With what has happened during the pandemic it is no wonder that distance learning has taken such a huge surge. Distance learning offers so many alternatives for you to be able to get the education you want no matter your age, it allows a wider spectrum of people access to the education they may otherwise not have had.
If you are unsure what distance learning is and why it can be so important then this guide should help to give you an understanding of what it is and why it has become so important in so many people’s lives.
Distance learning- What is it?
Distance learning is any learning or teaching that is done without the pupil having to be in the classroom or at school physically, and this can also be the same for the teacher too. Back in the day distance learning would be classed as a correspondence course where students would keep in contact with teachers and school through the mail. However, with technology advancing so much distance learning is now done online using a variety of different systems and methods from pretty much any device with an internet connection.
What types of distance learning are there?
When it comes to distance learning there are a few different ways that this can be done, a few of which are supported by already existing systems.
- Video conference- this is one of the more common ways in which people do distanced learning, this can be done as a one on one session or a whole call of people on a live video with the teacher.
- Synchronous- this is when all students learn at the same time together, usually in one place and the teacher is in a different place.
- Asynchronous- this is a less connected form of learning, so instead of live sessions the students would be given learning tasks to do that have deadlines which they would then self study and finish assignments.
- Open scheduled learning- this online learning is great for people that do not have much time, so this is an asynchronous type but without the deadlines, so if you do not have much time such as having a family or work commitments you can still learn.
- Fixed Timed learning- for this study you would have to do webinars or online classes at a certain time so it is a form of synchronous learning and can be done from anywhere in the world.
- Hybrid lessons- Hybrid lessons are a mixture of distance and physical so it allows for some students to be present virtually while others are physically present at the lessons.
Why is distance learning so important?
Distance learning is so important because it brings the ability to educate people that otherwise would not be able to do it. Distance learning has increased flexibility so that you can manage your studies around your own life, so if you have children or work full time you are able to still study towards a better career while doing this. You can select the time and place you want to study and this gives you that option to change your career while still holding on to your current one.
Distance learning also gives easy access to anyone that has an internet connection, so maybe you live miles away from school and cannot get there but distance learning gives you access to the same education as everyone else, it opens up opportunities that would not be there should distance learning not be a thing. It also allows you access to international opportunities of study with the internet connected to everyone around the world. You can study in other countries without ever crossing the border which is great for some international students that cannot leave home. Also if you feel like learning in a school may hinder you or you do not feel comfortable in school even if you have access to one then this is another option instead of homeschooling you can have them enrolled in distance learning to still get their education from professionals.
Distance learning increases the amount of people from poorer backgrounds that can still get into a decent education, due to the ability to scale down learning into chunks with digital learning. It is now driving down the cost of education giving more people the opportunities they may not have had before. With online degrees that can be studied part time the costs are smaller than a full time study so you can save on costs and take more time to complete it around your current life, also with online only universities coming up more this removes the need for structure costs being added to costs for building based learning.
In conclusion, distance based learning provides opportunities to people that otherwise would not have had access to education, this means it can help them get new careers or even help them out of tough financial situations by saving them money on studies and giving them the opportunity to a better job.