Online Education

The Internet has and continues to transform how people live across the globe as it offers us access to information and the ability to connect to other people living thousands or millions of miles away. And this increasing connectivity, that is the ability to access information put online by people in other countries and likewise to communicate with people living across the country or across the globe, via the Internet, is changing how we live in a variety of ways. And one of the ways is the way we can access education. Today, people that wish to obtain college degrees; but for whom traveling to or moving to another city where the college they wish to attend is located is out of the question, can now obtain those degrees by working on class material from anywhere they have an Internet connection. This allows students who live in rural settings or remote locations to take college classes. So that eager computer science major who lives in rural Montana can now study her chosen major online after she finishes working at her day job. And that bright young writer who lives on the coast of Mozambique can take online literature classes that he wouldn’t be able to take if he didn’t have access to the Internet.

And now a new “Open Education” movement has started; this movement has colleges including Stanford, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania offering classes to anyone on Earth who has an Internet connection— free of charge! Computer Science Professor Andrew Ng created one of the first Open Education classes for Stanford and was amazed when more than 100,000 people signed up for his class! And computer science isn’t the only subject being offered. University of Pennsylvania Professor Al Fireis teaches poetry and is currently readying classes in modern and contemporary American poetry for the Fall 2012 semester – and those classes too will be available to all interested parties free of charge!

To read more on the subject of online education, here is a link to an NPR article titled, From Silicon Valley, A New Approach To Education, which discusses the Open Education Movement:

Her is a link to an Atlantic article: Can Online Education Be Both Successful and Good For Us? which discusses online education at the college level:

And here’s a link to a Voice of America article, titled Younger Students Join Online Learning Trend, Elementary, secondary learners turn to virtual classrooms, which discusses online education at the elementary and secondary educational levels:

Linda R.

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