In the current society, common thought maintains that new technology has a strong capability in influencing education. Young children are especially given a chance to develop their skills and use an interactive, new media mainly under the watch of their parents. Arguably, traditional education cannot be replaced, but this era of advancement in technology through the internet requires individuals to be equipped with technological knowledge (Haythornthwaite, 2004). Online education is the proliferation and creation of the personal computer, globalization of human acts and ideas, and use of technology in the exchange of ideas for the provision of access to the public, which has proven crucial as it allows an individual to access education at their own convenience.
In terms of market size, the global internet scene has been estimated to be worth 48 billion dollars in accordance with conservative estimates. Developments in multimedia and internet technology are regarded as the basic components behind the development of internet learning, with technologies, consulting content and services. By the end of 2006, four million students were established to have been participating in online education at the Unites States. The Sloan Foundation established that online learning registered an annual rise of fourteen percent in student enrollment between the years 2005 and 2010 (Pank, 2011). Regarding this finding, it can be concluded that internet learning is progressing quickly to become a predominant post-secondary education.
This progress has had a number of institutions embrace the trend and incorporate internet learning in their programs. Private institutions are expected to become more involved in the trend, considering the reduced cost of the system. Efficient execution of this system requires the employment of trained staff that has a proper understanding of the content area as well as reputable experience in computer and internet use. Online education is under continuous rise and advancement, and this has been propelled by the development in doctoral programs at leading research universities.
Internet learning has also been incorporated in K-12 schools. Some internet learning systems have made their way in traditional classrooms as the system grants students the freedom of accessing classes from locations of their choosing (Haythornthwaite, 2004). More schools are beginning to use virtual and cyber schooling platforms as the trend spreads across the world. Virtual schooling enables learners to access asynchronous and synchronous learning courses from any location through an internet connection. In this system, students are expected to use the technology for education purposed only and have to make weekly work submission requirements.
Students who opt not to attend traditional brick and mortar classes due to medical issues and allergies, school bullying and fear of school violence are increasingly turning to internet learning. Furthermore, internet learning is thought to create robust learning conditions for students by delivering quality education and the complete avoidance of most problems (Hernandez, 2008). In conclusion, internet learning is suited for those who desire to pursue distance learning. However, it is prudent to understand that it can also be used alongside face-to-face learning; this case is referred to as ‘Blended learning’. There is an increasing tendency to incorporate internet learning in higher education systems. A growing number of global institutions are beginning to offer select certificate programs and academic degrees through the internet in a wide range of disciplines. With the current expansion and development in technology, future expectations maintain that computers have an integral role to play in the education process. The future of education is dependent on the capabilities this growing technology.
Haythornthwaite, C. A., & Kazmer, M. M. (2004). Learning, culture, and community in online education: Research and practice. New York: P. Lang
Hernandez, S. R., & Shewchuk, R. (2008). Online education. The Journal of Health Administration Education, 25, 4, 269-71.
Pank, C. M. (2011). Online education. The American Journal of Nursing, 107, 5, 74-6.