E-learning has been around since 1999, when the phrase was coined at a seminar in Los Angeles. Since then the online learning industry has boomed, with the influx of online courses, video tutorials and online degrees. Though this industry is thriving, it is still within its infancy with room for innovation and new ways of connecting people through community education.
Currently there are a handful of companies facilitating this ever-growing industry and most provide courses where participants download and complete course material provided by a tutor. Others provide video tutorials with limited access to the tutor and so answers are usually responded to in a day or two. A small majority offer very interactive lessons with a real person in real-time. In saying that, there are many technologies that allow for real-time teaching, with interactive capabilities such as screen sharing, screen control, watch and listen to YouTube videos together and listen to audio direct from each others computer.
Those in regions that lack resources for education are usually the top of the list of users for online education. Particularly in the west we are more used to free education on our doorstep and simply this is not the case in many countries, especially third world countries. Our available education spoils us and more often we forget how much education we have on offer. But in third world countries for example, the access to education is scarce or there is a pure unknowing of where to look for such information. This deficiency limits us as a society and thus funnels students into a preordained career. We have now more than ever had attention disorders throughout our schools, with many students citing their simple disinterest.
Online education allows room for choice, so that a student can give 100% attention to their passion. Adding variety to teaching styles with the use of interactive tools, students can be consistently engaged, without distractions. Learning from an active member within the industry gives real practical advice to be used in an actual situation.
Most who teach online are of degree standard, being capable of guiding on the national curriculum and many offer free introduction lessons, so you can hop skip and jump until you find the right tutor for you. The convenience of online learning has to be one on top of the list, obviously there is no travel costs incurred and you learn at your own time, at your own pace with real-time responses, so if you have a question, just ask and it will be answered.
One obvious hurdle with online learning is not having the tutor physically there but the key is in the name, online learning, is not a substitute for conventional education but it is definitely something to consider as extracurricular.
As with most technology online learning is prone to technical gremlins and so it is best to have adequate equipment.
There is much you can do to improve the quality of the audio and video. By attaching a quality microphone and webcam, you can significantly improve the quality.
To Improve Your Video Lessons.
- Use a high quality external microphone.
- A high quality external web camera.
- Good quality headphones.
- A large computer monitor.
- A wired connection to the Internet (wireless connections can be unreliable).
- An Internet connection of DSL speeds (768kbps UPLOAD connection) or better (no dial-up connections).
The most beautiful aspect of online learning has to be the cost, with some online courses you fork out large amounts to prepay a course from 3 – 6 months offers online pay as you go lessons.