Online education is flattening the learning landscape…here’s why
No More Ivy-Leagues, online education means University is moving home
In the past we needed a university degree from an ivy-league institution that took us four long years of time consuming and expensive study. We needed to attend lectures and study in libraries for hours to get a piece of paper that proved that we did it. Not anymore. With the globalized economy and the changing attitude towards online learning long distance learners can sit in their homes and learn, for free in many cases, and be recognized as knowledgeable in a field. As more and more providers of online learning appear and as companies and individuals drive the idea of life-long learning, online education is changing what we learn and how.
The internet broke down the wall and online education flattened learning opportunities
New technology has made it easier for us to access information now more than ever. Everyone is connected with a device, and most of these devices can stream or open the files and platforms required to learn online. Think about the days when we had slow internet…no really…think about it, would online education have been possible? Probably, but not to this extent. People are learning with such a wide array of media; video, podcasts, apps, games, slides and it all is almost immediately available. By the time our first web page would have loaded back then someone today could have streamed via youtube, listened via sound cloud and submit opinions via twitter. The world is spinning much faster and online education is keeping up.
Online education is turning into a free-for-all!
There are so many platforms currently available that we struggle to keep track of the latest trends. When online learning started there were only a few providers but now you can find an ever increasing amount online. And best of all. It’s mostly free. The greatest thing about this shift from traditional universities being the keepers of knowledge to it being freely available online is that online education is democratizing knowledge and information. People anywhere around the world now have access to almost anything. All they need is the internet.
From the remotest reaches of Africa to cosmopolitan cities in Europe — online education is there!
Students in remote African villages can now access via cheap and affordable computers a wealth of information that was previously only available to the richest in the United States or United Kingdom. They can sit comfortably and connect to world that they never knew existed, and their opinions and ideas can be shared and heard. That idea, before online education, did not exist. People would struggle under their circumstances and would possibly never go to university. Families would save and would send one lucky member of their society to a tertiary institution. But now, given the effects of long distance learning, more members can get educated. And this means that actual change is happening.
Online Education is changing lives, every day
We won’t see the effects right now but given enough time these changes will add up and the true effects that these new platforms have in our ever-changing world will become more visible. In just a few years we have already broken down so many boundaries and barriers. And as online education develops and changes and new platforms emerge, so will the social impacts of this new form of learning. Companies need to drive acceptance and insistence on long distance learning. The more people we get that come to accept this new reality the better and better what we know will become.