Internet or Traditional Education
Historically classroom education was the only way to bring knowledge to students. Nobody ever tried to make any amendments to this everlasting process, as there was no technological opportunity to introduce this kind of teaching. Everything changed in the beginning of the new millennium. Teachers used computers and related technologies in classrooms for the last 2 decades, but only the vast spread of the internet, especially its wireless technology, allowed to make a new step in the history of education. Teaching turned from the one, embraced in physical boundaries, to digitally encrypted and spread in cyber space, available all your round and 24/7.
Online learning gains more and more supporters due to a number of factors. Firstly, it is easy to access. Geographic location does not have any importance any more. Unlike traditional classrooms, demanding physical presence of the student at the educational affiliation, online classroom may be accessed literally in any place on Earth. Some students could not afford studying at the top world universities due to the high costs of tuition, followed by spending on housing and other miscellaneous expenses. Online education is a great alternative since students do not have to leave their home country, and literally, their own homes. Internet connection is usually the only thing required to be able to access the course online. Some courses required broadband connection, as significant amounts of data need to be transferred, including streaming videos, podcasts etc. Besides that, the overall cost is times lower for the online education, as students only pay for the actual course, excluding the numerous costs, related to keeping the university facilities and classrooms. Moreover, online courses are quite often offered for free, but students might not get an actual diploma in such case, only certain certificate.
Another factor that keeps people away from regular classrooms and involves them into online learning is communication. Online courses do not just offer a degree on completion of a series of online audio or video lectures or readings and a set of written tests. Since they are tutored by real people, special seminars are held, as well as individual or group discussions, followed by a serious of various tasks, involving more communication from the participants. The person who is not likely to be very communicative in the real world classroom may find it very comfortable to communicate online. The reasons for that may be the comforting atmosphere of studying at home, without other people interrupting the speaker. Since most online courses are taken by students from various countries, lots of them share English as a foreign language, i.e. they are all studying on the equal grounds. Online communication allows people get involved in discussions over the questions of global importance, brought on by people of different origins, with diverse social status and various religious views. Such combination allows students to gain more experience than the classroom discussions, limited to students attending the class on the regular basis.
Online education is really time-saving. Approaching this issue countrywide, students do not have to be limited to a certain location and miss other important events in their life, taking place somewhere else. Besides, students do not need to spend any time going to classes, as they can stay at home or any other place comfortable enough to study. Except for seminars and discussions, students are free to distribute their time in any way suitable for their own needs. An example of successful online learning may be found in the military – students depart abroad or to the remote locations for the military needs, and possession of a laptop and access to the internet allows them to study simultaneously.
Despite all the advances of online education, we cannot refuse from the use of traditional classes, especially for high school students, since this way teachers get better control over the results students gain in the course of study. Online education gains popularity and will eventually gain equal popularity with traditional classroom education, and maybe will even exceed it.