The internet has left almost nothing of modern life untouched. We have apps for everything from getting a date to getting to that date. So it should be no surprise that education is being shaken up in a big way.
Of course, we’ve seen lots of big promises from new technologies and education. Especially education that happens at a distance. So why is everyone suddenly so convinced by online learning?
Radio, TV and of course computers themselves have been implemented in schools and universities with a lot of enthusiasm. The results have not been all that impactful. For most of the 20th Century students have been studying in much the same way as they have in the previous century.
21st Century Schooling
Oh, how things have changed! With the advent of cheap smartphones, cheap broadband and advanced cloud computing we are now living through an education revolution. Almost anyone in the world can now get access to all the information they want and even to formal learning programs.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can benefit from online learning today and right now.
Citizens of the World
One of the most exciting things about the current online learning age is the fact that it allows us to be better world citizens. We can find out anything about other nations. Often directly from them in the form of social media.
Of course, this means that we face all sorts of language barriers. Although automatic machine translation is getting pretty good, nothing beats being able to talk to someone in their native tongue. Mandarin, the Chinese language, is a hot language to learn at the moment as China ramps up to be a global superpower. And no wonder some of the renowned business leaders, including Apple’s former visionary CEO Steve Jobs, found that learning Mandarin could be a great deal of business.
Thanks to the wonders of modern online learning; now you can actually get live Chinese lessons from a real human tutor by getting in touch with a Chinese tutor from Preply.com
Free as in Freedom
The online education space is buzzing with new startups every day and not all of them are looking to charge money for their services.
There are now plenty of free education providers such as edX and Coursera that will happily teach you a whole range of university-level courses on anything from programming to world history.
We also shouldn’t forget how online learning has made the potential of open licensing take off in the form of Open Educational Resources and is helping uplift developing nations such as India.
When it comes to the potential of online technology to transform how we learn, well you ain’t seen nothing yet people.
In the future, your teacher may, in fact, be an AI chat bot who watches your progress and adapts your learning material as you work your way through a course. It would be as if your textbook is also reading you, which sounds creepy but is actually a very cool concept.
Learning will also become less and less theoretical, with more teaching happening with the help of simulations. These simulations would use technology such as augmented and virtual reality to better train students and make them better prepared for real life. It really will be a brave new world.
Unlike non-interactive media such as TV or unconnected digital media such as educational games from the 90s, the modern smart and connected online learning model is only going to get bigger.
We are finally at the point where few can deny the power of online learning and there has never been a better time to uplift yourself with a new education.