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Education is an important part of people’s lives; it will either make them or break them in the future depending on the careers they choose. Education is greatly diverse today in comparison to the 1950s because of advancements in teaching and other great inventions that provide easier techniques of teaching. One major issue that has been raised is distant learning courses and online education. Distant learning could be any format from VHS videos, DVDs, or internet courses online. Online education has been legal since 1993 and is a new way of teaching students of all ages.
Online education has been gaining popularity through out the years because of the ease of the internet. The internet has made it easier for people to stay connected and has provided people with unlimited resources on the World Wide Web. Many educators have mixed feelings about online educating because there are so many pros and cons to the issue. Mary Kassop, author of “Ten Ways Online Education Matches, or Surpasses, Face-to-Face Learning,” writes, “Can students learn as much and as well online as they do in F2F courses? Not only is the answer to these questions a resounding ?
yes, ‘ but there are many ways that online courses may actually surpass traditional F2F classes in quality and rigor”(357). Kassop is a pro advocate of online education and she is correct on the issue because it can provide a good education to many people. Online courses provide a good teaching environment where the individual is on his or her own all in the comfort of their room. The convenience of online courses provide busy individuals a chance to get the equal amount of education as a student going to class and all that is needed to get started is a computer with internet access.
One computer can open the gates to a whole new world of learning and excitement. To stimulate the experience there are many classes offered online by city and university colleges. Long Beach City College has a few to offer such as Psychology and Sociology which are equal to or even better then face to face classes. One example of a class that is better online rather than face to face is Sociology because they let the students observe human communication at public spaces without the teacher being there.
The work that is done in the classes is also expected from someone who signs up for an online class. The online class materials are the same as the normal classes themselves, but the books used can be ordered from book stores online. Discussion on issues is done in chat rooms and forums where everybody writes their views on the issue. This is an advantage for foreigners who can not speak proper English correctly. Live video and sound can also be done with special equipment for a real time conversation with instructors and peers.
Other features on the online courses are the learning aides that can be used while taking the course. Certain programs can be made such as flash cards and games which can increase the learning experience of the student. These learning aides can be done on the student’s time and does not require the teacher to be there. Time for a face to face class is very difficult if a person works 40 hours a week but an online course can put an ease on the time restriction because the person does the work at their own pace and time. It is also easier to sign up for an online class than a class at a college.
Message boards are in use if the students need to leave a question or a comment about the subject their on. They also save time by not traveling to the college and trying to find a parking space. Rural areas where students have to travel a great distance to get to class can save time and money by doing online classes. For example, a child of a farmer can help the family out in the morning with the farming chores then go to an online class later on. Rural kids may also take additional educational classes online that their school does not provide.
Children in the movie industry may also take online courses to keep up with their studies while on the road filming movies. Hillary Duff takes online course while she films. As the price of education continues to rise, the rate of students applying for online educational classes will continue to get greater. The price for a unit at Long Beach City College is $26 and the price per unit will continue to rise as long as there is a deficit in California’s budget. Online courses provide a cheaper alternative for schools that have a problem with their budget and actual classroom space.
Teachers can also record themselves and the student can download the film if they miss the session. This gives a student the chance to catch up on a class session if he missed out on that day. In 2002, 12 of the 55 National Geographic Bees were homeschoolers meaning that courses than at home can provide a great teaching environment. Students do not have to put up with bad influences from regular schooling and help build their own identity without social pressures that traditional schooling may have.
Some students may also earn their high school degree faster then their peers. While the pros are stated some cons are also involved with online classes such as the there is no real person to person interaction with an instructor. No face to face communication means there is no personal attention from an instructor. Some may also feel the accreditation from an online school is not the same as a real university classroom. Students do not get to feel the real situations of a traditional classroom or university causing them to be isolated or anti-social.
There is no support from an instructor like a real class and everything is usually done by the student. Everything depends on his or her ability to understand the material and be ready for term papers and test. Some knowledge of computers is necessary if the student wants to be able to stay in the class as being computer illiterate is a big issue determining if the person will pass or fail because most of the work is done online. Many low-income students might be affected by the computer issue because desktops and laptops are expensive and many may not be able to afford such luxuries.
Another problem is if a person always needs an extra push or reminder that a up coming report or test is coming because there is no instructor there to provide the push and it is all up to the student remind themselves. However, the cons stated above can also work to help the student become more responsive. The person to person interaction is not really needed because when they graduate some individuals will become office workers and they usually work in a cubical providing the same atmosphere that the online class provides.
Also by the students doing everything by themselves in an online class they become more independent, teaching them that there is not always a person there to guide them in a problem, just like in life. As for the issue of the computer cost that some students can not afford they can use public resources to access the internet such as the library and so on. There are also loans, grants, and other forms of financial help they can get to provide them with the tools they need to get started in an online class and with the computer training they must learn in an online class it can provide a leg up in the competitive job market.
Online education could be the tool of the future to provide the young and the old with schooling and instruction. It provides a cheaper way of teaching while still giving the student the material necessary for the class. Students learn responsibility through online education and will give them a reason to work hard during the class. All in all online classes will help provide many students with the education they require.