The best medicine to stay healthy longer, keep and even develop cognitive skills and remain active is to keep on learning new things. It does not necessary has to be on traditional academic courses, but to learn a new skill, could be even more effective like learn how to paint, involve in a drama class or learn a new language. Dr. Ipsit Vahia, director of geriatric outpatient services for Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital explains in an interview with Harvard Health Blog: “When you exercise, you engage your muscles to help improve overall health. The same concept applies to the brain. You need to exercise it with new challenges to keep it healthy.”
Complex tasks have greater impact
Crosswords and puzzles have proven impact to keep cognitive skills vital. However, research from the University of Texas at Dallas shows that more complex learning environments has even greater impact by including reasoning and problem-solving. This means less passive learning to improve knowledge, but more project-based learning that includes many different tasks in an overall complex environment that also includes planning and working towards set goals etc. A project is really a camp to make use of and train cognitive skills for people of all ages.
To make lifelong learning available
In general to open up more lifelong learning opportunities is to hurry up the shift from the national systemic approach of education into a more humanistic approach. This means a shift from the old closed passive system that also generates exclusion especially of those who do not fit the norm that the system is based upon. And instead direct the driving forces on an inclusive interactive open approach. Different forms of educational technology are a vital force in such development as part of the general trend of personalising learning opportunities. I will write more on this subject later.