Online learning is one of the fastest growing trend in higher education today, especially in online programs.
How Popular Is Online Learning
Q: What’s the trend with education online these days?
A: This is a great question, because everyone is so intrigued and giddy to know how educational companies are trending and how classrooms are changing. I would say that this is a pretty exciting time to be in the education field, if you’re a teacher or in the online learning industry.
There are certainly an abundance of opinions and first-hand stories making the rounds about this, and all I can say is, “Yeah, I’m excited about it too!”
I have been working in education for a total of 25 years now and have seen the internet change the face of education in all sorts of ways. When I started in the business it was just becoming apparent that students were using the internet in both their schooldays and during the day. But, it was happening very slowly, typically in collaboration with their professors. They may have visited a professor’s website and learned about their courses and what they were doing. Now, times have changed.
Today, because of the convenience and ease of location and accessibility that is easily accessible, students are learning not only in the classroom, but they’re getting online and taking very solid, rigorous courses.
I’ve spoken with teachers across the country and across the globe, whether we’re talking about a high school or college curriculum, and I can tell you unequivocally that whether it’s for grades, whether it’s for studying abroad, or whether it’s for completing careers, this online learning community is huge.
A lot of people say, “So, don’t you see that as a hindrance to physical education?” Yes, of course, you do. Because that means that if someone can’t make it into the classroom, that students, whether it’s for physical education or their history of science, or their history of foreign languages, will not have that same opportunity to learn and grow in physical education.
They may have other educational opportunities, but sometimes they may not.
So yes, there are limitations, there are challenges, and there will always be these kinds of challenges, but I’ll tell you that I think that the opportunities that I see happening in and out of the classroom are more important than the fact that sometimes students may be able to learn outside of a traditional classroom. That’s a whole different conversation. But if they can learn in a very relaxed way, for a very relaxed time, with a very supportive community, and maybe a kickback at night or a great time or something of that nature, that’s going to be more important. And that, by the way, is not always called “online learning.” It’s called something different.
I am also very excited to tell you that for the online learning world, there is a whole lot more happening than simply video content, which is what we talk about a lot of the time. For example, I’ve worked with BridgeBolt the last two years, and the idea here is to help students to do real world jobs in science.
A lot of jobs require a certain level of knowledge and it’s really difficult to learn all of the subjects that you need to learn. In fact, the qualifications for science jobs has actually been regulated in recent years because students aren’t generally very skilled in the subject. All of our students at BridgeBolt are providing that support and providing that support in their biology classes so they can get those jobs.
There are opportunities to actually work with real industry in a way that most professors or teachers in the real world can’t and won’t do, which is not only great for students, but it’s also a really good way for employers to assess where their employees are coming from and where they need to be and where they should spend their time.
That’s a huge change. It’s always been there. It’s always existed. It just hasn’t always been in everyone’s hands in terms of what they can do.
Now, there’s more and more of it. There’s a lot of excitement around the concept, there’s a lot of possibilities, and I can tell you, I’m excited about it, and many of my employees are excited about it.
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