As recently as a few years ago the idea of someone getting an online degree was considered laughable. Only scams ran their classes over the Internet, the common wisdom said. Real colleges required students to show up in a physical classroom with actual books, and hand their work over to the teacher. That view is changing though, and changing quite rapidly.
Internet technology and education
The idea of a traditional classroom has begun to erode due to information technology’s advance. For instance, classes where students are expected to learn most of the material on their own, or for which the instructor does nothing but lecture, are often conducted via online courses. With the advent of streaming video and the secure connections students can often take a wide assortment of lower level credits at home.
Why schools are investing in online education?
Online education has benefits for both students and schools. Schools that offer online classes can get more students to enroll, and to pay for all the fees necessary to take the classes in the first place. There’s no class size limit on a virtual classroom, and there’s no need for students to take up parking spaces. The school makes more money, and more students have access to classes they might not otherwise be able to take. This is especially true for students who work full time, or who don’t live close enough to the school to make attending in person a feasible reality. More students and a wider enrollment means that everyone wins.
More dangerous field than ever
With online degrees and education becoming more than just a passing fad though, it’s more important than ever before for students to be extremely cautious with whom they give their money, time, and effort to. For every legitimate college offering online credits, there are a dozen places that claim to be legitimate education providers which are just scams.
In order to find out whether an online student is going to get scammed it’s important to check up on the websites or colleges in question to find out which claims they’re making are true, and what the experience of previous students has been. After all, if someone got scammed out of his or her money because of a supposed online school, then that person is going to be more than happy to tell the rest of the Internet about that experience.
Is online learning here to stay?
Online classes and the associated technology have changed the way education works already. Students who aren’t in school because of sickness can get the notes via the Internet, and in some instances may even be able to watch class via a webcast. Home schooled students rely heavily on the Internet for research, and to see things they might not otherwise have access to. Colleges have realized the profit to be made, and the demand from students to expand online classes so that they have to spend less time in physical classrooms only makes education change that much more. Online classes are definitely here to stay, and they’re only likely to expand in the future.
Today’s post was provided by Jesse L. from the Lift Education blog team. Jesse earned a perfect 800 on the Math S.A.T. and is currently studying Computer Science at Stanford University.