment of Emerald City Pro who edits the show and makes my guests and me sound terrific
  • Henry Shapiro, host of Retired Excited that airs on Fridays
  • YOU for telling your friends about the show, leaving comments below, and sharing episodes you really like on Facebook.

This post on Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

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