Where technology can take learning
Online learning is still new to the realm of higher education. It's constantly changing, and will continue to do so in the years to come - what was considered cutting edge only a few years ago might be outdated today, and what is state-of-the-art now may soon be eclipsed by the next big thing. So how do prospective students keep on track?
There are some key trends in online learning that can be used to predict its progress in the next decade and beyond. Here's a rundown of some exciting future developments:
Increasing Acceptance of Online Universities
As time progresses, the degrees awarded by online learning institutions are becoming more accepted. While there's still a level of bias against them, we'll likely reach a point in the near future where employers will value online degrees equally as much as those earned on campus.
The world is becoming increasingly fast-paced, and education more important to those who want to stay ahead in the workforce. Online learning is customizable, and allows a student to work, raise a family and learn all at the same time, from anywhere in the world. Online learning can also be tailored to different cultural learning styles and contexts. As the world speeds up, this type of education will continue to adapt to the needs of its students.
Advances in Technology
Online education takes advantage of all available technologies to create the best education experience available. Consequently, as technology changes, so does online learning. Computers and bandwidth are becoming more affordable, and new technologies such as VoIP and podcasting are quickly being adapted for online learning applications. Other technologies (Flash, for example) are also constantly being improved for more effective use in online learning.
Online learning is an ever-evolving industry that is completely adjustable to changes in technology and information technology. New developments are sometimes even premiered in the field of online learning, before being adapted to traditional learning environments. Online learning makes education more accessible, which means that the field is highly desirable in our advancing economy.
High tuition costs got you feeling down? The cost for online learning continues to go down, even as the technology gets faster and better. Online, one professor can handle thousands of students, there are no drafty lecture halls to heat and clean and many processes, from registration to marking, can be automated. Another interesting trend: while online learning costs are coming down, on-campus tuition continues to increase.