What it is: Online learning lets you learn any subject over the Internet.
In the old days, education meant sitting in a classroom while a teacher lectured. If you didn’t live near that classroom, too bad. You couldn’t get an education. If your schedule wouldn’t let you attend the classroom at a specific time when the teacher held the class, too bad. You couldn’t learn what you wanted. Education in the old days was tied to a physical location. If too many people wanted a particular class, there was a chance you would get bumped out.
Fortunately there are other ways to get an education beyond just sitting in a classroom. In fact, sitting in a classroom is probably the least effective way for many people to learn. To help bring education to people unable to attend classes, correspondence courses appeared. By receiving lessons by mail and sending in assignments by mail, you could learn on your own time with a minimal of hassle. While correspondence courses could never mimic the interaction of a classroom, it could let you study and learn at your convenience.
Despite the drawbacks and limitations, attending a class in a physical building is still the most common way people learn. However, online learning threatens that monopoly.
Like correspondence courses, online learning lets you learn on your own time, at your own pace, from the comfort of your home. Best of all, you can watch videos of instructors demonstrating different topics. Unlike real life lectures, videos let you pause, rewind, and review as often as possible until you fully understand the topic.
To help spread online learning, Apple offers iTunes University where notable universities such as Oxford, Stanford, and MIT offer free courses on practically any subject you wish to study such as Java programming, world history, or conversational Japanese. Online learning offers new opportunities for both students and teachers alike.
Students can find the online courses they like and either learn for free or for a nominal charge. Unlike traditional schools, online learning won’t limit you to specific subjects. The whole world’s knowledge is literally at your fingertips as long as you have an Internet connection.
For teachers, online learning offers new opportunities to reach out to more students than a local classroom. Now you can teach people in Taiwan, South Africa, Sweden, or Costa Rica all without leaving your home. Even better, teachers can record a single class, charge students a fee, and earn royalties from their online courses.
If you’re interested in running your own online course, you can review several online teaching platforms that charge a monthly fee plus a percentage of the tuition you charge individual students. To review different online teaching platforms, click here.
The Internet has given us cat videos and Kim Kardashian pictures, but can also give us video lectures from the best teachers all over the world whether they have college credentials or not. Remember, just because someone has a Ph.D. doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a good teacher. Sometimes the best teachers don’t have any academic credentials at all but have a passion for teaching their favorite subject, so they’ll be a far better teacher.
Learn from the best by learning online. It takes self-discipline, but if you can demonstrate that you can complete online courses regularly, you’ll demonstrate more self-discipline than many kids who attend traditional colleges.
Online learning is the future. The question is will you take advantage of it or not?