Online Colleges and the Changing Education Community

By Olivia Coleman

Online education has brought with it many new changes to the education system, stemming from the first days of the internet.  Teachers were at first unaware how to handle the change in technology although lately many educators believe that students do not need to learn as many minute details because of the easy access to Google and Wikipedia.  Online education only threw a new hammer into this mixture by allowing students to not only research online, but in fact take all their courses through the internet and communicate with their classes entirely online.  

Online colleges have spent millions of dollars advertising their programs, vastly different from the quieter tactics traditional schools use to attract students.  For-profit universities do not have the advantage of having a steady matriculation rate and a lengthy history of success like so many traditional universities hold.  Rather, it basis its entire profit on the effectiveness of its advertisements and recruiters, a process which has become highly criticized by educators and politicians alike.  However, online colleges now play a vital role in the education world as they continue to attract students who otherwise would never have attempted college courses.  We are slowly moving toward a better education population solely as a result of these changes in the online industry.

Online education has carved out a niche for itself within education and seems to be in no danger of  vanishing anytime soon.  Education processes have changed as well, as teachers have slowly accepted the fact that their students now resort to Google to find many of their research assignments.  Many of us are now left with the question as to whether our years of education are still necessary in a world that has become highly dependent on knowledge at the stroke of a button.  Many people argue that there is no point in learning every battle of the Civil War when you can easily research it on Wikipedia.  However, online education does not spend too much time squabbling over these issues, but instead remains focused on its goal to attract new students every year.

Online colleges have managed to get over the initial hump in the education world and remain highly ranked even through all the bad press they have received.  The education community has slowly accepted the spread of online classes, even though many scholars still consider online colleges to be a lesser form of education.  Regardless of these lone opinions, online colleges and universities remain a highly profitable industry and continue to reward students with degrees every year.  

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