In the last 20 years, the Internet has grown from being nearly non-existent into the largest, most accessible database of information ever created. It has changed the way people communicate, shop, socialise, do business and think about knowledge and learning. Much more than just a new twist on distance learning, online schooling is changing the face of traditional classrooms and making education more accessible than ever before.
Online education is a form of education where students use their home computers through the internet. For many nontraditional students, among them all those who want to continue working full time or raising families, online graduations and courses have become popular in the past decade. Often online graduation and course programmes, some of which are conducted using digital technologies, are provided via the online learning portal of the host university.
Computer-based training, Web-based training, Internet based training, online training, e-learning (electronic learning), m-learning (mobile learning), computer-aided distance education - online education goes by many names and comes in a variety of styles, but at its core:
“Online education is electronically supported learning that relies on the Internet for teacher/student interaction and the distribution of class materials.”
From this simple deﬁnition comes an almost inﬁnite number of ways to teach and learn outside of traditional classrooms and away from college campuses. With online education, students can turn anywhere with Internet access and electricity into a classroom. It can include audio, video text, animations, virtual training environments and live chats with professors. It’s a rich learning environment with much more ﬂexibility than a traditional classroom.
When used to its full potential, online education has been shown to be more effective than pure face-to-face instruction. It can be engaging, fun and tailored to ﬁt almost anyone’s schedule.