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Advantages and disadvantages of distance education online
Advancements in technology have changed the face of education all over the world. With the birth of the Internet, education can now be taken anywhere in the world. Virtual classrooms have become quite popular especially for graduate students who cannot find the time to spare everyday classroom attendance. Now, students need not go to school and attend classes in the flesh. All they have to do is to open their computer and Internet accounts and log in to the site of the school where they are enrolled.
Assignments and projects are even uploaded over the Internet. You donít have to go to the school and pass the manuscript yourself. Classrooms discussions are also done through chatting. Payments of tuition fees are of course done over the internet thought the use of credit cards.
One advantage that distance online education provides is the fact that students from anywhere in the world can avail of education from ivy league schools and other international universities without having to pay for air fare and lodging.
Another savings for the students is the fact that they donít have to pay for miscellaneous fees such as laboratory fees and other kinds of classroom maintenance fees. This is huge savings especially for students coming from third world countries in Asia and in South America. They can get the same education that students studying in the country get minus the skyrocketing expenses!
Another advantage that online distance education provides is the savings in time. Logging in for your classrooms instead of showing up to the classroom saves a lot of time, not to mention energy. This is especially advantageous for people who are already working or those whose schedules are very hectic.
Online distance education also allows students to become more interactive in their classrooms. Because classroom discussion are done through chats and virtual meetings, students who are shy or those who are not used to doing recitations will now be able to participate in class. In fact, students in online distance education are required to participate in chat sessions. Some are even graded for the number of their comments in class.
Still, even with those advantages, people still feel that online education students are being short-changed. Traditional classroom settings are still highly recommended especially for the undergraduate levels because more than the education and lessons that classroom setting provides, the interaction with students is essential in developing well-rounded individuals.
Psychologists believe that virtual education de-emphasizes the need for social interaction and friendship. Although this can also be developed in other surroundings, especially by the family, the school plays a big role in developing a personís social skills. This is perhaps why distance online education are only recommended for people who are already working and those who have already taken up their graduate degrees.
Another downside of online distance education is the fact that interaction is highly impersonal. Everything is done over the Internet. Sometimes, classmates do not even see each other until after they get their degrees, sometimes even never. This happens with international online courses where students are mostly foreign and telecommuting. Students do not even get to meet their professors.
Another downside to online education is the absence of opportunities for extra-curricular activities, which for some people develop their social skills and their leadership potentials.
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