The internet has revolutionized the way we do business in the world today. It has also changed the way the world communicates and how we organized our days. Statistics show that 77% of American population, about 240 million of us uses the internet. China, having the largest population in the world, has 420 million internet users, which is about 32% of their population. The numbers are increasing by the day worldwide.
Bill Gates, the man who contributed vastly to the internet world made a comment in August 2010 at the Techonomy Conference. He said, education today is inefficient and it is about to go through decoupling by the internet. He is super-optimistic about the internet changing the way we are educating ourselves and our children.
Internet is definitely able to influence the education platform. I believe, online education (for K-12 and also university education) will make education more affordable, more relevant and more effective in today’s changing world economy.
Burck Smith, an internet entrepreneur started Straighterline University, an online college in Virginia. A whole freshman year is only $999 per student. They have options where student can take per course basis, which is $99 per month plus $39 for every course. This is college education at the cheapest and you may not be able to get these affordable prices at a Brick and Mortar College.
Straighterline courses includes free live, on demand instruction, course advisors and tutoring. They also have agreement with more than twenty colleges in the United States were students are allowed to transfer credits and continue in a more specialized education in a brick and mortar college or another online college.
This system proves to save thousands of dollars for students. It is a great way to prevent student from getting into college debt while pursuing a college education.
Our daughter is currently doing part-time online high school and part-time brick and mortar high school (at the local high school). We found this arrangement to be really beneficial because:
1. She gets more done at home on her online school as she gets to schedule her time.
2. She is graduating one year earlier than her peers.
3. She gets to use technology for her education that most brick and mortar student are not using. For example, she uses Tok Box to do video conferences with her fellow online classmates. She also uses Elluminate for online discussions with her teachers, administrators and fellow students.
4. She get more one on one time with her assigned online teachers where she is able to ask questions and pinpoint to her specific needs.
5. She realized that online school subjects are more in depth compared to her brick and mortar school.
6. She is very familiar with the internet and the online community for the purposes of doing school work.
Even at a high school level we see quite a vast difference in educating our daughter. With the advancement of internet and the online communities, we see more advantages than disadvantages in online education.
Business Week reports on November 8th, 2010, that 66 percent of universities and colleges surveyed by National Center for Education Statistics, offer online education programs. Just to name a few of the schools surveyed: University of Nebraska, University of Florida, The State University of New York and Penn State University.
Are you still thinking if online education is real education?
Or are you thinking that it is a more inferior form of college education?
How about getting a college education free and clear? No debt, giving students the freedom to choose. Having freedom to choose where they live, where they work and who they work with?