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Christian Mancino – The Future of Education
The advent of online education has revolutionized the educational institution like nothing else, in many different ways across all fields and levels of learning. It can make education more available to those who cannot attend school for geographic reasons, can have a more effective impact on students with different learning styles, sometimes removes the element of human interaction, and has many other effects, both good and bad. However, online education has a primarily positive impact on society, offsetting its disadvantages by ultimately making education more attainable.
In many ways, the mixing of education and the Internet is not surprising. Much like how the printing press made books easier to create and copy, this is just another example of technology improving the lives of people. Many people never learn to their full potential because there are no good schools close enough for them to attend.
Online schooling, such as Florida Virtual School, levels this playing field by providing an equal education to all its students, regardless of their location in the state. Since there is also a correlation between location and income, online schooling that provides equal learning to all students also discourages the best resources from just going to the children whose parents have the most money. This alone has an immense impact on maximizing the positive impact education can have on society, spreading it evenly for everyone instead of only endowing already-privileged areas with more advantages.
There are detractors, however. Online schooling, to the relief of antisocial children everywhere, largely removes the human element of education and almost completely terminates education as any kind of agent of socialization. In high school and college, this effect may not be fully detrimental, as the students have already been socialized by middle school and earlier levels.
As children are born into the modern era, where online school is a reality, there may one day be online kindergarten and even online preschool. Traditionally, those cornerstone levels of learning have been a child’s first experience engaging with adults and other children outside of their family. If this angle is not considered, online education has the potential to create a generation of people with much lower social competency. However, it is both possible and easy to address this change, using the free time created by online schooling, if it is ever even applied to that young level, to introduce children to the world in other ways,
such as sports teams, religious institutions, and other ways children may be introduced to their communities as wholes.
Conversely, online learning also makes education more convenient to those whose advanced age makes the traditional model unattainable. Veterans or adults whose high school diplomas were once enough to get by in the world are often unable to integrate into the education system, due to lack of time, lack of money, and the fact that the educational infrastructure has simply not been set up with them in mind. However, now many adults pursue higher education alongside their current jobs by logging on to class, whenever convenient to them and they are not working. It is a great commitment, but the benefits of education are always well worth the sacrifices.
The issue of online learning has many different angles to be observed from, and neglecting even one of them may be disastrous. This has always been true of anything new and unfamiliar but ultimately beneficial, and, if handled wisely and gradually, the implementation of online education will create a generation of smarter, more technologically-competent students and, later, members of the workforce.