Invest in knowledge; continue learning

Wits Plus offers undergraduate degrees and short courses to make studying further accessible to working people

28 April 2018 - 14:06
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Image: Supplied/Wits Plus

Most people spend so much of their lives collecting, spending, and worrying about money  that they “don’t have time” to learn something new. Barack Obama, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, some of smartest and busiest people in the world, all spend at least one hour a day on deliberate learning. They see what others don’t: learning is the single best investment of our time that we can make. To quote Benjamin Franklin, American polymath and one of the founding fathers of the United States: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

When you understand the value of knowledge, in a world where technology is making previously expensive products and services much cheaper (and even free), it’s just a matter of getting more of it. Dedicate yourself to continuous learning.

One of the benefits of technological advances is that it empowers an accelerated and personalised learning experience that puts the learner in the driver’s seat. Modern learning harnesses the speed, power and ubiquity of digital capability. Online platforms, software and mobile devices have rendered the traditional hurdles to learning, such as income, status and location, almost obsolete. Knowledge can now be gained by anyone with the passion to pursue it and the commitment to stick with it.

We are only at the tipping point of what future learning technology can deliver. Artificial intelligence (AI) could transform all aspects of human capital management, including learning.

Technology-enabled learning is immediate, and directly relevant to the task, for example:

  • Personally tailored learning content and experiences can be delivered to you as and when you want or need them;
  • Chatbots and virtual assistants can source and categorise the information that you need for optimal decision making; and
  • Augmented and virtual reality simulations can provide a multi-sensory experience to speed up and embed learning.

Additionally, social connectivity enables user-generated content to outpace and outstrip what traditional education and learning institutions can deliver.

Knowledge may be the new money, but, unlike money, you don’t lose it when you use it or give it away. Transferring knowledge anywhere in the world is free, instant, fun to acquire and makes your brain work better. It helps you think bigger and beyond your circumstances. It puts your life in perspective by essentially helping you live many lives in one life through other people’s experiences and wisdom.

About Wits Plus

Wits Plus, the Centre for Part-Time Studies at the University of Witwatersrand, offers selected undergraduate degrees, as well as a wide range of short courses. Evening classes make all qualifications accessible to working people. Wits Plus also offers a growing range of online short courses that enable you to study when it suits you.

Visit Wits Plus, Centre for Part Time Studies and Wits DigitalCampus, call +27 11 717 9510 or email wits.plus.marketing@wits.ac.za for more information.

This article was paid for by Wits Plus.

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