The education system all over the country is starting to change. While a lot of traditional schools, based in brick and mortar buildings continue to exist and to be popular, distance education and online education is also becoming more of the norm. Jay Eitner has looked at the impact of virtual education in New Jersey in particular.
Jay Eitner Investigates the Rise of Online Education
One of the things that Jay Eitner has found, is that online education is particularly popular with more mature students. Younger people fresh out of high school tend to prefer going to brick and mortar, traditional schools. The student experience is like a rite of passage into adulthood, and something that few want to miss. But older people, those who don’t yet have an education or who want to increase their education, do not have the opportunity to give up their jobs and would prefer to study online instead, as it is more flexible
Today, millions of students study online. What few people know, however, is that this trend was originally started in New Jersey. The first online degree was offered in Collingswood, NJ, in 1996. It was a true niche at that time, and few people believed it would go anywhere. They felt that people could not be sufficiently motivated to complete their degree, and that it would be virtually impossible to get a high quality education without personal interaction. New Jersey showed the world that this was incorrect, however. Today, students, parents, teachers, and prospective employers the world over accept online education as much as any other type of education. Indeed, online degrees can have the same accreditation as their physical counterpart and that is what matters most.
In 2003, a study showed that some 36% of all students were taking part in some form of distance education. What Jay Eitner found particularly fascinating, however, is that 25% of all local districts now offer some sort of online learning. This means that younger people become prepared to take on online learning as well. One school that is leading the way in this, is Delran High School, which is found in Burlington County, NJ. Again, New Jersey is being a role model for the rest of the country.
Online classes are as enriching as live classes. However, they offer far more flexibility, enabling students to learn things around their many other responsibilities. Furthermore, far fewer teachers are required, and there is a huge space-saving element as well. What this means is that courses can become a lot more affordable, which is to the benefit of all students, whether they study online or not.
It is no surprise that there has been a huge boom in cyberschools. Both private and public institutions are jumping on the bandwagon, in fact. The world is now almost fully digital and people of all ages have integrated digital telecommunication into their lives. It shouldn’t be surprising that the education system quickly followed suit.