Understanding Online Colleges
There can be no doubt that the internet has brought about a revolution. It has changed the way we play, conduct business, and learn. Some feel that the educational aspect of the internet has arrived rather late.
In any event, online colleges are changing the way people learn, and it is highly unlikely that will go back to the old way of doing things. Research has shown that the number of students attending online classes has continued to increase, and approximately 2 million students are currently in attendance.
However, it should be noted that the number of students attending online colleges are a minority. The vast majority of students still attend traditional brick and mortar schools, and this is not likely to change any time soon. In fact, online universities may simply be an extension of traditional schools. Many experts agree that there is a large segment of the population who will want to interact with each other in person, and many of these people will continue going to traditional colleges. Despite this, the number of online colleges are growing so fast that it is difficult to keep track of the figures. In addition to online college programs, a number of K-12 virtual schools have been developed as well.
Many educators believe that the internet is bringing about a great revolution, one which hasn’t been seen for well over 100 years. At this time, it is too early to determine the impact that online education programs will have on society. A number of people who are not familiar with online colleges mistakenly confuse them with charter schools or other forms of independent learning. In reality, online education programs are a mixture of various learning programs. A simple way to view online education is a school with no building. The teachers and students will sit at home, and classes will be conducted over the internet.
Much like a traditional school, online colleges will have a central office, assignments, teachers, staff, and attendance information. However, online schools are much more dependent on technology than their brick and mortar counterparts. A large focus is placed on the individual, and students will be able to work at their own pace. There may be technical problems which will need to be resolved. In some ways, online colleges are just the opposite of traditional colleges. In the offline school, classes are held at set schedules, and students are not generally allowed to work at their own pace. With online colleges, this is not a problem.
If you are not familiar with online education programs, you will probably want to know how they work. Parents and students will need to go through the process of enrollment. They will need to complete a variety of forms, and the college may provide them with the necessary software they will need to begin classes. A finance plan must also be setup. If the student cannot afford to pay for their classes, grants or student loans may be offered. Some colleges may be entirely online, and most of the tools a student will use are digital. Other colleges will require students to purchase physical books and supplies.
While online degree programs may not be for everyone, they appeal to a large number of people. Students who struggle with their assignments can work on their own time, while advanced students can work at a rapid pace. One problem with online colleges is that they do not cater well to those who don’t speak English. However, it should be noted that this will likely change as the internet continues to advance. Once it becomes widely available in other parts of the world, an emphasis will be placed on teaching courses in a variety of different languages.
Another current problem with online universities is the availability of qualified teachers. Recent statistics show that less than 1% of teachers are trained to use the internet as a teaching tool. However, this problem is very likely to be temporary. With the large amount of money that is being earned by online colleges each year, it is likely that more qualified teachers will be trained in the next few years. While there are disadvantages to the internet, it is clear that they are outweighed by the benefits.