In Part 1, I looked at how hard you have to work your brain to build cognitive reserve (as far as we know). Your interests dictate the type of learning you choose. What have you always wanted to learn to do, master or investigate? There are many mental gyms for a brain work-out.
Local community colleges offer community classes in addition to the regular college curriculum. Depending on where you live, online classes should be available. With regular college courses, there are tests and assignments. Remember that if you register for a college course and quit without withdrawing, it stays on your record forever. You never know if you might want to attend college later.
If that’s not what you’re looking for, an online course platform may be a better fit.
5 Best Online Course Platforms
Coursera – www.coursera.org
US-based learning website with courses from 186 partner universities. Many courses are free; others range from $29-99. There are online degrees and certificates available.
The Science of Well-being from Yale University
Learning How to Learn from McMaster University
Successful Negotiation from the University of Michigan
Chinese for Beginners from Peking University
FutureLearn – www.futurelearn.com
A UK-based learning website with courses from around the world. Special pricing until May 11th, $199 for one year of unlimited access.
Learn Jazz Piano I: Begin with the Blues from Goldsmiths University of London
Jane Austen: Myth, Reality, and Global Celebrity from University of Southampton
What Drives the Body? From the University of Aberdeen
EdX – www.edx.org
Founded by Harvard and MIT, this online learning platform has Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) from 130 institutions including UC Berkeley, Georgetown, Boston University, and University of Oxford. Most are self-paced and free but it also offers degrees.
Hollywood: History, Industry, Art from University of Pennsylvania
Ancient Masterpieces of World Literature from Harvard
Udemy – www.udemy.com
Individuals create courses and offer them for sale through this website. Udemy has frequent sales with classes starting at $10.99.
Bluprint – www.mybluprint.com
Bluprint merged with Craftsy and expanded the available classes. There is an annual fee for unlimited access and they often have sales.
Online classes available in these topics:
There are thousands of people offering private courses through platforms like Teachable, Thinkific, and Kajabi. For example, Darren Rowse runs a very successful online school called Digital Photography School. At this time, there are no indexes to this type of offering. Belonging to Facebook groups in your areas of interest will often lead you to these classes.
Lifelong learning is essential to successful aging. It should be challenging enough to make your brain hurt a little. Get out there and learn something new!