For the first time in U.S. history, there may be as many primary school-aged children going to school remotely as there are attending class in-person. In some areas, school systems have totally shifted to the virtual education model. Whether this shift on a large-scale remains permanent or not is something that will be made apparent in the future. What is clear is the fact that the general public is realizing that is not only possible to earn an education digitally; it is the wave of the future. When it comes to online college, many colleges have embraced the idea years ago. Earning an online degree is not only convenient, it actually the only way a number of adult students have been able to progress. Here is a look at how the concept of online education is evolving and growing at warp speed.
What It Takes to Get an Education Online
Consider the process of going to school for in-person instruction. Unless you are within walking distance, you will need transportation to get you there. Then, you will either need to pack a lunch or pay for your meals as you learn throughout the day. You will need a sizable wardrobe, a backpack, and likely a number of textbooks. Although most people are used to this process, when compared to learning online, it can seem quite cumbersome and inconvenient. Comparatively, online school really online requires you having access to a computer and the internet. There are programs, software, and websites that are available for free that will help you to learn. For those interested in higher education, the cost of online school is less expensive than traditional college, and it also comes with the benefit of convenient scheduling. In short, what it takes to get an online education is simple, even for advanced courses – click here to learn more about how to get the most out of an MBA program.
The Convenience and Simplicity of Online Learning Tools
With a laptop and a stable internet connection, you don’t even have to leave your bedroom in order to get a quality education. As online college students have already been doing for years, it is easier to learn and even make up missing tests and assignments when you learn and communicate virtually. Students are able to send their instructors emails if they become confused or need clarification. In turn, teachers can not only respond to student communications at their convenience, they are also able to attach whatever additional learning aids and materials they think will be helpful in each individual situation. The learning curve associated with online learning tools is not steep at all. In fact, many students come to prefer using digital textbooks and watching educational videos over trying to absorb all of the information they are required to learn during short, in-person class sessions.
Meeting and Exceeding Educational Goals via the Web
If you are the type of person who likes to go beyond minimum expectations, then learning on the web will help you to flourish. By attending school online, you can see a complete outline for every one of your classes. This will enable you to seek out more in-depth information for each topic, ahead of time. For example, if you know that you struggle in percentages, decimals, and fractions, you can look for online learning aides that break down each of these math principles. Every time you learn a new lesson, there are additional online tools that can make concepts even more simplistic. Online learning isn’t just about progressing to the next grade or earning a degree. The freedom that learning online gives students is all about them finding the information that they find most valuable in their lives. So, if you want to learn how to code, or are interested in making YouTube videos, or even want to learn how to invest, all of that information is available at your fingertips, on the web.
Tailoring Learning Needs and Plans Virtually
No two students are the same, so why should their educations be identical? Online school makes it possible for educators to tailor lesson plans to suit their students, in a realistic way. The reality is that society asks a lot of teachers. They are educators, in addition to being counselors, disciplinarians, and nurturers. While they may desire to give each student the same amount of individualized attention, teachers have to work within a very limited amount of time. Learning online makes it possible for students to be self-sufficient and seek out additional information when necessary, provided they are given guidance and care. Any teacher who sees a student falling behind can send off an email, make a number of helpful suggestions, and then carefully monitor their progress.
How Money is Better Spent Investing in Digital Learning Aides
Normally, public school systems spend a large portion of their budgets maintaining buildings, paying utilities, buying desks and other equipment, and paying support staff. This shift that public school systems is currently experiencing has necessitated a change in how money is spent, on a more practical level. Instead of spending money waxing the gymnasium floor, school administrators bought Chromebooks, and internet hotspots, and other tools for students to learn from home. More money has been put into tools that can help students learn instead of maintaining public educational infrastructure. In cities like NYC, where long-standing issues with HVAC systems, a lack of janitors, and pest infestations, having more money put towards learning tools has been supported by both parents and teachers. It simply feels good to know that most of the money from school budgets is going towards learning instead of factors that don’t directly impact the future of students.
Where to Look for an Online Education
Children in primary schools might know precisely where to go for an online education, but for older and non-traditional students, things aren’t as clear. First, think about what you already know and where your education left off. You might already have a bachelor’s degree, but if it has been over a decade since you have been in the classroom, a refresher course or two could be helpful before you consider enrolling in a master’s degree program full-time. Likewise, anyone who has experience with online learning will at least know where to start. Think about whether you want to learn more about a singular topic that interests you, such as world history, or if you are wanting to earn a degree and become more knowledgeable overall. An online education can start with doing a simple web search, but it can end with you earning an advanced degree.
Measuring and Tracking the Online Learning Experience
Normally, students attending live classes, especially school-aged children, have to wait for mid-marking period or semester progress reports to become available to learn how they are doing. For students who are struggling to grasp new materials and concepts, waiting months to see how they are doing can be demoralizing. By the time these students and their parents realize that they are behind, many aren’t able to fully catch up. And thus, and endless cycle of working harder to get passing grades begins, making the learning process much less enjoyable and much more stressful. Online schools are experts at tracking student progress and working with them to bring them up to the task. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, online schools offer a more open and supportive learning environment. When you go to school online, you get test results quicker and can see exactly how you are doing in real-time.
Where the Future of Online School is Headed
Educators in primary public schools might have never thought it possible to teach a class full of kindergarteners, but it is happening right now. Students are learning that learning remotely isn’t substandard, boring, or limiting. Instead, it allows them greater freedom as virtual classrooms are set up in their homes. After getting past the technological challenges that are plaguing the U.S., concerning slow internet speeds and limited access to laptops and computers, going to school online has greatly improved the lives of many. Parents who normally get up early to drop their kids off at before school care programs are finding it more convenient to set up a workspace in their children’s bedrooms, where they can watch over them from a safe distance. Older students are becoming more independent, getting themselves ready for school and attending class with minimal assistance from their parents and guardians. The future of online school is looking very bright, for primary schools, colleges, and other educational institutions alike.
Regardless of what your educational level is, you can always learn more online. The web has primarily been thought of as a vessel for entertainment and live news for the majority of people up until now. Smartphones are convenient devices that you can take anywhere and communicate with your friends and family, but it is still an entirely new concept to think of them as digital learning aids. Even parents who regularly give their children educational tablets and laptops generally thought of them as toys and supplements instead of primary educational tools. All of that is changing, and for the better because education should not stop, whether you are at home or the school day has officially ended.