Finally accepting that qualifications give us the best chance of success usually happens around the age of 25. This is due to the fact that people in their mid-twenties have spent a few years in the real world and now realise that unskilled work is both underpaid and extremely tiring. So, deciding to apply for a university course is usually the best option. Some people find it easier than others as family and social responsibilities can sometimes get in the way, but at the end of the day, if you want to earn a good wage in a comfortable job that you enjoy, the alternative options are pretty limited.
Anyway, you’ve come here to read about the many ways in which the internet has changed our education system, right? But before I get into that, I’d like to stress that this list isn’t definitive, it just contains the most obvious alterations we’ve seen. So, without any further delay, here they are…
1 – It Has Allowed People To Take Online Degrees
By far the most distinct change we’ve seen has been within university learning itself. In the past, it was possible to complete certain courses from home using providers like the Open University, but this proved to be troublesome for many people who really needed some face to face advice and a good chance to speak personally with lecturers. It’s certainly true that many of the providers would hand out phone numbers of experts to help with this but that simply wasn’t good enough, and so pass rates were quite low for a while.
Now it’s easier than ever to partake in distance learning thanks to instant video messaging services like Skype and Google Hangouts. Anyone enrolled on a distance learning course can simply communicate with teachers or lecturers via the internet, and some even hold conference calls between multiple students. This has increased pass rates and made this kind of education truly viable for many people.
The great thing about distance learning is that fees are slightly reduced, so not only can you complete a degree course in the comfort of your own home at a time that suits you, but you also end up saving a lot of money that – let’s face it – would be much better spent on necessities.
2 – It Has Provided A Means For People To Get Free Information
Regardless of which type of degree you’re undertaking, a few years ago you would have had no choice but to spend hours in libraries trying to source information to help you complete coursework and assignments. Thanks to the internet this is no longer true, as it’s possible to find out everything you could ever want to know online without the need for lengthy searches. Whatever you think of Google and their agenda for global domination, you have to admit they’ve made it much easier to find relevant information.
This may have some drawbacks, however, because it means that millions of people are choosing to look things up online rather than learning properly and remembering them. Obviously that would be fine if we were allowed to take smartphones or tablet devices into our exams, but unfortunately the education system hasn’t progressed to quite that level yet.
Still, having all this info at our fingertips does mean that people without the inclination or the funds to attend mainstream higher education establishments can educate themselves from home. You’d be surprised at just how many employers are willing to overlook a lack of qualifications if you can prove to them you understand the job from personal research.
3 – It Has Encouraged Assistance Services To Thrive
Anyone who needed assistance with their education in the past would have to either get in touch with someone at their university, or call a premium rate phone line and speak to a private company who deals with whatever kind of issue they may have. Luckily, these firms have now progressed, and so many of their services can be obtained online without having to waste any money on calls or letters.
It’s even possible to purchase a custom essay on any major subject, written to whatever standard you need it, if that’s something that interests you. And although it’s never going to be a wise move to hand in someone elses work, they can be a fantastic learning aid, and often help students to better understand what is expected of them.
On top of this, you can pretty much find dedicated assistance teams willing to help you out (for a price of course) with absolutely every single aspect of the education system by simply typing your request into a search engine. This is in stark contrast to how things worked a few years ago when students were very much left to their own devices.
4 – It’s Responsible For Increased Productivity
I realise that computers were around a little while before most of us had a decent internet connection in our homes, but during those times many students still had to write their work by hand. Now, thanks to email, instant messaging and cloud-type storage solutions it’s possible to get things done in half the time. I don’t know about you, but I can type considerably faster than I can write, and this is the case for most people.
Being able to send assignments straight to tutors within seconds also means they don’t need to be completed quite as quickly, which obviously allows certain advantages. Presuming the average person in higher education can cut down their writing time by around ? using internet-ready computers, and deadlines can be extended slightly due to faster delivery times, the result is that people have much more free time to spend brushing up on their other skills or completing extra work.
Though you might consider this increase in productivity to be minimal, over an entire year (or even just a term) it can save hundreds of hours of unnecessary labor and stress, which is obviously a good thing for all involved.
5 – It Has Brought People With Similar Interests Together
Social media is a truly wonderful thing, and this is why millions (if not, billions) of people now have pages on many different networks, allowing them to make contacts all over the world who have the same interests. This can be very useful when you’re involved in the education system, as it means you should have no trouble finding someone out there who can help you out whenever you get stuck. Also, locating people with similar outlooks can be very rewarding, as many individuals find it difficult to fit in with mainstream society due to their alternative beliefs or thought patterns – but no-one is ever alone. There are others out there; you’ve just got to find them.
Facebook is currently the most popular platform, and though it was originally designed for communication between people who already know each other, over time it has grown and transformed into the networking phenomenon we see today. No matter how obscure your interests may be, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll find similar people online – thanks internet!
Subjects like nuclear physics are far too complicated for most people to understand, and so those who study it rarely get the opportunity to discuss anything about their day with their friends. Yet again, this shows just how essential social media has become.
6 – It’s Allowed People To Create Software And Distribute It For Free
The days when we all had Microsoft Office and the Encyclopedia Britannica installed on our computers are long gone – thank god! If nothing else, these programs we far too costly for the application they were designed for, and so it should be obvious why so many open source solutions have become available since the internet really took off. Nowadays it’s much more common for people in education to use OpenOffice or even Google Docs to complete their work – both and free, and both are much better than the paid alternatives.
You might say that free software puts established develops out of business, but it really is their own fault. If Microsoft would have charged only around £50 for their product, we’d probably all still have it. However, if they’re going to get greedy, the online world is going to start fighting back.
Anyway, that’s about all I can manage today, I’m actually heading down to London over the weekend for a meeting at Imperial College. Who knows; you might see me there.
Have a great weekend!