Higher education has often been limited to the elite. The cost was prohibitive, and access was difficult. This meant that only certain people were able to attend college or university. The Internet has changed everything. Once, money or connections were necessary for anyone who wished to better themselves through learning. There are only a few times in life when most people can move away from everything they know to pursue a degree. Online universities have made this not only unnecessary but possibly obsolete in just a few short years.
Today, online courses are the norm. Although they faced a certain amount of stigma in the past, that is fading along with many other suspicions and doubts when it comes to the online world. Most Ph.D. students today are at least partly remote. Over the years, taking a few classes through online systems like Moodle has changed into many universities existing entirely in an online environment. Those from impoverished areas who have access to the internet are now able to find a college or university that fits their needs and their income bracket, making it possible to earn a degree. Higher education was once a barrier to success for many people because they didn’t have the resources to access it. Now, almost everyone can earn a degree because of online learning.
Breaking Down Barriers
This has broken down many barriers and offered access to higher education on an unprecedented level. No matter your color, creed, or national origin, you can earn a degree online. This also helps those who might have once been unable to find the time to study or have the ability to move to attend college. Working mothers or those who are coming to higher education in later life will find that online college courses fit their busy lifestyles much better than traditional classes. The traditional idea of moving away to attend college may soon be a thing of the past entirely as more and more people choose to learn completely online.
Online universities not only enroll students from all over the United States, they also employ professors from across the globe. Classes are taught entirely at a distance, through video conferencing and other applications. Assignments are made through a variety of different online systems like Moodle, and as technology outpaces us, it’s becoming easier and easier for professors and teachers to work from their homes while teaching students thousands of miles away. This is a benefit for both the students and the universities because it means they can access great teachers from a distance. Professors often need to pack up and move every semester to stay employed, in these days without much possibility of tenure, but that’s not necessary if they work online. Therefore, everyone involved has the best possible chance of success now that distance is no longer an issue for students, professors, or the universities themselves.
The Internet is a modern library of Alexandria, where it’s possible to learn from the best minds all over the world. For the first time, we have unfettered access to people who would once have been impossible to reach. Celebrities, academics, writers, all the great minds of our age are an email or a tweet away, for better or worse. Universities at the highest levels offer online learning for those interested; even Harvard has online lessons that anyone can take. If the walls surrounding the ivory towers of education are coming down, then the Internet has been the great equalizer of our time in more ways than one.