Let’s review what we know about distance education now — and what we can learn from Google, IT company OnApp, and YouTube.
Distance Education A System View Of Online Learning 3rd Edition What The Year
What the Year is all about? I am like any of you, and a little bit of wisdom sometimes seems to hit the news when the rest of the world and time seems to be passing. While some of the wisdom floating around has likely been around for a long time and is only now hitting the news — and becoming more popular — I want to share it with you because I believe it is particularly important.
Much of it can be summed up as a blending of thought and wisdom that comes down from the most knowledgeable, thought leaders of our time, and is available to you in one place. There has been a shift away from traditional higher education institutions over the past several decades. Quite simply, when a college campus is full, faculty and students are stressed about problems and overworked. People who visit campuses regularly report that they often notice that students and faculty are engrossed in their phones or the computer, neither of which is conducive to focus and mentoring. The tendency to have work, family, and social commitments leaves less time to devote to learning, and when the pressure is on to get more, it becomes harder to meet deadlines.
As a result, many students opt out of the classroom and many are more than happy to drop out of college and seek professional opportunities online.
Is this because they aren’t interested in the subject matter? I’m not sure. There are so many fields that would be more suited to learning without having to attend a class or be in a classroom. Learning has never been as easy as it is now. Tech has made it easier to communicate, to focus, and to learn by doing. Many credits for online classes are now transferrable to traditional schools and many colleges are still looking for ways to take advantage of online students. It’s not about for-credit learning. It’s about providing students who find themselves unable to attend traditional college with the tools they need to succeed in a challenging environment and perhaps to earn a degree or two.
Many students who learn online at colleges like the University of Arizona, Houston College, University of Hawaii, and Baylor University, among others, are happy to have the low cost of tuition without sacrificing much of the off-campus experience they desire. Students get access to free or reduced-cost food, laundry, and student clubs that they might not otherwise have access to. I wonder if they are also in a better position to grow and achieve their career dreams.
I don’t think distance education is for everyone. It’s an online path that requires careful selection, thoughtful learning, and continuous commitment. Some students do very well. For others, it doesn’t work. But I think you will find great reason to learn from any of the best online teachers in the world. You will learn to be empowered and confident to learn, to talk to and to listen to others, and you will see how similar people approach learning. You will understand that it’s not easy. You will see other people’s struggles and you will be inspired to find solutions. You will be able to apply the language of “how” into real life problems. I guarantee you won’t be deterred.
In the comments, I see a lot of discussion about the cost and how it matters to some students. I couldn’t agree more. Some are in financial crunch, but others are doing this because they want to give themselves an opportunity to grow professionally or to continue their education. Your on-line experience can be a test of your own will, and your ability to prove to yourself and others that you are a smart person who can solve problems that require thought, dedication, and care. No matter what your situation, you can succeed.
The rest of the world and your time is passing you by. Take advantage of the opportunity you have, learn from the best, and to start that slow journey of personal fulfillment you’ve been dreaming about.
Maryanne is the founder of 360 Degrees of Leadership (360lov.com). Connect with her at http://360lov.com/blog/