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Distance Learning And Technology And It's Role In Education

1102 words - 4 pages

Many of us have read and talked about the use of distance learning in the colleges and universities of today and many of us know about how much it is being used. Some of us are also using the same in our day to day lives. But how does distance learning and technology fit into the whole scenario of education? Are we really moving towards a world full of people knowing only to sit in front of their TV or Computer and never having to go to the "campus" at all?Arizona State University (ASU) has about 6 studios (rooms) that are currently being used by the college for its distance learning program. It has about fifteen to twenty classes being offered over the internet streamed directly to people's homes. The numbers of classes have increased over the years and have led to the recent completion of two new studios (The number increased from 4 to 6). Although not confirmed it can be deduced that ASU will increase the number of classes by about 30%-40% in a few years to accommodate this growing demand.What demand? Well the people who are most interested and currently using streams the most have been identified to be mostly professionals already working at many high and moderate posts in their respective companies and wished to increase their knowledge. These people are too busy to suddenly leave their way of life and start college all over again. Many Bachelor's graduates wish to make some money before they begin graduate studies however by the time they want to pursue the same it is usually too late since they are so well settled or don't have enough money to afford full college semesters." There are not enough brick and mortar buildings out there" as said by Edwards, director of WGU (Distance Learning organization). And this is where Distance Learning Shines.Just recently I was advised by a friend to immediately start on my Graduate degree as soon as my Bachelor's completes. I was not surprised much after I heard this, because that is the trend most people follow in India. However he said that "It is very 'difficult' to leave work and start on college again".Distance Learning isn't just a convenient way to approach education, but it is also important to note it is superior to "Classroom" teaching in ways that are often overlooked but then realized. Such as the flexibility to study materials at a personal speed and intensity, without having to wait for slower pace of the average classroom. There is flexibility to study at any time of any day at any location (Since Computer Systems and Internet are so easily accessible). There is also an ability to discuss studies in online message boards.I had always believed that Distance Learning and Technology had come far enough to be helpful should there be a need for it. However, many people will tell you that learning from a machine just doesn't "Cut it". Why? I thought, don't we learn from books every single day. Why is a computer so much different, if not better than a book if it can provide the information to...

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