Education is the greatest wealth one could ever have. But because of economic crisis, education has become more of a privilege than a right. There are also cases that one becomes part of the privileged, but chose to waste the opportunity of free education.
But we cannot judge those who did not finish college or university because some famous people did not manage to. From technology tycoons like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, Michael Dell to Hollywood’s’ biggest stars like Steven Spielberg, Rachel Ray, and Halle Berry to a USA president Andrew Jackson. But they did not stop learning. They improved themselves and worked really hard to be where they are right now.
Learning is not contained on the four walls of the classroom. With the advent of technology now, distance or online education is starting emerge. I talked to my good friend Dan Macnish and he is very much willing to share with you his experience with online education. He took an artificial intelligence course in Udacity.com, which is an expansion from Stanford University that aims to “democratize education” by conducting accessible and high-quality lessons to high school and college students and even professionals. He also recommends Coursera.org which provides over 300 courses so that the “world can learn without limits.”
Here are the five benefits you can gain through online education based from Dan’s experience:
- Online Exams and Grades- Learning online is just like in classroom setting. There are also exams to evaluate how you have learned. You will be also given grades so there is no excuse not to be serious in studying.
- Collaborative Learning- Since it was online, connecting with other students is easy. You can just send an email or chat your virtual classmates during group studies or video conferences. They have forums where you can interact with other online students. You are free to express what’s on your mind and ask questions. Unlike in classrooms that you get shy because it is a formal lecture.
- No Pressure in Using Learning Materials- Unlike in universities which a librarian would scold you if you listen to music fro motivation, online learning aids are at the tips of your hand. You can just pause a video tutorial if you need to do something or you miss a part that you did not understand.
- Hundreds of Courses to Choose from- Udacity.com about a year ago focused on computer programming, engineering and robotics. Courses range from learning the guitar, Chinese and art history, philosophy, engineering, risk management and whatever you could think of.
- Free- This is the greatest assistance online education can give. You just need an internet access and a decent computer; then you are now ready to achieve your dream.
As what Steve Jobs said, “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” No matter what level you of education you have achieved, never forget, education is a life long process.