Much of online education has been centered on the market of those who are seeking college degrees. It seems that online education if a “hot” process to become a part of. A person sees that he can get a college education sitting at the kitchen table in his pajamas. He won’t have to get dressed and to a class. He can study when he wants to instead of on a class schedule. Corporate employees who need to complete training classes can get those class requirements met by taking an online offering. Administrators see online education as a way to deliver courses more cost-effectively. Teachers are thinking they had better figure out how to teach online because their jobs may be in jeopardy with current funding cuts to schools across America.
Is Online Education For Everybody?
Since the use of the word “everybody” is all inclusive, the answer is “No.” So, let’s consider just what a person needs to make if work for his particular needs. Self-discipline and initiative are essential to the success of one’s online education. You sign in regularly, spend hours sitting at your computer, develop a schedule and stay with it. If you are going to be successful, then you’d better make some strong commitments. Just make those commitments one time and do not ever allow yourself to think, “Do I really want to do this today?” Not everybody has the self-discipline to complete online classes. About 50% of those who start drop out or are just unable to complete the program. Teachers may have to spend hours to prepare the real-time instruction required. They are already busy in their jobs. They may have a technological learning curve to master before they are any good at online teaching. I could be overwhelming for them.
Administrators who think online education reduces the overhead of on-site buildings and computers may not recognize the tremendous task that managing online education will become for them. They think that classes can be much larger and more students will benefit. That simply is not true because with the high level of interaction that occurs in online classes, an instructor cannot possible manage more than 20 students per session. Courses in academics may lend themselves well to online instruction; however, courses involving hands-on learning require expensive simulations to become a part of the online class. Even so, they do not replace classroom and laboratory instruction.
Institutions and cultures differ. Learning for students with disabilities is unique to each of them. There are even some cultures which disapprove of technologies which place them in the world of electronics. Others object for moral, philosophical or religious reasons. Online education opportunities are not possible for many who aren’t able to afford computers and internet and headsets and the cost of programs online. This author has for several years been an online teacher for K-8 students where the learning plans were prescribed and presented to both student and teacher at the same time. In this environment, three students worked with a teacher for one hour. Each was in need of constant feedback and support, which, in a traditional classroom, a teacher can more easily provide. Most of the online students were those with special needs. These kiddos’ parents or a corporation pay at least $50 an hour to participate. The teachers are paid $10 for that hour, regardless of their expertise. Children who are not tech savvy and who are so distractible that they can hear your stomach growling when you are in another room were expected to benefit from online education. Of all the students teach online, perhaps 20% could actually handle the program.
Online education is not for everyone. Secure your education in the way that works for you.
Jane Hercules, MS Ed. is the author of this article. She has researched the varied locking mailbox options being advertised today. She is an educator who is concerned with the many reports of mail theft and subsequent identity theft all over our country today. Children are close to her heart and as a public school teacher and teacher of young children she is aware of a family’s need for security.