My dad who will be turning 58 this year, has always been motivated to learn. He learns by trial and error, through classes and by reading books or magazine articles.
My dad has many talents! He has been a mechanic since he was 15 years old. Not only does he have a huge following of clients at the garage he works for, all of his family and friends seek his advice, expertise and time when their vehicles aren’t running up to par.
He has taught himself how to work with wood. He has built everything from furniture to houses. Dad is even able to do all the plumbing and electrical.
Over the last decade, he has expanded his handiness into framing and matting pictures. Dad has experimented with a variety of tools and styles. He has also built up another type of clientele who seek him out to frame everything from photographs to hockey memorabilia.
Though my dad uses technology at work to be able to read the “bugs” in the vehicles, he has never really used it to enhance his knowledge in his areas of interest.
This morning, my dad strutted into the living room proudly announcing how he had found a website that had numerous woodworking plans and that he was able to download onto his computer. I asked him if he would be interested in learning more about wood working (not that I know what more he could learn) and I explained to him that he might be able to take a wood working class through MOOCs. I explained to him that Massive Open Online Courses have free classes people can take to further their education in an area of interest.
Our conversation about MOOCs led me to teaching him about blogs. I showed my dad how to search for blogs, why people blog and how, if he wanted to, he could comment on blog posts. I showed him my blog that I created for my EC&I 831 class. I explained that often bloggers include links to articles or videos, something which piqued my dad’s interest.
Continuing on this learning journey, my dad and I explored YouTube to see if they had any wood working videos. To our pleasant surprise we found that were many different videos, including one about how to make picture frames with a sliding mitre saw (not that I know what a sliding mitre saw is). My dad was so impressed that all of this information at his fingertips was free!
I am not sure how happy my mother will be to find out that my dad has yet another way to spend his time, but it was pretty neat to teach my dad about the never ending information available on the Internet. Who knows, maybe one day he will create his own blog about one of his many hobbies…