Education is the difference that makes a difference. The better educated a population, the more likely it is to enjoy social progress, and the better educated a person, the more likely he or she is to improve the quality of their life.
None of this is new, of course. The benefits of education are obvious to most people, whether considered from a collective or individual level. Consequently, for centuries, forward-looking countries and individuals have aspired to improve the state of education.
Online Learning at Home
If you’re part of an online learning curriculum, then it’s unrealistic to expect that you’ll be doing your work in a classroom. You will need the necessary equipment to be able to study from home. If, for instance, you prefer Apple computers, then it’s a good idea to research Mac store locations near you where you can buy the devices you need to follow the lessons taught online.
The biggest challenge with online learning is that you may not have the discipline to work alone. You may either be distracted by other concerns or be the type of person who likes to ask questions and discuss ideas.
There are solutions for both these problems.
If you get distracted, then you should use a productivity hack to stay engaged. One popular method is the Pomodoro technique. Basically, you work for 25 minutes, then take a five-minute break. After four Pomodoro’s in a row, you could then take a half-hour break. The timing is a guideline, not a requirement. You might prefer to study for 45 minutes and then take a 15-minute break. You need to do whatever works best for your situation.
Although this may sound like a modern hack, it actually started long before the advent of the Internet. It was invented in the late 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, an Italian university student, who used a tomato-shaped timer to pace his studies. “Pomodoro” means “tomato” in Italian.
If you need more social interaction, you’ll find that most courses have some social media groups arranged to facilitate asking the professor and teacher assistants questions, as well as chatting with your fellow students.
Online learning from home comes in a variety of flavors.
1. Online courses. You could sign up for a course from an online website that offers one or more courses. For instance, if you wanted to learn how to write code, you could sign up for any number of educational portals that teach a variety of programming languages. Usually, the fee is modest, with the website making its income by serving a high volume of students.
2. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). Free education is available for anyone who wants to learn from the leading universities in the world. In a MOOC, professors teaching a live class at a university share video footage of their classroom lecture or discussions and arrange online assignments for distance learners. For instance, you could take a class a Positive Psychology class at Yale from an educational portal for MOOC. These courses are free if you audit. You would need to pay is if you wish to receive a certificate for the class or a diploma for a series of classes.
3. Online degree courses. You can take a degree class from a regular university as a remote student. In this case, you would pay as much as if you had attended the university in person, and you will receive the same lessons as if you were attending a live class. The main advantage is that you will have a more flexible schedule than if you were to attend an actual classroom. In some cases, if you need to do laboratory work or some other type of hands-on work, arrangements will be made for you to go to a physical location.
Online Learning in the Classroom
This education model is based on flipping the class. In traditional classrooms, teachers may supplement learning with some computer-based homework. In the new model of online learning, students’ study most of their lessons online, and the teacher helps to monitor their progress and provide guidance and tutoring.
The biggest resistance to better education has not always been due to political issues like social class or religious persuasion. Instead, most problems associated with poor education systems and poor student performance have been due to insufficient resources.
At times, these resources have been financial. School districts and communities have not received sufficient funding from the government or from private donations. At other times, it has been due to a shortage of teachers or learning materials.
Now, the future of education is changing due to the emergence of online learning, which is transforming higher education. It now costs less to educate students and online distance learning technology (online videos and interactive software) makes it possible to multiply a teacher’s efforts in the classroom to tens of thousands of students or more for years to come.