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Before you Go for the ‘Distant’ way of Learning, Know whether it is A Boon or Bane for You!

With the introduction of MOOCs, distance education has gained new heights.

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Students studying at Starbucks. Wikimedia Commons

November 22, 2016: Since 1737, when the first attempt to distance learning course was advertised by Caleb Philipps, teacher of the shorthand method, to help students learn through weekly mailed lessons, distance learning has evolved dynamically because of the advancement of technology in the world of online education. Many students bounded by financial barriers and time constraints are able to access education in their chosen field. Recently, Google data suggested that online education providers are accessed more than the traditional campus universities.

However, distance learning isn’t for everyone. It requires a great deal of self-discipline and determination. But people who are unable to attend residential schools because of other commitments, distance learning is a flexible alternative.

edx logo. Wikimedia Commons
edx logo. Wikimedia Commons

“Distance learning means literally that: learning from a distance,” says Doreen Gough of UNISA. “Distance learning students receive their study material either through the post, or online. They submit assignments through the post or email and receive them back marked.

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“Students in this form of study sometimes have to buy their own prescribed books if they aren’t included in the package. The institutions which offer these courses will have their own arrangements regarding admission to examinations and where students should write these examinations.”

Before applying, one needs to know if the distance learning is the right choice for them. Here are few pros and cons of distance learning course that one must carefully examine before applying.

Pros:

  1. You can start a distance learning course whenever you need them. You don’t need to wait for the college’s semester schedule. There are no set time classes. You decide your pace and your degree plan.
  2. The variety of opportunities that distance learning provides cannot be matched. Millions of courses are there for you just a click away. Also, these courses are cheaper than the traditional campus courses as there are no accommodation problems.
  3. Though some distance learning courses provide an in-class environment, there are many other courses in which you control your learning environment.
  4. Distance learning courses are better for students who learn better through experimental exercises or are language-challenged or introvert.
  5. You can continue with your job while studying a distance learning course.

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Coursera logo. Wikimedia Commons
Coursera logo. Wikimedia Commons

Cons:

  1. If you believe in personalized teacher’s attention, then online education is not for you.
  2. If you are not computer-savvy and are afraid to learn some new technologies, online education will give you a hard time.
  3. Though you can interact with classmates using discussion groups, chat rooms and emails, there are no offline get together.
  4. Though online help is provided, students are expected to complete their assignments on their own. They have to find their own resources.
  5. One of the most important parts of the college is the experience, the college spirit. None of this is possible with distance learning courses

The advancement in distance learning is accompanied by a great number of scams. The students pay a lot for the degree which is not even worth the paper it is printed on.

Anytime you open the spam folder of your Gmail account, you can see a number of emails offering certificates, undergraduate degrees and even PhD programs from different institutions. The problem is that how should one tell the difference between the beneficial ones and the worthless ones. This is an important task in your life, and you don’t want to be scammed. Make sure you check that the school has accredited online PHD programs.

Blended learning logo. Wikimedia Commons
Blended learning logo. Wikimedia Commons

Universities that provide distance learning courses expect students to take time and complete the course with dedication and hard work. They require a lot of self motivation for a long period of time. So, if someone is offering you a degree or a certificate that does not require any dedication from you can be a diploma mill.

Diploma mills are the institutions that exchange degrees for money without asking any proof of course mastery or any substantive testing or coursework from students. These institutions are illegally running all across the globe.

With the rapid increase in the usage of internet throughout the world, diploma mills are becoming more difficult to track. It is very important to thoroughly check the accreditation before choosing a program as at first glance these institutions look legitimate.

Prepared by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53

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7 Ways in Which Technology-Supported Science Impacts the Process of Students’ Development

Interested in how technologies affect student life? Check out these top 7 ways!

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distance learning
7 Ways in Which Technology-Supported Science Impacts the Process of Students’ Development.

Modern technology has infiltrated our lives in an uncountable number of ways. We use it every day when we turn off an electronic alarm or put a laptop into the sleep mode. At the same time, we are becoming increasingly dependent on it. If you think you are not, try living a week without using your smartphone. Seems challenging, doesn’t it?

The technological revolution and the emergence of the Internet have had a dramatic effect on education. According to Petersons.com, a new era was ushered in 1960s when the first online education program was launched at the University of Illinois.

Today, one can totally agree that the technology boom has positively affected the education industry. Here, you will find the top-7 benefits of technology in education.

technology impacted school
e Internet has provided people with a possibility to not only learn but also teach others without having to pay a penny.

 #1 Possibilities for self-education

Students can get information from various sources, including YouTube, Vimeo, and search engines like Google and Yahoo. For example, it takes only a matter of seconds to find information on preparing yourself for a foreign language exam or finding out the main steps to making concrete. The Internet has provided people with a possibility to not only learn but also teach others without having to pay a penny.

 #2 Preparation for exams

Preparing for tough international exams can be a tall order for the majority of students. For example, it takes about two or three months to prepare yourself for TOEFL or GMAT. Students also require specialized books with exam materials and explanations.

Nowadays, it has become much easier to prepare for the said exams using only your PC. There are also a lot of test simulators and online courses that can help students refine and upgrade their skills.

 #3 Staying up-to-date

Time flies so fast that sometimes you have no time to buy a newspaper or watch TV in order to know what is happening in the world. We give up before even trying to distill valuable data from an infinite flow of information. But modern technology can help you optimize this process.

Smartphone applications have dramatically simplified the process of information filtering. For example, you can use the Flipboard App to filter out the news feed. No more tabloids — enjoy only qualitative information every day!

#4 Homework help

One more positive impact of technology on education is specialized companies that help students complete their home assignments. They can write an essay or solve a math equation for you. You can also ask such companies to explain you some difficult topics you experience obstacles with.

Thus, if you lack the time or have no clue about how to complete a home task, you can always rely on said agencies (for example, bestcustomwriting.com/). Save your time and money!

computer
Technology has made the process of learning easier and it would further simplify the process in the coming years.

#5 Distance learning

Online education has become one of the most powerful innovations in the recent century. It has provided students with an opportunity to study in leading worldwide universities. And the best thing is that students do not have to pay any transportation, visa, and accommodation costs. According to Statista.com, the online education market is expected to grow from 165 to 243 million USD in the next 4 years.

The technological boom has improved lifelong learning accessibility, too. Nowadays, you can pick up useful skills through the Internet. Simply put, modern technology helps people become smarter.

 #6 Useful tools

Technological development has engendered new working environments that help students to create, edit, write, and present their knowledge. All of us are familiar with such programs — MS Word, Excel, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Eclipse, etc.

The usability of the said programs is recognized by a number of leading universities worldwide. Some colleges provide courses geared toward acquiring skills connected to the latter programs. For example, students frequently use PowerPoint to prepare a presentation of their main ideas and defend their Master’s thesis.

Also Read: Social Media: An Instrument Of Influencing People

 #7 Interactive lectures

One of the benefits of technology in the classroom is interactive classes where students can simulate a parliament. They are divided into special committees and fulfill the same responsibilities as politicians. They can propose, reject, and amend laws with the use of special computers installed in such classrooms.

Also, students can participate in parliamentary debates organized by the university campus. An interactive board is a useful tool that helps referees maintain regalement enforcement and distinct evaluation of speakers.