In many schools across the country, taking online courses is no longer a choice. Educators from elementary school to higher education are recognizing the vast importance of introducing students to the benefits of digital learning materials as a way to prepare them for the tech-dependent professional world they’ll soon encounter. Although students may not always be able to make the decision to take these courses on their own, there are several noteworthy reasons why they might consider earning an undergraduate degree entirely online.
1. Education is Everywhere
Unlike a traditional classroom, online classes allow learning to occur virtually anywhere. Whether you juggle a career, family, participation in the community, or other obligations that take up a great deal of your time, you can make your education fit in with your schedule instead of the other way around. Through the use of devices like tablets and educational mobile apps, keeping in touch and squeezing in study sessions is always conveniently accessible.
2. Learning Takes on Different Forms
Are you a visual learner? Verbal learner? Audio learner? Or do you learn best through a combination of a few different techniques? No matter what your preference is for discovering new materials and concepts, online education allows you to tailor your learning experience according to the medium that resonates most for you personally. Many online programs utilize a variety of different materials, including physical and digital textbooks, videos, audio recorded lectures, PowerPoint presentations, interactive charts and more. This diverse collection of material facilitates a holistic education.
3. Online Education is Environmentally-Friendly
One of the less emphasized benefits of online education is that it’s the greener choice compared with attending a traditional institution. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for every 2,500 miles you drive, you release approximately one ton of carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere. Say you lived just ten miles from your college and attended classes there three to four times per week. This equals almost three tons of greenhouse gases released during the course of the four years. Multiply that by all of your classmates and you’ve got an environmental crisis!
4. Greater Access for Students with Disabilities
Although traditional college classrooms may have established special programs and classroom features that accommodate students with disabilities, online learning typically offers more resources and flexibility for these unique learners. Students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or have other visual complications can use online learning materials to achieve a better grasp of concepts that may have been difficult to understand through traditional classroom instruction.
Overall, online education grants heightened convenience to students who may have otherwise felt intimidated or excluded from achieving a higher degree because of the limitations of traditional institutions. By improving the ease and accessibility of learning and obtaining a degree, online courses and programs make education more appealing and feasible for students who are limited due to factors such as a career, family, and obligations that often consume a student’s time. When making your own decision about whether or not to choose online learning, be sure to keep the above four factors in mind.