If you’re still on the fence about online education, we have a place you can feel more comfortable! We have a new book that will take you behind the scenes of online learning and make it easier to understand why you should learn online!
Why Online Learning?
Online learning may appear as a natural progression as more colleges and universities become digital, but it wasn’t always this way.
In the 1990s, the online education revolution began with a virtual but seemingly legitimate alternative to classroom learning. By the 2000s, online learning was accepted as simply a way to provide online access to class content, usually with some student-initiated on-site interaction.
Online learning has stayed so far above ground due to the proliferation of technology in nearly every facet of academic and business life. Online learning has been enabled through larger telecommunications investments in broadband and wireless Internet, and the Internet speeds at this point are nowhere near the 100% upload speed goal of 100 Gbps that Google hopes to achieve by 2021.
The success of online learning has been fascinating to watch as much research on the topic has panned out, and it now seems as if traditional campuses and their academic offerings, such as textbooks, may actually be better prepared for online learning than are campuses without the aid of Internet access and technology.
Some faculty members still do not realize the difference, but online instruction differs from traditional college instruction. Rather than moving the classroom in front of an actual class and initiating with the textbook, online instruction moves the classroom from behind the library and explores online content more directly with a built-in set of individual tasks and challenges.
Why Online Learning?
Imagine meeting with friends after work and preparing for a movie and having all of the materials together and able to scan the screen for appropriate videos. The links inside that information can be successfully designed for the tasks and challenges facing each individual.
So many of the features of online learning online could be described as meetings with friends while simultaneously interacting directly in a virtual environment.
The virtual environment opens the possibility for more flexible solutions with greater flexibility in content creation, content translation and pacing between modules. For example, a class is studying a specific value in finance or business. The best solution is to have students create a short series of segments on this value, step by step, through various interviews, presentations and debates.
The series of segments can then be uploaded as supplemental content for the session. This could be used to help in a regular meeting about financial studies or a presentation on the finance industry when a class member wants to start.
In the same way people reread the annotated works by Napoleon or the New Testament more often because it can take them another level into the wisdom of that specific work, students can read materials online and also delve deeper into the topics that they are studying.
All of this means that there is no necessary barrier to pass between the assigned content and the individual student who needs to hear what the instructor has said. Online education is organized by the individual, not the collective.
How Digital versus Polymath Is Different
When a student goes to a traditional college and needs to take notes through an old-fashioned pen and paper system, the difficulty is only increased as the student is not actively reading the author of the note. We often forget that as we look for the most convenient way to produce work, we often fail to look beyond convenience.
A possible solution to the problem of efficient notes is a system of digital note taking systems. A digital note taking system may allow for notes to be saved and synchronize with other virtual assets. The final step in digital note taking is creating online lessons to support the student.
A necessary tool to the operation of any online learning system is the ability to create teaching videos that are actually taught. Most online learning systems employ video-based teaching models, but some schools do have physical classrooms. A teaching video can be developed as something where an instructor explains a certain topic that is deemed appropriate for the activity and time.
There is little requirement of participation in that course, but many content providers are now also creating courses that are so compelling that individuals will actually work harder than they normally would to develop that material as a reward for themselves.
With the progression of technology, online learning appears to be not only a modern way of learning but may actually be the future of academic instruction. The average college student attends for only about three-and-a-half years and some estimates see that fraction reaching as low as three years in the next twenty years. Online learning can help students gain confidence and proficiency by introducing them to different ways of learning, while simultaneously leveraging the technology to offer more than the traditional experience.