“I’m trying to get the idea across to people that gaming on YouTube isn’t just for young boys. It’s for girls and for older men and women, and I am here to stay. Just think all those young people who are gaming now — when they get old it will just be a natural thing for them to be there on YouTube.”
Isn’t that what lifelong learning is about? Giving people the skills and confidence to be able to go out there and learn whatever they want? Shirley Curry is doing more than that , though, if you read the article linked above. She is a highly successful gamer who works to her strengths. She likes talking and connecting with others and so she plays a social, leadership role in the gaming community. Her videos get thousands of views and she has an impressive fan base. She is herself . She is learning. She can articulate her learning gaps and understand what she needs for the next step. She can see the value of her being an online gamer. It utilises her skills , it grows her skills but she can see she is helping others in different ways and one of the things she is currently advocating for is to use her model of online video clips to help vision impaired people become part of online gaming. She describes a lot in her videos. She is walking and talking her way through game plays very effectively. It means she is engaging others in an inclusive way and then she collaborates with them. She wants to vlog now and that is getting that off the ground slowly. She has no fear of failure and doesn’t see skills lack as meaning she is inadequate. Just a fact. She needs to learn how to edit. She wants to learn how to vlog and knows there will be hiccoughs and problems until she gets it right. She knows how to reach out and get help. In turn she helps others . She understands the value of networking and connecting with others to grow knowledge . She worked with others to develop an action plan for learning both for herself and them. She can set goals and achieve them. This is what lifelong learning looks like. Shirley Curry has used her natural curiosity and love of talking with others become the cornerstones of a dynamic way of repackaging her skills so she can grow them. What is abundantly clear is that at 80 years old she is a happy learner.