Online Learning – A New Look at Education<br />By: Scott Dickerson<br />EDUC 6715 – Professor Kirk<br />Walden University<br />
What is it?<br />Online learning is a type of distance education, or formal study, in which teacher and learners are separate in time or space (Cavanaugh & Clark, 2007).<br />Expands access to education and provides curriculum options.<br />The online education population is growing by 30% each year (Neal, 2003)<br />
Arguments for Online Education<br />Students can access course work anytime, from anywhere.<br />Online learning promotes student-centered teaching.<br />Students who are “shy” get a voice and are placed in an environment that is more confortable for their success.<br />Using the web for schooling expands a students’ exposure to knowledge.<br />
Online education forces students to learn technology skills important for the 21st century.<br />Decreases proposed biases that could be formed from face to face interactions.<br />Teachers are more easily accessible through online chats, emails, and phone conferences.<br />Online learning promotes collaboration through team learning opportunities (Coleman, 2005).<br />
Who benefits?<br />An abundance of people benefit from online learning communities. Some of these are:<br />Students who work.<br />Students who are shy.<br />Students who are self-motivated. <br />Students with behavior problems that eliminate them from the classroom style setting.<br />Students that are good at self-expression<br />Students that want to take different classes than those offered at their local public school.<br />Students who need remediation.<br />Taxpayers!<br />
Response to Cynics<br />Online education eliminates social interactions<br />False, this assumes that the only interaction a person has is that at school. A typical school day is around 7 hours with an abundance of socialization being done outside school. Plus, many students are spending countless hours social networking which would be a benefit to online education.<br />Students won’t do the work because there is no one to push them.<br />If you are someone who cannot push yourself or are not intrinsically motivated than online education might not be for you but even attending a traditional classroom where a teacher is standing over you is probably a problem for you.<br />
Online education lacks the warmth and intimacy that a classroom teacher provides.<br />This is partially true but the lack of warmth and intimacy is replaced by a teacher who is easily accessible, less intimidating, and without bias.<br />Students learning styles are not addressed.<br />This could not be further from the truth. Online education addresses all learning styles and typically allows the students to learn in the way that best suits their styles of learning.<br />Online education is not recognized as a real education.<br />In the past this has been the case but with the recent influx in online education this form of learning is being taken much more seriously. <br />
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Resources<br />Cavanaugh, C., & Clark, T. (2007). The Landscape of K-12 Online Learning. In P. Adamson, B. Adamson, & N. Clausen-Grace, et al (Eds.), What Works in K-12 Online Learning (Chapter 1, pp. 5-19). Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education.<br />Coleman , S. (n.d.). Why do students like online learning?. Retrieved from http://www.worldwidelearn.com/education-articles/benefits-of-online-learning.htm<br />Neal, R. (2003, August 27). Earning a degree online. CBS News, Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/08/26/earlyshow/contributors/reginalewis/main570268.shtml<br />
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