I am a lifelong learner and I am proud of it!

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

-Mahatma Gandhi.

Ancora Imparo’ – ‘I am still learning.’ The words are often attributed to Michelangelo who is supposed to have said them at the age of 87. Neither my age nor, unfortunately,  my achievements can be compared to those of the prominent artist but there is definitely one thing we have in common – I am also a strong believer in the idea of lifelong learning.

Lifelong Learning in the EU

Learning cannot be limited to a specific period in our lives. On the contrary, it is a lifelong process lasting ‘from the cradle to the grave.’ Aiming at making quality education available to everyone, the European Commission initiated the European Education Area to help Member States collaborate to improve the educational systems in the European Union. Among its priorities there are the following ones:

Improving quality and equity in education and training
Teachers, trainers and school leaders
Digital education
Green education

All the above-mentioned focus areas are supported by Erasmus+ which is a popular EU programme for education, training, youth and sport, well described by its slogan, ‘enriching lives, opening minds.’ With its budget of €26.2 billion estimated for the years 2021-2027 it will unquestionably open many doors to learning opportunities, involving also us – educators.

Being an eTwinning Ambassador myself, I cannot resist the temptation of mentioning this unique  programme that unites teachers, students and schools from the EU and beyond. Since 2005, when the eTwinning Programme was created and I was lucky to join in, I have developed tremendously, both professionally and personally, thanks to the participation in the initiative. Thus, if you are not an eTwinner yet, I highly recommend it – join the eTwinning community by registering on the European School Education Platform with EU Login to experience fantastic collaboration and gain access to numerous learning opportunities. The synergy of eTwinning and Erasmus+ is a powerful educational tool!

Lifelong Learning with Europeana

Europeana offers a wide range of resources you, as a lifelong learner, can use to discover Europe’s digital cultural heritage. With reference to the European programme mentioned above, you will definitely enjoy reading Erasmus and the Historical Roots of Studying Abroad blog post. Do you know what the acronym of ERASMUS stands for? Read the post to find out. If interested in the programme, you can also enjoy the first-hand report provided by a student who was granted an Erasmus scholarship.

Check out The Rise of Literacy in Europe exhibition to better understand, among others, the correlation between adult education and the development of printing technologies. Female Literacy in the Middle Ages is a must for those wishing to get familiar with the topic of women who encouraged reading and learning at the times. When visiting Schools in the Past gallery you will have a chance to compare our modern digitized classrooms to the ‘vintage’ ones of the past – maybe the classroom you can still remember from your own school days?

Aleksis Kivi School by Saarinen, UA – Finnish Heritage Agency, Finland – CC BY.

Finally, the thing you simply cannot miss is Digital Education with Cultural Heritage 2023 MOOC. Starting on 27th February, it will lead you through the Europeana’s digitized collections to the point where you will be able to create an engaging learning scenario for your students. Take the opportunity to enrich your learning and teaching experience! Be a lifelong learner!

By Katarzyna Siwczak, Europeana Education Ambassador

CC0 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Finnish National Gallery.

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