What Are Advantages Of Online Learning

Advantages of Online Learning Name-brand seminars can be challenging for even the best students. They often offer b-school end of year get-togethers that are full of re-takes, unforgiving time schedules, and heart-wrenching memories of failed afternoons.

By Willicles Perkinson, Jr.

Internet is where most people study these days. More than a large number of students will even admit the convenience of taking classes on-line. The irony, of course, is that in some aspects, this convenience has been the cause of fewer real learning experiences and more time on the couch.

I don’t mean to say that there is anything wrong with learning in other ways. I have my own way of getting through my college coursework. I find that walking can accelerate my mind. Sleep is also a big help for me to get through some high level assignments. Part of the reason for my reliance on the Internet is its ease in creating an automatic computer program that makes it easier for me to work throughout the day. I have an additional benefit to amassing knowledge about anything from contemporary music to critical theories to the choices we make in our daily business. After creating that passion for self-seduced learning, I can then take the videos and do homework on that subject, like Zaidi’s show. As far as I am concerned, any middle class person can survive at home, even buy a couch, find a laptop, and access the virtual world. I suspect that the internet will become the medium of education for the majority of the world, and for a good many Americans. It already has infiltrated the middle class and there is no reason for that trend to abate.

I firmly believe there are some challenges with Internet-based learning. The main disadvantage to taking classes in the digital world is the same as there is with taking courses in a physical classroom. That is the time to learn and there is no way to really compensate for that time. There is no way to catch up, and I don’t think that this problem will disappear. We will have to compensate for what is lost on the Web by either taking out more debt or deciding to drop out of a class at a time when the cost of tuition is rising.

The other disadvantages are that it is just the way of life. We will still have bookstores, for example, but will they be really filling the void? Video stores are gone. We used to think bookstores were the next step up from the library, but they are not. The Internet will become the highest-rent drug, that way we can still get a fix of what we need.

But, the online learning space has limitations. You can learn when you are not in the physical world, but can you really have a college experience, or even as casual as a really great concert experience, when you live at home, with your parents in the background? Are we still doing what we need to be doing for school or are we doing it because the large classes that we used to be able to take in a classroom are not available to us?

Some people may take comfort in the fact that there is a movie available to us that speaks to our culture right now. It is the battle for cultural relevance. The cultural significance of old books and old programs is pretty much dead now. We can access those things, but these things are hard to replicate now in a digital form.

I have read a lot of online books, but to me it feels less personal because I don’t really share the experience with the book. To me, online courses and courses via the internet are just numbers to be submitted to the good computer and that these numbers are just the technicalities in completing a course for an institution. Is that what we are interested in? If yes, then again, this is where I think we need to draw the line between online learning and education.

I just don’t think the on-line learning industry can push its wares without altering a little bit of what we think about education.

Willicles Perkinson Jr. is a long-time musician, teacher, researcher, and author of Words Behind the Sun: The Story of Voices in Tropical Montserrat, Caribbean Senses and A Place Called Ghost Town in Queens and Jamaica. These essays have been published in Caribbean Audiences, Song Harvest, Digicashik, Rastafari News, Haitian Journal, and Haitian Gem.

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