With some spectacular computer and communications based devices coming soon to a store near you, its really time to rein in and look at the processes of learning in relation to needs and to the tools we already have. Once having determined some of these needs and then evaluated how the various psychological, philosophical and technological tools can serve them, the understanding of these needs will become firmly established in the present and be ready to anticipate how they will evolve as change occurs down the road.
Here’s the place to take a quick dip in the calming pool, examine some specific learning needs and the tools around to serve them. In very general terms the learning needs as mentioned earlier include learning to cope in the face of relentless change. Physical and mental wellbeing are essential to good coping skills. This is no secret. Physical wellbeing is the goal of a significant number of people and should surely be the goal of all, however, for any variety of reasons, the gym or workout room, even the Mall walk is out of reach for many. They may have physical limitations or they may be just too busy and perhaps too stressed out to maintain a regular exercise routine.
Of course there are countless fitness DVDs out there and, although the trend has tapered off considerably, those TV programs with their sleek, tight bodies and their equally sleek young sycophants all happily engaged in any variety of intense or grueling exercise routine. Who in the normal world can keep up with that? Even scaled down for the unfit masses, these fitness programs tend to be repetitive and intense and before to long, usually well before they are showing any significant signs of success, the viewers, no longer participants have moved on, to the kitchen or a game show. Others, might linger a while longer, most likely taken by the splendid physical specimens on the screen, but they will begin to cut corners. It’s tough to raise the knee that high all the time; a less intense kick will be fine. Perhaps everyday is too much, alternate days, then twice a week and then never until the next new DVD makes its way to the store shelves.
Not to put these exercise and fitness programs down. They are generally excellent and will work given a sustained and intense participation over a lengthy period of time. Undoubtedly there are some who have benefitted immeasurably (that may be a poor choice of words) from these programs just as there are those who have benefitted from a steady amount of time spent in the gym or workout room or regularly taking a brisk walk or jog.
The fact is, athletic people, fitness buffs and body builders will do what it takes to succeed in achieving and maintaining their fitness goals. That’s wonderful for them. For the countless others, the ones with exercise machines idling in basements or spare rooms, the ones so tired that their only workout is the walk to the fridge during commercials, what can be done to help them meet their aspirations. Even if the treadmills is collecting dust and those whose exercise consists of searching for the channel changer, there is a desire to be more fit. These people are demonstrating genuine learning needs.
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