Education is a general term used to refer to a form of learning whereby knowledge, habits, and skills of a group of persons are transferred from one generation to another. The passing of information is through training, teaching, coaching, or research. Education often takes place under the directions of other people, but it can also be autodidactic. All experiences bearing a formative effect on how someone thinks perceives things, acts or feels can be considered educational. In modern times, education is mainly divided into a number of stages such as kindergarten, primary school, high school and college, apprenticeship or university.

Online Education – Definition

Also known as e-learning, online education is the use educational technology and information, electronic media and communication technologies in education. Online education entails a variety of media that deliver audio, text, animation, images and streaming video. It also includes technology processes and applications such as video tape, audio tape, CD-ROM, satellite TV, local intranet or extranet, computer-based learning and web-based learning. Many e-learning processes are guided by information and communication systems either based on local networks, freestanding or the internet in networked learning.

Causes and Consequences

Online education was started by corporates in the 1980s. In the corporate world, it was used to train employees using computer-based programs. This practice faced the limitation because the technology was inadequate. The invention of the internet years later set forth efficient growth of online education. The internet was used by companies to train their employees who resided in remote areas, or the companies’ branches away from the headquarters.

In 1994, CALCampus introduced the first online curriculum. CALCampus was established in 1982, and it took in the World Wide Web into its mission. Currently, it offers high and secondary school courses. It was an example emulated by universities and colleges who began establishing their e-learning programs. Over the years, online technology and the internet has grown online education by leaps and bounds.

Online education has influenced people who have undertaken it and those who are close and around them. E-learning has come with numerous benefits. Students are provided with various choices on how they wish to study. There is a wide variety of available schools and programs from which students can choose. This array of choices creates flexibility for people who are committed elsewhere. Online education offers students enrolled on it a networking platform as they can reach out and converse with each other all across the nation.

Despite the benefits of online education, there has been criticism on the same. Some people have pointed out that online education is a disruptive innovation within education in college, university, and higher levels. Online education is perceived as a disruptive technology because it replaces the traditional learning with a new model of learning which is more accessible to an upcoming population and eventually seeking to dominate the industry.

Most online students have the notion that online education requires less effort and time compared to traditional courses. This notion is misleading because online students have equal coursework with their peers in traditional classes. An online student will excel if they dedicate themselves to their coursework and attend to their assignments and participate in online discussions. The same goes for students in traditional classes but because they have more time, they can allocate enough time to each activity and perfect on the same.

Values

Convenience, quality of learning material, affordability, and facility in scheduling are the reasons behind the value of online education. Online education provides the student with the mandate to control their education. All adults, working or not, naturally appreciate having control over things going on in their lives. Online education is mostly preferred by working adults, people with family obligations, interests or hobbies which demand commitment and dedication in their respects. Online education carries the profound sense of accomplishment that goes hand in hand with the completion of a certificate, diploma, degree or masters despite the format with which it was acquired. In addition, online education is valuable to professors and lecturers who are required to advance, educationally in order to be promoted or change jobs. For these persons, the values of online education are immediate, real and manifest themselves in a practical manner. Online education fulfills the desire in a student to be a better person through personal fulfillment and education in a way that might have nothing to do with graduating and getting jobs. For these people, online education is an avenue to achieve personal growth, and no monetary value can be compared to its intrinsic value.

Online education is not a replacement for traditional education. It is a form of education to ensure that people who cannot afford the time to attend full-time classes under traditional education have a chance to complete their studies and graduate. Online education also came to aid those students who might not have the full tuition fees to cater for the more expensive traditional classes to be able to pursue their careers. It also provides lecturers and professors an opportunity to study and advance educationally while doing their jobs. Online education is different from distant learning. Distance learning comprises of students who are far from institutions. These students would want to study from specific institutions but because of the distance, they are not able to. Online learning can be taken by both students who are at a distance from learning materials as well as students close to schools.

Online education has become popular with time. In the United States, online education is gradually becoming the main stream. In Europe and other regions, e-learning is slowly catching up with the traditional education. It is without a doubt that for one to excel in online education, they ought to have self-discipline, motivation, and be results oriented. There are no physical teachers or classmates to attend to one’s immediate concerns and queries.

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