COVID-19 drives tech adoption in McGill’s Community for Lifelong Learning

MCLL Launches Virtual Lectures and Study Groups to Fuel the Joy of Learning for those 60 and Up

The senior learners at McGill Community for Lifelong Learning did not let the closing of the university nor the higher risk of contracting COVID-19 due to their age stop them from continuing their learning projects. When the spring term was cancelled, undaunted, the program administrator and the volunteer leadership established a plan for replacing it with online learning using Zoom. Within two weeks, an adjusted program of 10 study groups was established with volunteer moderators and members ready to learn using this technology. Two five-week sessions were underway in April and have continued through May and June, and now a full summer program of lectures will begin on July 8th.

The McGill Community for Lifelong Learning is a unique, dynamic, self-financing organization within the School of Continuing Studies at McGill University. Founded 30 years ago, it offers small study groups and lectures, led by volunteer moderators who offer their time and talents for the joy of it. Members are senior learners, some well into their 90s. They are embracing the technology that keeps them connected to one another and learning with one another. This peer learning experience is at the heart of MCLL.

One of our members had this to say about the opportunity to continue learning online: “My study group Female Composers, was so popular that it has continued informally every week during the COVID 19 crisis – our zoom discussions provide focus and social connection during a difficult time – I look forward to it and wouldn’t dream of missing the weekly session!”

The summer program of lectures (Wonderful Wednesdays) will run from July 8th to August 22nd on Zoom. Join us for Music in Art, and discover how music has played an important role in the visual arts by listening to music that has inspired art through the ages, learn about Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, an amazing African-American abolitionist, poet, teacher and writer and discover many more interesting lectures throughout the summer. Registration begins June 22nd.

About McGill Community for Lifelong Learning

The McGill Community for Lifelong Learning (MCLL) is led by volunteers and managed by a council elected from among its members. Situated within the McGill School of Continuing Studies, MCLL is for people who want to continue learning in an informal setting, and who wish to share their knowledge, ideas, experience and interests with others. Based on a peer-learning concept, our small study groups are led by volunteer moderators. Our informal small-group approach makes our programs accessible. No exams or grades to worry about, and no age limits. There are four terms to a year. Fall, winter and spring are 10-week terms with a complete program of study groups, lectures, workshops, outings and social activities. A lighter program is presented on Wednesdays only, in the summer. The study groups and lectures are usually given in English.


Sandra Baines, MCLL President,

Ana Milic, Program Coordinator,

McGill Community for Lifelong Learning, School of Continuing Studies, McGill University,

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