February 26th, 2014 by schoolbound
If you are an older adult like me and you can remember when your teachers passed out those warm mimeograph copies that you lifted to your nose to sniff, you may be a bit intimidated by the thought of going back to school now. You see the technologically savvy younger student everywhere, you may even have one or more living under your own roof. Technology has definitely entered the school system and it has changed the way students learn, interact, complete assignments and even test. Some colleges even take attendance electronically!
Don’t let it scare you into not applying and taking that step to enhance your education and your career. Most colleges understand that adult learners may not be as tech savvy as the younger kids and will take that into account in their instruction and curriculum. Your administrators and instructors understand that there may be a technology lag and will offer the instruction you need to get up to speed, which will facilitate your learning and can be useful in the workplace as well.
If you are considering taking courses online the same thing holds true. There will be plenty of instruction and guidance on how to login, attend, interact and complete assignments. Don’t worry, they really have thought of everything!
Some great things about the new technology of online education is that you can attend a school that is 3000 miles away if they have the program that interests you. You are not limited to programs that are locally available, and will have access to guest lectures and instruction by professors you would not normally have access to. Also most course material is on-demand, meaning that you do not have to be online at a certain time for class. There are optional and additional lectures, videos, interactive quizzes and other online resources available anytime, from anywhere. Never has learning been so adaptable to busy schedules instead of disrupting established routines. So for someone who is working full time you can login from any computer that has internet access and review course material when you have the time, as long as it is completed in the time allotted. There ARE deadlines, but they are more flexible than a brick and mortar program.
Another convenience is that you can also catch up when you miss something during a video lecture which is certainly not the case when the lecture is in real-time. This makes note taking much easier and more in depth. Online course materials can be updated and distributed instantaneously keeping the information fresh and up to date, as well as making some textbooks obsolete, which is great for your wallet!
And the best money saver with online education is that there is no commute. You save on gas, transportation fees, maintenance and time. What would normally be commute time can now be study time. Imagine it… you finish dinner, put the kids to bed, make a hot cup of tea and sit down to class for a couple hours a night in your own home. What could be better than that?
As the future of higher education moves away from the constrains of a brick and mortar university the world of education is opening up in ways never thought possible. You now have access to speakers and programs all over the world and an education that you can tailor to your interests. The internet is a great resource for supplemental information as well as continued education. So don’t let the idea of new technology scare you off from pursuing your dreams, it is an easy hurdle to overcome and a skill that can only help make you better than you thought you could be.