There are many reasons why one may consider using distance education as their primary tool for higher learning. People may turn to this type of education simply because of where they are located. Citizens of very rural towns are afforded an opportunity to obtain a very reputable education from the comfort of their own home. This tool has given people access to an education that once seemed very unattainable. The lack of actual, physical learning institutions in smaller towns has been replaced by resources provided by the power of the internet. Traditional style classroom settings have been replaced by webinars and e-mails. This paradigm shift has the potential to produce some of the most educated people the world has ever seen. This new shift has given hope to those who once thought quality learning was out of their reach.
Years ago Many people would turn to correspondence courses that were available by mail. Students would obtain lesson plans, homework assignments and course out via the post office. The problem with this at the time was many of the programs were either not accredited or simply not recognized as a suitable education. Today, the internet has replaced this old-fashioned method with educational opportunities that are not only recognized, but fully accredited as well. Many of the most traditional and well-known schools provide quality learning opportunities via the World Wide Web. This phenomenon allows the schools to tap into a new breed of learners. This, of course, is the pool of students who simply would not have been afforded an opportunity to attend the standard brick and mortar institution. It is a powerful shift in how schools are providing quality education and training.
Of course there are drawbacks to every new and developing trend. In addition, distance learning is certainly no exception. Although the internet provides extremely reputable educational opportunities, there are plenty of programs that are pure scams. One who is pursuing an education via the internet must be wary of what are known as 'diploma mills' or 'degree mills'. These programs award students with an academic diploma or degree even though the education they are receiving is of poor quality. The programs are also offering such awards although they are not a fully accredited institution. Many states in the US are beginning to crack down on these fraudulent companies, but many are still fully operational. Diplomas and degrees being offered by these mills is certainly not just a problem in the US, but internationally as students in poorer countries are desperate for a chance at higher learning.
This trend in providing quality education using the internet will continue to grow for years to come. Schools are initially beginning to recognize the power behind providing classes using the internet. This shift is not only beneficial for the schools, but students as well. The whole educational process will come full circle using the power of today's technology. Moreover, the ever-changing information era will continue to provide those with quality learning tools that simply would not have been available in days past.