Online learning encompasses courses offered by online resources, but the level of online education varies greatly.
How Hard Is Learning Online
For those of us who live in the real world, learning through traditional means — though sometimes necessary — is a privileged position to be in. Because we can travel from one place to another to fulfill the mission of learning, we don’t need an office. Sure, we can talk to one of our teachers if we just want to catch up on the latest, and that is a good thing, but, for most students, they’re spending their money on textbooks or studying on their own, with or without teachers. For some, this matters. Others can’t access the internet because of low internet connectivity or it’s been so long that they’ve forgotten what real research actually is.
For students who are students because their parents paid for them to go to college, one is tasked with making money for a family to live while attending college, which is a job. It is certainly harder than learning online, for one reason — having to travel. For us in the real world, we have at least the opportunity to spend some time at work with friends and coworkers, and that is a requirement to start. For online students, there is no access to coworkers and there is no connection to everyday life outside the website itself.
The Modern Student
Online education presents an opportunity for students to pursue learning while gaining experience in many different types of industries, areas that may be unfamiliar to them. Not only is that choice for students important, but the opportunities associated with it are growing. Universities that once focused on physical instruction are now expanding their educational platform to add an online element as a necessary part of the student’s mix of experiences. Digital learning is changing the way in which students learn and gaining a greater awareness of current technology in order to learn even better, quicker and better for students who don’t have a physical education center and a support staff who can answer questions.
In Particular, digital learning is a medium that is growing and evolving with time. We often use words such as the “smart classroom” or the “university campus of the future”, and there is both truth and symbolism to those. Digital learning has improved so much that one can now grow from basic technology into a solid foundation for academics in a matter of days and sometimes hours.
However, the new ways online learning has to offer are not without their issues. Students are often comfortable with a safe environment and with familiar conditions. They accept the pathways they have been given to find success and are comfortable with being on their own and at their own pace. However, this assumes that the online learning platform is one that can handle the vast majority of these students’ needs and stressors, especially as they grow.
Where do you fit in?
One thing that can cause a problem for digital learning is the lack of a support center. One thing that is true about education in the real world is that those with money are rarely ready to invest in student loans. Many students are going to school to get an education and perhaps get a job, but that need for a student loan is not always met. This is why institutions often go to great lengths to create student support centers. They may require students to fund their education and fund their room and board costs, but these student support centers are typically open at night or on weekends when a student might not have the time to go there because they’re too busy studying for exams.
If a student wants to stay in school but spend less time in the classroom, that student should be more than welcome to at least have the option of the student support center that many universities have for their classes. This isn’t to say that they cannot rely on their professors or administrators for support or to have contact with a doctor if they need it, but having a physical support center where students can go for help is important for in-person learning. When the internet is unable to give a student a support center, in an increasingly digital world, it may put the students in harm’s way.