Anne Bailey – Expanding Education

Online learning is an extremely beneficial innovation that is expanding education to millions of people. From being homeschooled online to taking college level courses online, anyone can take online classes at almost any stage in their life. Online learning is practical, especially in today's society with new technologies moving towards advancement every single day. In addition, online learning offers yet another way for people to learn untraditionally-it’s now very well known that not everyone learns the same way and some people need different outlets and materials to aid in their learning. Online learning offers tailored classes and strategies to help everybody learn the way that is easiest and most beneficial for them.

Online learning can be used in several different ways and is changing how typical classrooms are teaching students. With the advent of online learning, teachers can employ different educational methods while students meet in class. Class time can be used for more engaging discussions or more interactive learning, while online learning can take away the bulk of the informational materials being taught. Online learning can also integrate lab simulations for science classes, educational computer games, and can allow for homework to be turned in online. Without a doubt, online learning is generously supplementing traditional style education and continues to grow around the world as technologies are becoming cheaper and more accessible.

I have personal experience with online learning and I can attest to how it has changed my life and the way I learn in particular, as well as for other students in general. I was homeschooled for a part of middle school and my classes were all done online. It was extremely beneficial for me and changed the way I learned because it allowed me to work at my own pace, accomplish tasks faster because they were online, and it provided lots of different “mediums” through which I could learn. Games, avatars, interactive learning, and word pronunciations for language class were just a few of the new innovations online learning brought me. In addition, online learning cuts down on the use of natural resources, especially paper, making it environmentally beneficial. Online learning gives people far greater access to tons of information, exposes people to new ways of learning through interaction, online communication, and convenience of not having to travel to an actual classroom.

I believe that everyone can benefit from online learning, but people who may not do well in traditional classroom settings, have social phobias, disabilities, or have a problem getting to a classroom physically will benefit the most. Online classes and online learning are also extremely beneficial for college and high school students who need to work, since it allows for schedule flexibility. The fact that anyone with a computer or tablet can access learning has forever changed the way people can educate themselves and has allowed people who normally wouldn’t be able to learn in a classroom setting-like children with mental or physical disabilities or children living in poverty-to be on the same level as those students in a traditional classroom setting. In addition, people with learning obstructions, such as ADHD or ADD can learn at their own pace and with the instructional method of their choosing that makes sense to them to most.

Online learning can be used to supplement traditional classroom learning as well, and using the internet and technology in everyday education is seen in almost every traditional classroom. Online learning broadens what education can do to an incredible level; it makes education accessible to so many more people, making the educated population skyrocket. In addition, it can also help children who can’t function well in a classroom setting have access the same instructional material in a different way. I personally am taking online classes next semester in college and I couldn’t be more excited for it. I have time to work and a flexible schedule so I can learn when it most benefits me instead of having to show up to a particular class at a particular time each day. Online learning is the future of academia and it serves to recognize and acknowledge the different educational needs of everyone; everyone is unique in the way they learn, and online learning accepts and understands that by providing a variety of different learning styles. It combines teaching styles and takes advantage of technology while allowing people to be able to learn in almost any location, no matter what.

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