Technology has infiltrated the classroom in some major ways, revolutionizing the way students learn in a school setting. However, students are not limited to a school setting. They can now access an entire world, literally, of educational options from the comfort and privacy of their laptops, home computers, and mobile devices. A wide range of entities, from the world’s top universities to highly-learned multi-industry professionals, are meeting the growing need for Internet-based learning opportunities, and in a variety of ways.
The pioneer. Salman Khan is an American educator with an impressive academic pedigree (he has both Harvard and MIT degrees under his belt) who is responsible for one of the most game-changing online educational resources available today. Khan’s learning revolution began when he started recording tutorials for his relatives and posting them on Youtube. It didn’t take him long to realize that this method of remote education was extremely effective, and that others could benefit from it. This evolved into Khan Academy, a web-based, free-to-anyone university where over 3000 videos on everything from physics to microeconomics are housed. It is safe to say that Khan is a pioneer upon which other innovative online education techniques have been built.
Charter schools. These educational institutions are not regulated by the government-based school system in the same way public schools are. For this reason, charter schools are able to determine the best way of teaching their students, and this is generally in accordance with an individualized learning philosophy associated with the institution, itself. Given this, it shouldn’t be surprising that charter schools are among the first brick-and-mortar schools to integrate online resources into their teaching methods. So far, they are doing so with great success, combing things like the Kahn Academy, self-directed learning, and individualized education plans to tailor learning to their students.
MOOCS. Recognizing the success of online teaching resources, some of the world’s most famous universities (Harvard and MIT are on this list, too) have designed web-based platforms through which to deliver lessons to anyone in the world who has an internet connection and some time. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are college-level courses that are free to everyone, but that don’t offer college credits. Still, there is no question that the information presented through these courses is high-quality, as MOOCs are developed by top-level college professors.
History proves that society tends to take a long time adjusting to major changes. Therefore, it is only natural that many people question if the world of online education can possibly offer the high standard of quality information necessary for aptly preparing pupils for real-world application of the subject matter. While there are no clear-cut answers, there is no arguing that this is a topic that is sure to gain in relevance as the Age of Information moves forward in ways previously unimagined.
About the Author: Timothy recently started searching for La Jolla science tutors at tutorspree.com for his teen daughter. She loves technology but is overwhelmed by science and he can’t always find what he needs to help her on his own.