1) Greater Access to Information
With the creation of the internet, it has become much easier to access valuable sources of information that would otherwise be physically out of reach for many people. Educators as well as students are exposed to more knowledge through the internet than they would ever get from a library or multiple libraries. The web is such an effective tool that many libraries are having their collections translated to an electronic format that they can be shared internationally. Encyclopedias, peer-reviewed editorials, magazines, history books, and more can be accessed through databases on the net. Even though teachers are usually quite knowledgeable in their respective fields, the internet remains a valuable tool for them because they are all students themselves and must constantly learn more within their specialties.
The “information highway” has expanded its roads into remote areas of the world that do not have access to good resources. Now a whole new population of individuals can experience things that they’re never experienced before via internet. People who previously had no hope for making it in the world are given endless possibilities with modern-age technologies. Educators in rural areas can connect with those overseas to collaborate, grow, and make a bigger difference.
2) Teaching From Home
The internet has revolutionized the teaching world by allowing educators to do so wherever they may be. If both student and teacher have access to an internet-equipped computer, the exchange of information can be done between any two points on the globe. This option has made learning much easier for busy teachers and students who may be holding multiple jobs or occupied with other important matters.
3) Easier Communication
In a traditional classroom setting, students raise their hands to ask the teacher a question. The other common way to get help with the material is to visit the professor during office hours. With the invention of the web, educators will be able to respond to students’ inquiries much more quickly. Scheduling, confirming meeting dates and times, and asking a simple question can all be done in a breeze with email or other computer applications. Some teachers give out their cell phone numbers so they can be reached by phone call or text message in the case of an emergency.
4) More Educational Tools
Again, the internet offers educators a wide variety of tools that can greatly enhance the teaching process. After the internet came email, instant messenger programs, webcam chats, and a variety of web-based applications designed specifically for teachers. Homework, quizzes, exams, and other projects can all be completed after logging in to a password-protected personal account. Educators now have the option to upload study materials including lecture slides and videos, allow access to tests when the time comes, block access when the time limit is reached, and more.
Generally speaking, the biggest advantage that technology has given to the world of education is convenience. Educators and students can save plenty of time and money by participating in online education. The internet has shown us that physical presence is no longer a requirement for great education. A large number of prospective students live much too far away to commute to the school of their choosing. Others simply cannot afford to relocate to be closer to their dream college. Schools that offer online courses have solved that problem. Physical teaching tools like textbooks and coursepacks also cost a lot of money to produce and purchase. Electronic formats have decreased the need for paper teaching materials. For many people, learning on their own time and at their own pace has proven to be much more effective than sitting in a classroom feeling lost and confused. With today’s advanced technologies, connecting to a whole universe of knowledge is only one click away.
Marnie Lewis is a school district administrator and guest author at TopTeachingColleges.net, a school with information and resources about the top online teaching colleges.