Distance learning is a sophisticated learning system, mainly accorded to postgraduate students all over the world, in which the student do not have to literary attend classes and lectures as they do it from the comfort of their living rooms and offices. In the recent past, many countries, including those from marginalized continents like Asia, Africa, and South America have joined the rest of the world in the battle for academic and technological supremacy, by intensifying their distance learning techniques. Currently, there is a stiff competition among countries in pursuit for knowledge. A great number of countries are after producing smart heads, both technologically and intellectually, a situation that has allowed for extensive research based on the history, evolution, and future of distance learning.
Historically, the United States of America has had the monopoly of offering distance learning to the majority of her overseas and postgraduate ...view middle of the document...
57). In this first generation, distance learning was mainly conducted through interactive televisions, which was a luxury. Afterwards, came the second generation of distance learning. This was characterized by the use of the internet, the web, and electronic materials for learning (Vrasiklas & Glass, 2009). The situation allowed for a revolution in distance learning and literacy levels in many countries.
As a result, the people have seen a substantial increase in number of graduates not only from America but also from other continents such as Asia. Statics show that in 2003 alone, Asia and the European community produced more graduates than America and that this achievement was due to an increase in distance learning by the countries. For instance, in the past decade from, 2000 to 2011, many improvements have occurred globally in the education systems in different countries (In Sigal, 2013, p.9). Many nations have embraced the use of computers and the internet. In addition, with the wide spread interactions, and increased demand for qualified people to handle various departments in the business world, many states embarked on offering online courses for postgraduate students who also working both locally and internationally. The need for internet or online teaching later on gave birth to online instructors. Consequently, there have been modifications in the global market and use of the internet was then polished further to the third generation, which is the current period (Vincenti & Braman, 2011, p89). In this generation, people are using refined distance learning tools like chat rooms, online conferencing, and video conferencing.
Conclusively, distance learning has gone through many stages from the first generation distance in the U.S through the second and third generations and finally to the highly expected fourth generation of distance learning. Throughout the period, it has helped many people who would have otherwise gone uneducated due to other commitments. Through it, the world has given birth to new professors and a sizable number of well-trained personnel in the business world. Therefore, the world should be ready for more changes in distance learning techniques as technology continues to change with time.