Where is distance learning heading?
College is expensive these days. So students have an opportunity to cut some of that cost by enrolling in online courses. As a result, we’re seeing that the number of students enrolling continues to spike. We’re now seeing a shift in education, where you can learn about anything anytime. More people are changing careers, too. And they’re confident in doing that because they’re able to take courses online. It’s just easier to access content and continue learning.
Online learners are also older. It’s not just students who are in college anymore. There are people in their 30’s and 40’s who are taking courses around their work schedules and/or taking them from a mobile device while at work. As a result, today’s distance learning programs look to engage learners who are unable to attend actual classes on campus due to things like work, family obligations or simply geographic location. Limited office hours, tutoring and other student services also keep students from attending classes on campus. So when you look at what keeps students from physically attending classes, and with easy-to-use technology innovations and forward-thinking educators to drive the change, distance learning just makes sense.
What technologies are considered to be useful distance learning solutions?
Video collaboration solutions are huge right now. Those types of solutions are dividing and conquering education right now. It’s no longer about the teacher getting in front of the students in a “sit and get” environment. Learning today is more interactive and everyone contributes to the environment.
Some students and instructors have asked me if Skype is good enough. But a rich video conferencing experience allows instructors to see their students in a high-definition monitor and produce great content. [There are solutions that] allow instructors to connect to several remote sites at the same time, and still be able to build out an infrastructure where other students can