Why Life Learning?

Relevance is key to life learning. MIT community members can remain relevant to each other by sharing their experiences in ways that matter to the current generation of students.


Millennials, also known as Gen Y, are in the workforce and in graduate school, and Gen Z is in college or on the way. Technology has changed how these generations learn and work, how they interact, and how they think. News sources are full of articles about the ways employers must change to accommodate the work habits and values of millennials. No doubt more change will be required as technology advances along with the new generations of students.

MIT has already changed. MIT OpenCourseWare has not only provided transformative access to MIT lectures and course materials for millions of people worldwide, but it’s also an asset that MIT students use regularly. An increasing number of MIT courses are taught in a blended mode with Residential MITx components to support new ways of learning online. The Office of Digital Learning offers a series of informative talks that enable educators across campus to learn about research, strategies, and online learning tools.  

“Disruptive innovation” describes the quickly changing role that technology plays in higher education and beyond. With Life Learning, we are recognizing the need for change and participating in the innovation rather than being disrupted by it.

As a MIT community effort, Life Learning can be a vehicle for sharing and learning from each others’ experience. Students can contribute through Life Learning to help each other succeed. Staff, faculty, alumni, and others with more life experience can contribute their perspectives and support for student life learning. We can create blended learning opportunities between on-campus and online offerings.  We can see what’s useful and change what isn’t. Prospective students, parents, alumni, and others can use Life Learning to understand more about student life at MIT as it is today—and to help shape student life tomorrow.