Internet Changing the Way We Educate Ourselves

Internet has revolutionized the way we think, learn and work today. It is a platform that encompasses information related to each and every subject- be it science, history or general knowledge. Notable impact of internet in education industry is being witnessed in the form of online degrees.

As a result of the advent of technology and ease of access to internet facility, online education is taking the world by the storm and is providing an ideal means to make quality education available to working professionals, students, senior citizens and others. Imparting or gaining education has become easier as well as interesting with the use of Internet. A number of colleges and universities offer a variety of online executive programs that are specifically designed to meet the requirements of professionals. Online education portals give details about the courses offered by some of the top and most reputed institutes of the country. For instance, people all over prefer earning an Online MBA in order to learn the nuances in their field, and thus improve their skills. It helps them increase their level of productivity and add more value to their respective companies. As working professionals find it difficult to attend regular education programs owing to their demanding job schedules, they prefer earning a degree online for getting better career opportunities and improving their qualifications.

Instant communication is the foremost advantage that internet education offers. E-learning allows students and teachers, sitting at distant places, to communicate and exchange information without much effort. Facilities like emails, instant messages, messengers, online chat options etc. have made possible a hassle-free and instant communication between two or more persons at the same time.

Though quality of education is almost same in both the online and in-campus learning programs, cost incurred in online executive programs is much less as compared to that of traditional ways of education. Books and other material can be easily downloaded from the internet free of cost or at negligible rates. Internet also facilitates the broadcasting of educational events, lectures and educational channels on the web. Since information is shared through internet only, students are not required to sit in the classrooms. Information shared via internet is available 24*7. Online libraries are becoming more and more popular as these are easier and convenient to access than visiting a brick-and-mortar library.

Internet, today, has become an indispensable element of learning environment. We find that the importance of Internet in today’s education industry cannot be denied. Internet has eased out the process with which one can choose an apt course for oneself because of presence of numerous online education consultants. Though Internet cannot replace books or traditional education method, but it is the best alternative for those who cannot attend regular courses.

Open Education – How to Think About Your Online Community’s Purpose

Useful metaphors for creating a vision of your online education portal:

1. An InstructorNet Mall of available resources for instructors to meet their needs.

2. A Google “Knowledge Map” of available content that’s searchable, zoomable, and subscribeable through RSS so the network alerts you for items meeting your interests instead of waiting for you to craft a search every time you feel a conscious need.

3. The Amazon/eBay “smart network” that automates the search and recommend function based on stated interests AND by remembering searches and paths

4. Customer Service center for instructors seeking help

5. Tour guides/Marketing Aide to demonstrate “How to use these resources”

6. Magazine model of info mgt/distribution: a targeted demographic, whose readers shape the course of the magazine/tools (Dear Readers! We listened to you!) Lean 6 Sigma (LSS) techniques have a way of accomplishing this, and a partnership with an LSS project seems like a natural one

Other work to be done:

1. Considering how we encourage/reward professional writing like lesson notes, course content, blog/wiki work that contributes to the practice of knowledge, in the same way we have tied promotion and retention to academic writing.

2. A faculty Development Program that incorporates more ideas related to “Master Classes in graduate teaching” on a regular basis. Some ideas include: a. Group learning vs Team-Based learning. b. RSS in the classroom (and blogs and wikis and podcasts…oh my) c. Live dialogue mapping skills to frame group discussions better (Google “Compendium” for demonstrations) d. How about giving Voice to faculty to let them nominate classes they want to receive, or challenges they face, and target the top vote getters?

3. An instructorNet Mall should have a “store” that has searchable index of available, recorded Faculty Development Programs with quick summaries of what’s available for the individual instructor looking to sharpen his practice.

I hope these ideas generate some quality ideas in your situation.

Is E Learning the Future of Education?

The idea of E-Learning is the in depth way of education through the Internet. Scientific research reveals that the best way of learning are the mix and match of three modes. Namely Instructor Led, Web Based and Computer Based. The popular terms are ILT, WBT and CBT. Demands of careers in this highly complex world have lead us to the option of eLearning. The reach of the Internet has really improved our learning opportunities. The forums and online helps have made eLearning real time. The laptop has given one the opportunity to enhance their skills even while traveling.

The time requirements of ILT has put it slightly below in the common mode of learning. The lack of upgrades in case of CBT has not allowed it to top the list. Even with CBT having the flexibility of carrying heavier graphics and movies. The convenience factor in eLearning has been fueled by the factor of eLearning at one’s own pace. The ability to learn at their own residence has made eLearning a more flexible way of education.

What can be learned through eLearning? The answer in one word is anything. Some sites may teach Computers and programming. There are sites that will provide education in business management. At some sites, you can learn about cooking and food preparation. There are sites today, who are teaching even agriculture or maybe e-security. What if you are tired at the end of the day and you are feeling the stress on you. You know it has started affecting your personal life. You can find a course in Stress Management to help you cope. The cost of such a course may well be under $100.00. Cheap when you consider how stress affects you life.

Sun, Oracle, and Microsoft have been continuing their online education for years. Many educational portals have come up in recent years including some top companies coming up with their own eLearning sites. These sites are being used to further the education of their current employees. They are often structured in fields where finding individuals with education on these subjects is difficult.

ELearning caters to the need of the age group between 6 and 65. Maybe a homemaker cannot find time for the formal education. On the other hand, say senior executive of a multi-national firm feels uncomfortable attending courses with the junior people. Then eLearning is a great solution for him or her to accomplish further education and enhance their knowledge base.