Since the invention of the Internet, Information Technology has continually disrupted all aspects of human engagement much more than any other industry in the world. Every bit of technological breakthrough is targeted towards solving a relevant issue in modern society and as such, helps to ease work while increasing productivity.
Originally designed as the ARPANET and used only by top government bodies and corporate establishments, the Internet has evolved to become the cheapest, most reliable, and most efficient means of communication in the 21st century. Thanks to the invention of the web, more interactive and engaging features are constantly being added, making it the richest source of information on the planet. Almost anything can be learned online at the user’s convenience and there is no known limit to the wealth of available resources on any given subject.
As we move progressively towards a globalized world, education becomes an increasingly important part of human development. The Internet has provided the necessary tools for learning at all levels and from any location at a much cheaper rate, thereby reducing significantly, the cost of education. Nowadays, it is possible to streamline your learning curve to suit your need or preference. It has also become much easier to school and work at the same time. Even better is the opportunity to do both from the comfort of your home (working and schooling remotely).
There are tons of Distant Learning Institutions offering Higher Education Programs, Massive Online Open Courses, Nano-Degrees, Open Source projects, and Certifications that can be leveraged by anyone to improve their knowledge or seek higher career opportunities. Furthermore, top Universities in developed countries are now offering certain courses and certifications free of charge to their online community, allowing those who could never afford to undergo traditional education in these institutions to also benefit.
Online Education has become one of the biggest promoters of globalization with people from different cultures and social statuses learning and collaborating under the same platform. It has helped to influence migration as many people are now considering distant education against traveling to school abroad allowing these institutions to accommodate a greater number of students than they would in a traditional setting.
In as much as Internet-based learning has provided a lot of benefits, there are still a few disadvantages associated with it:
First of all, it is very difficult for some people to cope in an online learning environment. In the absence of physical contact and face-to-face communication, it is very difficult to evaluate the emotional or physical conditions of participators. Many students, who might fall sick or face other challenges may have a hard time defining or relating their situation to the proper authorities for assistance.
Secondly, Online Education is designed in such a way that the student is responsible for meeting all requirements and deadlines. In developing countries where power supply and Internet connections are very much epileptic, this can pose a very big threat to the student’s academic progress when internet or power is lost for a significant amount of time and can eventually lead to a student missing out on important information or even failing a course.
All the same, Online Learning has much more benefits in the long run as it empowers us with the gift of becoming life-long learners, building self-motivation and developing critical thinking skills that are highly valued in the job market today.
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