What Is Online Learning Mean In College

With the increase in interest in online learning, a lot of people are looking to make the experience as seamless as possible.

I have missed a few months here in California as this winter appears to be in its early stages, but we are so far in November. While it can be tempting to check Facebook and be entertained by friends, the time that I do have away from work tends to be productive.

I have been exploring different opportunities in higher education as of late. I have taken a tour of all the classes that I am scheduled to attend. The courses that I am attending right now take place across the state and various geographic locations. But in California we have things that a California State kid in liberal arts will never encounter. You can go anywhere in California and seek an online-only education. Just making it to a state like California can be enough to change the life of a student.

I recall while speaking on a podcast with Jake Swearingen about what is appropriate to call myself: University Man, Father-John-in-Law, or Am I There? These conversations spawned plenty of discussion, and the student looked back over their own experience.

My take on it is that I am there, and in my right mind, a young man with the unique opportunity to “live” at my university is not taking advantage of it. We are all interested in the future. We talk about how our kids can get into a good college, but what I have talked about before is they also need to study the degree now, because it’s so important to “get the idea of your degree.”

I have spent a lot of time with my sister-in-law, a mother of two in high school who was preparing for college. She expressed a question that I believe is not really part of the digital education hype. She asked how you go about doing online education?

I told her it was not that we have shifted course. In fact, many of us are now getting what we need to do on paper as we go to online courses. But it is now available 24/7, and we have a lot more to offer students who are on-demand learners.

We see the pressures that are being placed on higher education, and we saw the first young women dying at night in Laguna Beach. Those killings have led to a dialogue about mental health issues in Orange County and more specifically, the Jordan Kyle Zurawik case.

We know that psychological vulnerability can lead to suicide. If you are just going through high school, the fear of death can be heightened. Now that we are creating a generation that is highly-motivated digitally, we are creating a really dynamic population. Being able to channel that urge into learning courses or simply expressing themselves through the medium of media is attractive and practical. That generation is no longer waiting for folks to teach them.

Well, that is the story for now. For those students looking for community, I often find myself encouraged by my fellow college alumni. They are a great resource and become great teachers. They have been through things I did not and there is no doubt that they will help me learn from their experiences. What they are teaching me now is the value of studies in life. They talk about how the paths they took through these courses prepared them for life after they had graduated. It is life experience that not only builds resilience, but teaches life lessons.

I have taken many classes over the years, but not many online. But in our world of instantaneous education, I am curious to see what life after our studies will look like for us.

This is an excerpt from Spencer’s most recent podcast episode. You can listen to it by clicking here.

For more about Spencer, visit his website here, and follow him on Twitter here. You can also like him on Facebook and view his content on YouTube.

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