The internet has long been pegged as the technology that will remove the limitations of modern education systems, but those predictions are only now starting to become a reality. While universities are expensive and inaccessible for many, the internet offers a unique way to learn, enabling all online users to expand their education. Affordable laptops are available from online IT stockists such as Misco, alongside tablets and even smartphones which can also connect to the net, allowing students to be online 24/7. So how has this changed the way we learn?
The internet encourages a far greater level of independent study, allowing people to take online courses and learn about specific topics that interest them, encouraging self-motivated learning. Such is the popularity of sites like Wikipedia – which collate information and sources on a vast range of topics – that learning online has become less of a chore and more of a hobby for many.
The accessibility of home courses ensures that thousands of people are able to study who may not have had the opportunity before, whether they are housebound due to family commitments, disability or financial reasons. Educational content can be delivered via text in email, video, audio, blogs and even podcasts, meaning that all research – in fact better, more up-to-date research – can be carried out online.
Students in education
The internet is changing the way we teach in schools, too. These days, most schools require that all assignments are typed up before handing in, a rule that achieves a number of things at once: it improves clarity for the tutor marking the work; and it allows the school to keep an eye on each student’s IT literacy. Computer skills are absolutely essential in the real world, for everything from paying bills to submitting job applications, so it’s imperative that children be taught from an early age about how they work and grasp an understanding of the basics.
University students have found that cloud-based internet services such as Dropbox or Google Drive make it a lot easier to keep track of coursework – rather than carrying files around on a USB device, files stored in the cloud can be retrieved using any computer. This is a huge relief for students who may have trouble accessing the same computer regularly, and ensures that more people have an equal opportunity to learn.