Traditionally education has been imparted in classrooms in schools, colleges, and universities. In ancient India parents used to send their children to Gurukuls where apart from conventional education the teacher or Guru used to impart knowledge on culture, religion, warfare skills and values that helped the child to grow as an accomplished individual in later life.
Over the centuries the meaning of education has undergone a sea of change. A child grows into adulthood and imbibes human values through parents and elders in the family whereas formal education contributes towards the attainment of professional goals-be it in the fields of technology, medicine, pure sciences, law or humanities. Based on the needs the syllabus has been unified for different educational programs and common examinations are held for school, graduate and post-graduate study programs. The syllabi and standards of such programs are unified by national education councils and boards which conduct centralized examinations at school and university levels.
The formal education system is prevalent for decades across the world and it catered to the needs of students as well as the requirements of employers. In the nineties, the internet brought a revolution in the field of education as well as in all fields requiring the exchange of ideas and information. The Internet helped bring the nations together into a global community. Formal education has retained its importance and enjoys recognition globally. Students with basic degrees are able to enrich their exposure in different fields anywhere in the world as degrees are recognized mutually in most of the countries. Degrees also help students gain employment in Government, semi-government and private sectors.
The twenty-first century has witnessed an explosion in knowledge in all fields. In addition to the conventional educational streams, a multitude of streams has emerged which serve to enrich the basic concepts acquired in the formative years. It is practically impossible for you to master such streams through formal university degrees as this would take away more than half of your productive life in formal educational pursuits. It is here that online education has added a new dimension in education.
Advances in information technology and internet have made access to information within the reach of all humanity irrespective of geographic divisions. Online education has supplemented distance education which involved sending of study material by post followed by terminal examinations. The benefits offered by online education are briefly covered in this article
Benefits offered by online educational programs
Access to one and all
The Internet does not discriminate between nations, caste, creed or color. It is accessible by one and all across the globe. You may not be having a formal degree but you are free to access online programs in your field of specialization or in pursuit of your hobbies.
Saving of time
Earning a formal degree can take you years at a stretch but mostly online programs are of short duration. The offerings are generally flexible and can be completed at your own convenience depending on availability of time and quality of internet services. The programs can be accessed even from the comfort of your home. A lot can be saved in terms of money and time spent in commuting to universities or colleges for attending classes.
Saving global resources
Online courses promote paperless learning which helps save our forest resources. In addition, thousands of liters of fuel are saved if learners do not commute to educational institutes on daily basis. Consider also saving on lighting, air-conditioning, and maintenance of classrooms and auditoriums. It all adds up to an immense saving of our natural resources.
Clarification of doubts and queries
Doubts and queries can be cleared directly with promoters through e-mails, telephonic contact, or discussion forums and webinars. Views can be shared and queries addressed among the set of learners or even experts in the field globally.
Pictorial aids and videos
Pictorial aids, graphical representations, and videos help you comprehend information much faster and imprints it in your memory for years. Online educational programs are supplemented with such visual aids. A video depicting actual display of an event or operational details of a machine or process can be reviewed several times to observe and refresh details which are otherwise a serious limitation with one-time practical demonstrations.
The online concept of evaluation is a boon for busy professionals who find it difficult to go to examination centers which at times are located in other cities as well. You can appear for online examinations from anywhere, even when you are traveling. You do not require a desktop or laptop all the time. Even a smartphone can help you log on to the site and appear for the examination. You do not have to wait for months for convocations to get your degrees or certificates as your certificate can reach you within days as a soft copy.
Online programs are generally priced at a fraction of the cost in comparison to full-time programs. The program fee is also payable online and this helps you save time standing in long queues for cash payments.
Online programs offer several benefits but even today have not replaced completely formal education. One to one contact with the teacher or guide plays an important role and can be replaced to an extent only through online learning. Basic formal education is still necessary for grasping the content of online programs. However, in the coming time, online education is set to become even more popular and will benefit individuals especially in remote locations.