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Lifelong Learning

We are both teachers and learners all of our life, and there are now Third Age Universities and Lifelong Learning programs growing all over the world to foster peer-to-peer learning as well as traditional adult education. Here, you will find links to a full range of teaching and learning programs that are conducted either face to face or through the Internet while responding to the particular needs and interests of older adults.


What issues or topics relevant to Lifelong Learning would you like to discuss with others?   There are a couple of Pass It On Network Liaisons who are interested in facilitating discussion on topics about Life Long Learning.  If you have an idea for a topic and some interest in joining a short-term Special Interest Group (SIG), please send an e-mail to Jan Hively at

Programs and Organizations

Age-Friendly UniversitiesTThe City of Dublin, Ireland, has been a leader in the Global Coalition of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities (see this resource in the Community Support Pathway), exploring a broad range of strategies to expand opportunities for positive ageing.   Reporting to the President of Dublin City University, Professor Brian MacCraith, convened an interdisciplinary working group that set out to identify the distinctive contributions that can be made by higher education institutions in addressing the needs of older adults. As a result, 10 generic principles for an ‘Age Friendly University’ were established.  They have now been adopted by partner universities in Ireland, the UK, Canada and the USA. An External Advisory Board was also established comprising organizations representing older people’s interests to advise and support the initiative. View the 10 Principles for an Age Friendly University and encourage your local university to convene an effort to assess current status and plan for greater conformity to the principles in the future. 9/17

Kari Henley, founder of Age Without Borders offers consulting services to help use videos to leverage their messages, content, and community to new levels – increasing impact, profits, and global reach. She and her staff host, record and edit video sessions, develop and manage webinars and virtual round tables – all to help organizations develop up-to-date online strategies. 6/18
Arts and Aging
Free, self-guided, online course for teaching artists interested in learning how to lead lifelong learning programs in the arts that engage older people as creators.
Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA)The growth of computer clubs developing tech savvy seniors in every Australian community is encouraged by their national association founded by the current president, Nan Bosler.  For 18 years, the association has brought the member clubs to a national conference where top level speakers bring the latest hands-on information on today’s technologies and prepare club leaders to spread their use locally.  View Pass It On’s report from the 2016 conference, with links to the program, presentations, and handouts. 11/16

BALL = Be Active through Lifelong Learning.  U3A Reykjavik, Iceland, led by Pass It On Network’s Country Liaison, Hans Gudmundsson, the BALL Project has published guidelines and recommendations for all stakeholders, public or private, who have obligations and interests in offering advice for adults preparing for the third age. The project (see ) was supported by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme, and carried out by U3A Iceland in cooperation with U3A organizations in Lublin, Poland (LUTW) and Alicante, Spain (UPUA), managed by the Icelandic company Evris. The age group in focus was the so-called “baby boomer” generation, 50-70 years of age.  The recommendations are defined in three actions, each being independently applicable, while interlinked to form a complete package for best results. These are: Awareness RaisingPersonal Development Academy and The Warehouse of Opportunities for the Third Age.  The next task is to stock the shelves of the virtual Warehouse of Opportunities and to encourage use of all three documents to guide lifelong learning programs around the world.  11/16

Boomers and Beyond
“Free Conference Call” is used to connect interdisciplinary professionals around the world who are interested in exploring together positive, creative, and “successful” aging.

Czech Travel Exchange for U3A Senior Learners
Two way exchanges between similarly motivated senior students from foreign countries belonging to the U3A.
Digital Literacy – Agewell Foundation has launched a campaign to bring joy and fulfillment to older adults. “We aim to unlock the digital doorway to the world”, says founder Himanshu Rath. “When your family’s far away, a photo, a video, or a chat makes all the difference.” Volunteer trainers are prepared to cover social media, on-line banking, administrative issues and other useful topics. 5/18
@Digital Update
Workshops offer practical training in today’s digital skills from wi-fi and interactive points in public places, to leisure appliances, Skype, and smart phones.
littlefreelibraryLittle Free Libraries
Promoting literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.
janingroupOlder Women’s Film Group
Watching and discussing films in a group setting, older women explore issues while forming new friendships.
ONLINE COURSES – Free Audio & Video Lectures
Get 1,300 free online courses from the world’s leading universities -Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford and more. You can download these audio & video courses (often from iTunes, YouTube, or university websites) straight to your computer or mp3 player. 9/18

