The education of upcoming generations – and even eager learners who want to further their academic mindset and skill set – is always at the forefront of societal impact. Throughout human history, education has been a pillar of society. Over time, as more generations of eager learners made their way through the education system, it became apparent, even obvious, that the world was beginning to go through more notable elevations. Today, the world that we live, learn, and work in is nothing like the one that was prevalent fifty years ago. The simple fact is that the world has been changed by things like technological impact, environmental impact, and our general evolution as a species on planet Earth. It sounds a little outlandish, but at the end of the day what it is all about is the realisation and willingness to adapt when the world feels like it is evolving faster than we can realistically contemplate. One of the most significant impacts on modern society has been the rise of distance education.
The [relatively new] era of distance education (meaning education that is carried out largely or wholly digitally) has faced its fair share of criticism and deliberation, but overall it has become a force to be reckoned with. In short, distance education provides prospective students with an educational option that does not demand the same restrictions that traditional brick and mortar education does – for instance one is able to sit for an exam in the comfort of their own home and take the mocks, GMAT prep online, for instance in preparation for their upcoming examination. And it is an option that is rising exceedingly among students the world over. Traditional education is great. Let us not discount this fact. Distance education is not a slap in the face to the traditional methods and models that have held down education for generations up until now. What distance education is designed to achieve is a much simpler, more harmonious purpose: complement traditional education. Even with this in mind, there is no denying that distance education is rising because it aligns with the modern student’s values and lifestyle more easily than traditional education does.
The first generations to be more inclined to study online are going through the higher education system right now, and the shift is gradually becoming a shove that is pivoting wildly in favour of distance education. When the modern student – much a mirroring image of modern society and modern values – is more technologically-inclined, and busier, than ever before, then there is of course going to be a natural progression towards the educational concept that nurtures that inclination. Online learning tools give students the opportunity and the willpower to fit in their education around the other aspects of their life, and that alone is valuable beyond what many can understand. Put it this way: modern life is expensive, no? The average modern student must work to pay their bills and get by, and that often means working close to – if not completely – full-time hours to make ends meet. This is not even students who live exceptionally well – this is students who are scraping the barrel to get by. Traditional education would not allow the flexibility to allow students to work so often while maintaining their studies successfully, and yet distance education does this seamlessly.
Students who learn online have access to optimal resource use, which gives them a leg up when it comes to having consistent and complete access to learning materials that are necessary to their overall success and academic progression. Right up to graduation, students who study via distance education are in the best position to have virtually unlimited access to learning materials. This is different from the way that traditional learning ideals work in that, generally speaking, students who learn via traditional brick and mortar academic institutions have access to their learning materials only when they are on campus. Online education allows for students to have complete, unfiltered access to all their learning materials – and then some – at all hours of the day and night, 24/7 throughout the entire school semester. Around the world, education has been a consistent pillar of society and personal progression for decades.
When the world experiences a change, the education system inevitably pivots to shift along with it. It makes sense, when you think about it. After all, education is the preparation point for the future workforce. If the world that workforce exists in is changing, then obviously the education systems that prepare students for that workforce should change as well? The latest – and, arguably, the most significant – change in the education sector has been the rise of distance education. By its very nature, distance education has indeed become a force to be reckoned with. Students who study via distance education are given the luxuries of choice, flexibility, and personalisation – ideals that are not afforded to them so easily (if at all) would they have chosen to study via traditional brick and mortar schools. The era of distance education is rising – and there are no signs of it slowing down any time soon.