- 2012elections - 9/11 Special Coverage - aca - africanamericanalzheimers - aids - Alabama News Network - american - Awards & Expo - bees - bilingual - border - californiaeducation - Caribbean - cir - citizenship - climatechange - collgeinmiami - community - democrats - ecotourism - Elders - Election 2012 - elections2012 - escuelas - Ethnic Media in the News - Ethnicities - Events - Eye on Egypt - Fellowships - food - Foreclosures - Growing Up Poor in the Bay Area - Health Care Reform - healthyhungerfreekids - howtodie - humiliating - immigrants - Inside the Shadow Economy - kimjongun - Latin America - Law & Justice - Living - Media - memphismediaroundtable - Multimedia - NAM en Espaol - Politics & Governance - Religion - Richmond Pulse - Science & Technology - Sports - The Movement to Expand Health Care Access - Video - Voter Suppression - War & Conflict - 攔截盤查政策 - Top Stories - Immigration - Health - Economy - Education - Environment - Ethnic Media Headlines - International Affairs - NAM en Español - Occupy Protests - Youth Culture - Collaborative Reporting

Online Learning: Education's Great Equalizer?

Black America Web.com, News Report , Jackie Jones Posted: Aug 12, 2009

In a down economy, it is tempting for people to go back to school to get a college degree, attend graduate school or get certification of some kind as a hedge against layoffs or to take the first step toward a new career.

But its important that you do a little homework before you enroll.

Education experts say you need to know what it is you hope to accomplish and that you have a realistic plan. Going back to school because "you think you should" is not a reason.

Once youve identified your purpose, decide whether you want a traditional bricks-and-mortar experience, where you attend classes on a campus or in an office building. Millions of time-restrained parents, multi-tasking professionals laid-off workers are finding that online learning, which provides a lot of flexibility with scheduling and accessibility to classes, better suits their needs.

Why go wired?

An immediate benefit to online learning is that you can weigh in from anywhere you can set up a laptop or PDA, anytime you want. Further, it provides a broader selection of courses from around the country. More than 75 percent of the nations colleges and universities offer online programs.

Course material is always available, 24-7; you can tailor the program based on the way you absorb information, and online classes allow everyone to participate, not just the most talkative.

You can communicate with faculty via e-mail and instant messaging. Some students say they have more interaction with instructors because of the Internet than in a traditional classroom setting.

It also makes it easier to meet for group projects by setting up discussion groups or chat rooms online. You also may find a study-buddy online, which helps when youre trying to get reacclimated to school.

In addition, online instructors tend to have real-world experience, so they dont just discuss academic theory. They can show you how the lessons apply to the work-a-day world.

Because youll be using the Internet to attend class, talk to classmates and conduct research, youre automatically using the technological skills that are valued in the workplace.

For older students, going back to school with classmates who are significantly younger can really be uncomfortable. The anonymity of taking classes online eliminates the discomfort, the bias created by race, gender, age, where you sit, how you look or any number of things that might keep you from being evaluated solely on performance.

In other words, it levels the playing field.

The only things that still work like traditional school are homework and deadlines. You still have to submit online assignments at the time designated by the teacher. So time management is critical.

Just as with a traditional program, you cant just fit studying in where you can especially if youre continuing to work while attending classes. Its all right for a 20-year-old with no additional responsibilities to pull an all-nighter before a big test. That may not work for you.

And while online learning offers you a wide variety of choices, it can also be overwhelming. EarnMyDegree.com suggests that you plan for online learning with a plan to help you narrow your focus.

Figure out what you want to study, select a few links to get started, and narrow the selection to five programs that address the time frame youre willing to invest, provide the exact curriculum you want and are in your price range.

Then go wild.

Related Articles:

Special Report: A School Without Windows

Should Highly Educated Black Men Accept Special Treatment?

The College Dream Deferred

Page 1 of 1




Just Posted

NAM Coverage

Civil Liberties

Why There Are Words

Aug 10, 2011