TV Studio “50+” in Russia
Volunteer pensioners become TV journalists and produce content for “Studio 50+”, a program that is on the air twice a month.
Volunteer Grannies Taught to Help Orphans and Children
Two month course in pedagogy and the psychology of “special children” provides a sound grounding for building confidence.
Warehouse of Opportunities
Find hundreds of opportunities to flourish! This exciting new Warehouse of Opportunities is available in English, Icelandic and Lithuanian. Future partner countries can build their own national warehouses. The Warehouse has a Manual for Trainers and Facilitators. 9/18
Wiser Together brings older and younger leaders together in World Cafés to talk either face-to-face or virtually through the Internet about partnering across generations for the Common Good.  At the 8th International Positive Ageing Conference held August 2016 in Washington DC, the Pass It On Network partnered with The World Café to convene a Wiser Together Café.  Shepherded by the co-founders of The World Café, Juanita Brown and David Isaacs, 40 olders and youngers responded to the question:  “How can we access the unique contributions of all generations to foster wise and committed action for life-affirming futures – for our organizations, our communities, and our beloved planet?”  The Harvest Report presents an attractive summary, showing the specific questions that were asked, photos of the conversation process, and illustrated findings.  11/16

U3A Online
A worldwide network based in Australia. U3A Online is an independent and autonomous U3A. U3A Online is the world-first virtual University of the Third Age delivering online learning via the Internet. All that’s needed to study online is access to a computer, tablet or other device with an Internet connection – and some basic computing skills. U3A Online offers many other useful resources for older people, especially those who are geographically, physically or socially isolated.


Conference Planning Guide. For all of us who have volunteered to help plan a conference without really knowing what that entails, here is a Conference Planning Guide from our Pass It On Network Liaison from U3A (Universities for the Third Age), Tom Holloway.  He describes the tasks to be accomplished from 14 months before the conference to follow-up activities after the conference.  You can just print this out and use it yourself or hand it over to the advocacy leader who says, “I would like to be involved but I don’t really know how to go about it.”  11/17
Digital Accessibility — GPII Accessibility Masterlist 
Building on the political momentum generated in 2016 adoption of its web accessibility directive, AGE Platform kept advocating for digital accessibility through the European project Prosperity4all. The project ended January 2018 and the field results for digital accessibility and personalization of technologies are now freely available.  3/18
How to Age Well.  A short, well-illustrated, and easy-to-read online guide published by the New York Times offers helpful advice with links to other articles and research is organized in five categories — Eat, Move, Think, Connect, and Live Well. 2/18
Resolve to Protect your Memory. Give your brain a workout and find 20 great ways to protect your memory in this puzzle from IlluminAge. 1/18

Video conferencing has many advantages
Frank Nicholson, a leader of the U3A in Canada, is an enthusiastic and convinced user of video conferencing, so much so that he produced an easy-to-follow presentation at a recent technology-assisted learning symposium in Canada to help others get started.  5/19

Top 10 Technology Tips. Rather than letting the “technical divide” get the best of your family, use technology to your advantage. Bridges Together has created a list of their Top 10 (plus one bonus!) tips for using technology to facilitate intergenerational connection. The first tip is all about setting it to music and designed to be a springboard for tech-savvy interactions. 1/18


Adventure Travel – “Random Old People” fight loneliness by teaming up and going on adventures all over the world … this video struck a deep chord and went viral.
The Aging Brain
Gene Cohen, MD, PhD
The Aging Brain
A 3-minute You Tube video produced by U.S. News and World Report
Russell Foster: TED Talk

Why Do We Sleep?
The research on light perception hits home as we age — faced with fading vision, we also risk disrupted sleep cycles…
Jill Bolte Taylor: TED Talk

My Stroke of Insight
A blood vessel in Taylor’s brain exploded. She watched as her brain functions shut down: motion, speech, memory…