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Distance Learning - Essay Example

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The distant learning has emerged as major platform of education for people for whom classroom attendance is not possible. USDLA has defined…
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Distance Learning
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Technology has redefined communication and significantly impacted all aspects of human interaction across the globe, including education. The distantlearning has emerged as major platform of education for people for whom classroom attendance is not possible. USDLA has defined it as acquisition of knowledge and skills, including technology and other forms of learning through mediated instructions and information at a distance. In other words, people are not constrained by particular location or school to gain education. Distance learning provides the individuals with opportunities to pursue his/her education from a distance. Technology, especially computer and internet has significantly contributed in popularizing it.
Distance learning has many advantages and disadvantages. The main benefit is that it enables learners to advance their knowledge without personally going to schools and other educational institutions. The internet has facilitated access to huge plethora of learning material. At the same time, various aspects of technology vis-à-vis video conferencing, virtual classroom etc. have made it hugely interactive thereby, delineating the need for physical attendance. Most importantly, it provides the working population or the dropouts to continue their education or higher education, as the case maybe, at their own pace and from any place across the globe. It has become a new approach or tool to widen one’s sphere of knowledge. It has also provided the academia to expand their interests across larger geographical area and make it easy for people to acquire education and skills to enhance their personal and professional scope.
The key disadvantage is that learner is not able to interact personally with the teachers. For K-12 students, it might also have negative repercussions on their social skills and also adversely impact their health. Apart from that, it can also have large dropout rates as students would not be bound by any disciplinary actions to continue with their online lessons. Moreover, curriculum alignment, accreditation of teachers of course and appropriate supervision or meeting the needs of students with special needs would also be difficult to apply.
Distant learning is good for those who are self motivated and have access to online resources and powerful interactive tools. Hence, I would need to be prepared to follow disciplined way of working online for enhancing my educational needs. I would opt for courses which offer high interaction and have efficient feedback system. I would stay away from distant learning if I cannot give enough time to complete online assignment or if the online infrastructure like computer, internet is not available to me.
Distant learning has become hugely popular in the arena of higher education. Working people have been pursuing higher academic qualifications like MBA from academic institutions, which offer online education, from across the globe. Recently efforts are being made to provide online K-12 education to students of under privileged segment who are not able to have classroom lectures. Most importantly, government is trying to reach the students with special needs through distant education. Opera is a web browser that is designed to respond to physical and sensory disabilities. It can be freely downloaded and can be used by everyone.
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