When Did Online Learning Begin

The now ubiquitous platforms that allow people to create and share works from home are helping to revitalize educational systems worldwide.

Oftentimes, online learning is confused with “online college courses”. While they are often amalgamated together, they represent two distinct pathways of education that are only recently becoming commonplace and affordable to thousands of students in the United States.

Though it is certainly a slippery slope to draw and parse it out of its salient differences, there are two types of online learning we can discuss:

1. Digital Learning

Under this heading, I’d single out online courses through online applications—so-called “byte-programs”—that get students to complete the tasks of learning, up to and including attending in-person tutorials and courses and completing project documentation. These online online learning solutions serve to bring education to students during the first and last stages of their learning process, while saving many students the hefty price and commitment of traditional classroom education.

Technology is a key component of many of these programs, as is great computer programming, Web design, as well as courses in Adobe CS (Photoshop) and HTML/CSS3. Many programs are designed to support the needs of teachers and scholars who hold certification in advanced education.

2. Online Courses

Another option, courtesy of the web, is essentially a hybrid. Taking a course online requires the learning application to provide personalized learning tools and support materials. Plus, most online courses—notably, those geared towards businesses, nonprofits, teachers, and industry—provide supplementary content in the form of learning management systems (LMS).

Many of these offerings also include massive open online courses (MOOCs), which were initially created to provide unlimited access to the United States’ educational institutions for their students. Though some of the MOOCs have now transitioned to offering some sort of instruction via webinar, virtual classroom sessions, or traditional lectures, these courses are similar to their in-person counterparts in other respects.

The online courses on these programs, however, allow for improved aspects of accessibility that students won’t encounter if they attend a traditional classroom session. These online alternatives require no enrollment fees, thus saving a number of students and academics a significant amount of money.

As for their level of online schooling, MOOCs and virtual courses give learning a top-shelf sheen—the thought of being able to study for thousands of hours, without sacrificing time, requires some of the strongest outcomes in education, all the while giving students the experience of conducting research that only a lab environment will afford.

In the end, online learning appeals to students who don’t have the financial means of attending a traditional classroom schedule. Their savings vary according to your activity and topic. We can easily project, for example, that you would save about $10,000 each over the course of a four-year degree, if you enrolled in two or three online courses per semester over your college experience. You can save even more, like $20,000 each, if you enrolled full-time in online courses over a four-year degree and spent just two or three months each semester on the training to earn a job on the Internet.

So what’s your take?

Online learning is a fascinating topic. By examining different types of learning, you’ll be able to see for yourself what’s unique and practical about what works best for your specific situation.

As with any proposition, however, you should do your homework and be wise with your money. We can’t help you with that, so we’ll suggest one useful way to start: consult your school to find out what is expected of you as an online student. Did you already apply for financial aid? If not, we suggest this figure you save:

What You Can Save and How to Find It

Investigate the different programs being offered by the colleges you’re considering attending. Find out how much tuition you can expect to pay for the classes you need. Then, determine how much money you could spend on books, uniforms, learning materials, and food you’ll need during the semester. Add up the cost of the courses you’re applying for and voila—you’ll have a decent estimate of what you’ll need to pay to attend the school you want.

Visit checklists dot net for specific examples of cost estimates. From there, it’s easy to narrow down the courses and institutions that offer the most educational value for the bucks you want to spend. Do your homework and educate yourself so you can make the best choice for your next education, whether that’s going back to school or opting for an online version of your current program.

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