When you think about technology and learning, images of eager students likely come to mind. But in the digital age, technology is far reaching and not exclusive to America’s youth. One of the most active groups of digital learners is actually adults – a movement that is being driven by the desire for self-improvement and to gain knowledge about a variety of topics of personal interest.
Adults are embracing digital learning at steady rates, which is not surprising when you look at mobile connectivity statistics. As of January 2014, 58 percent of American adults have a smartphone, 32 percent own an e-reader and 42 percent own a tablet computer, according to the Pew Research Internet Project. These digital devices mean that adults have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips 24 hours a day.
Video views skyrocket
The explosive growth of video has played a key role in the increase of digital learning. Research shows that 183.8 million Americans watched 48.7 billion online content videos in January 2014 alone, according to comScore.com. Furthermore, 85.1 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video, meaning a lot of people are actively viewing video on the Internet.
Adults who prefer to learn through visual media are turning to online videos at increasing rates to understand a wide range of topics. From how to cook the perfect rice, to helping your teenager complete his algebra homework, video is a simple way to learn about a topic in a matter of minutes.
Growth of curated community learning
Adults are demanding that credible knowledge be available at their fingertips and are turning to online communities with trustworthy content and interactive opportunities. For example, Learnist is a vibrant community of 12-million users who learn from each other and share what they know. Beyond Wikipedia, this online think tank lets users access expertly curated content, ask questions and add to boards (known as Learnboards). From learning Mandarin to researching the finer points of gluten-free living, users can access video, images, articles and more in mere seconds.
For the on-the-go adult learner, the new Learnist app brings digital learning to Android and Apple devices. Additionally, the new iOS app offers premium content from celebrities and knowledge experts for 99 cents. Some examples of premium content include film-editing tips from legendary director Gus Van Sant, science experiment ideas for kids from Mythbusters’ Kari Byron, as well as women’s history topics from actress Olivia Wilde.
Digital technology is truly changing the way adults live and learn. Discovering new topics and finding answers to questions have never been easier thanks to mobile devices, expanded Internet access and new educational tools like Learnist.