Do we need to be interested in online education?

Do we need to be interested in online education? In an era of e-learning where it seems that more and more people become interested in gaining knowledge online, it can be of interest to see what are the statistics on online education trends over the past decade. If in 2004 there was a ratio of 100 searched of the term online education on Google, it can be clearly seen that 11 year latter, 48 people searched the same words. The forecast is that by the end of November there will be even less searches, or just 43 of them. The reason for this might be two fold. One might be the fact that the learning communities have already established their audiences and they go directly to the web pages created for learning purposes. The second reason could be the loosing of interest of searches, due to the lower levels of interest in this area (which I personally believe, is not the case). Another interesting fact is the regional interest of search of the online education. In respect to region, in 2004 most of the searches come from the USA and Canada, and in 2015 the figures are more favourable to the searchers from India and Australia. Of course, the statistic of search of the term online education is only an indicator of interest and the actual interest of audiences in this area is influenced by several other factors. These include: online education courses and study programs offered, fees for online education enrollment, as well as accessibility of the online resources. The variety of courses offered through platforms like Udemy, Coursera or MITex is expanding by literally every single day. In the same direction is the access to online studies that replace traditional university pre and post graduate studies. Opportunities for online education enrolment are also in favour of the learners, since we experience abundance of scholarships offered online. Considering the fact that learning is the best investment one can make, I think that these free learning financial support is an excellent opportunity, which has to be promoted even better then the online education itself. Accessibility to the online learning remains to be an ongoing developing process. Worldwide internet in 2005 was just around 1 billion. The most recent figure of internet users is 3.17 billion people. Considering the fact that internet begun to be used for the wider audiences in the 1990’s, there is no doubt that its growth is very likely the fasters growing interest of anything ever created in our modern ages of living. The easier access to computers, the modernisation of countries around the world, followed by the increased utilisation of smartphones offered people an opportunity to use the internet more frequently with more convenience. With the above figures in mind and the future technology development, it seems that it goes without saying that the online education will still be a topic that will rise interest to wider audiences. The expansion of internet will boost the online educational resources utilisation, will expand the options available and will contribute to increasing the level of global learning. There is really no reason why would one wait more to join the great community of life long learners and enrich one’s wellbeing with the accessibility to the world’s well of knowledge. Aleksandra Arsik