E Learning: Why choose online education?
The Internet boom is far from over, although it has been taking a slightly different slant in the past few years; hardly surprising as technologies advance and trends change. The World Wide Web is the largest resource of information in the whole world and whatever your needs the Internet can provide. What started as a bubble has soon become a massive tidal wave and online education is one of the areas that is still increasing, probably more than ever before.
You can shop online, you can watch TV online, and you can even book your holidays online or work online and now you can complete perfectly legitimate and recognised educational courses online. Far from being the alternative form of education used solely by working parents it is becoming just as popular with teenagers and professionals all around the world. There are no boundaries to learning when using the Internet. You can study a course that local colleges and educational institutions in your area don't offer and you can do so without having to quite your job and leave home.
You don't need to take three years to complete a course; you can often work at your own pace, fitting in around your commitments and according to your spare time.
What courses are on offer?
As well as courses designed primarily for completion on the Internet, many educational institutions are now leaning towards offering the major courses to be completed in the comfort of your own home. College degrees and graduate degrees are available in almost any subject you could imagine with many benefits over the traditional 'classroom' approach.
E-learning offers a vast array of topics too, from American History to Zoology and everything in between. Perhaps you are in full time employment and want a change in career. Not many of us can afford to just give up work and go back to college so online education could be the perfect answer.
Maybe you are unemployed and can't find work suitable for you or the qualifications and experience you have. Online education can offer you the opportunity to gain more qualifications without the expenses of travelling or accommodation.
Why should I choose an online education course?
There are many advantages to online education. The courses are usually tailored to meet the different demands that are entailed within an online learning community. You are usually free to study at your own time and pace, so you have the opportunity to complete your chosen course quickly or as slowly as you want.
There are no travel costs involved with online education and no travel time whatsoever. The only time you will need to dedicate to your learning will be the time you spend studying and any trips to the library or other institution you may need.
Many jobs and careers demand a good working knowledge of the Internet, and by completing your course online you are already many steps closer to that end. You will have excellent knowledge on Internet research; always being able to find the information that is useful to you.
There are some factors you should consider when deciding whether to opt for online education or a more traditional classroom education. You will need a reasonably up to date PC, together with an Internet Connection. Fortunately, computer prices have dropped in recent years, so you can get a capable PC for little more than $300. If you consider using Ebay or buying a refurbished PC then you can reduce this price even more. Don't forget, you will need a printer, operating software, word processing software and an Internet connection but again the price of these has dropped dramatically.
If you don't have much working knowledge of a computer or the Internet you will need to find your way around at first and this can seem a daunting task for the beginner. Don't panic, just stick with it and buy yourself (or borrow from friends or the library) books on how to use the software you are going to need. Once online the Internet has all of this information at hand, and the world becomes your playground.
A summary of online education.
Online education can help all people from all walks of like gain the education they want to better themselves or to advance in the career they already have. Whether you are a working parent or an unemployed bachelor, there are courses available for you to complete through online education.
Online education offers many benefits and few pitfalls when compared to the more traditional 'classroom' approach but you should carefully consider your options before jumping in.
There are costs associated with virtually all online education courses but these are usually little more than the costs to study at a college and when you consider that there are no travelling expenses and no extra living costs, you may find online education to be a much more financially viable option.
2005 John Thompson
About the Author
John Thompson is editor of http://www.e-learning-resources.com, an web resource for online education and e-learning.