Many industries, including education, are moving online as technology advances and the world becomes more globalized.
Online education refers to the teaching of a class entirely or in part via the internet and online learning management systems. Students can participate in classes and interact with peers from any location because there are no physical boundaries.
A tutor or mentor can reach all the students more effectively with online education, allowing them to teach them relevant skills more efficiently. Internet-based education is also accessible to students who can’t attend traditional regular classes.
Online education could mean creating online courses in Perth that residents can connect to, or it could involve providing access to entire learning institution courses to people all over the world.
The rise of online education has been meteoric and the online education industry in Australia has become an $8 billion empire employing over 16,000 people across almost 2000 different education providers.
So what are the reasons behind this rapid rise in online education adoption in Australia and around the world?
The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Accelerated Online Education
Ever since COVID created massive disruptions around the world at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, there has been a massive shift toward delivering education through online platforms and courses.
However, while the pandemic certainly accelerated online education, this was a rising field before the virus ever became common knowledge. Prior to COVID-19, ed-tech investments had reached US$18.66 billion in 2019 and the overall market for online education is projected to reach $350 billion by 2025.
Prior to the pandemic, online learning was gaining popularity. Distance learning was already offered at most universities but grew significantly during COVID. Now students have had a taste, almost 70 per cent want to continue their education online, at least partially.
The Educators Have Become Educated
The technology was already there for online education to exist prior to COVID, but many educators were unsure or unclear on how to deliver online courses.
However, when it became essential to provide learning through online platforms, they were forced to upskill. More than 80 per cent of teachers agreed that their ability to use technology improved and that this led to them being better, more innovative educators. As a result of using EdTech, they have become more tech-savvy, and many continue to use the new tools when their buildings reopen.
Moving forward, it will be the educators’ role to help students meet the technological demands of distance learning, as well as to advocate for expanding online learning opportunities to reach a larger group of students.
Technology Is Making Education More Accessible
With the help of various digital tools and technologies, online education has never been easier. For example, Zoom and Microsoft Teams can be used to deliver online lectures, tutorials, and other educational remote contact sessions.
Students can access course-required software at home with virtualization, home-use licensing, and the cloud.
There are fewer barriers to education with online learning. It is possible to attend classes and complete assignments without having to relocate in order to obtain the degree you want from the school of your choice.
Individuals who would otherwise avoid higher education, such as parents and people with jobs in other regions, are now able to pursue it. Moreover, it makes education more accessible for those with health conditions or physical disabilities who may have difficulty reaching and navigating campus.
Students No Longer Have To Move To Access Quality Educators
Higher education used to involve going to school in person if you wanted to pursue it.
With online learning, learners can now earn almost any kind of university or college degree, both undergraduate and graduate, without having to relocate to attend the campus in person. Learning online allows you to work at your own pace, complete coursework, and get your degree from home
It also means that you can have immediate access to the best educators in their field, no matter what their geographical location is.
With online learning, you can learn from the convenience of your own home with highly-qualified instructors. There is no extra cost for students to move, travel and commute. They just need to find the right online school that offers online learning with the right educators, and they’ll be set.
Online Education Provides Greater Collaboration Opportunities
Education has been profoundly changed by technology. Among other things, technology has made education more accessible to more people. Communications and collaboration opportunities have also increased.
For the most part, classrooms have been relatively isolated, and students have collaborated with other students in the same building or classroom. We can now communicate and collaborate in ways previously unimaginable.
Wikis and Google Docs can be used by students to collaborate on group projects. As technology enables new means of learning, collaborating, and communicating, classroom walls are no longer barriers.
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