The pandemic has forced many schools, colleges and universities to move to online teaching. This has thrown up a whole host of challenges for teachers and students alike. Whether you’re a full-time school student, part-time learner or are looking for something new to fill your day, learning online can be hugely beneficial. Below are a few positives of studying online.
Many institutions are offering discounted, or even free, online courses. Not only does this make the content more accessible for potential students, but it also means that a whole host of lessons and lectures can become available to you, that you may not have had access to before. Further costs can be saved if you’re studying from your home, on commuting, accommodation and even food. Daily coffees and lunches out are great treats, but those small daily costs can quickly add up. Costs of gas and public transport can also accumulate to cost a small fortune, depending on how far you need to travel. Furthermore, some courses may even make textbooks available to you for free online, for a discount, or may recommend the best websites for research and free resources.
On a local and global scale, the internet allows us access to many more places than we could physically reach. With online learning, courses all over the world are opening their applications to students in different countries. This again lets you gain education and knowledge that may not be available in your immediate area. Not only this, but you can connect with other students and classmates from different countries and cultures, and even make some lasting friendships. Furthermore, studying away from a school building can help you feel more relaxed in your environment, and there may be fewer distractions. This improves focus and self-discipline, which are valuable skills in the job market.
More access to resources
It’s no secret that the internet is huge. There are over 5 billion pages, and this is increasing every day. Nowadays, we have so much information at our fingertips, whether that’s literature, movies, reports or seminars. By studying online, there are endless options as to what to pick. In a school or university setting, education and content options may be limited to staff expertise, budget or location. With the internet, almost everything is available to everyone, regardless of these factors. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to know about, but haven’t been able to access before, now is a great time to do some research and see if there are any online courses, lectures or communities that share the same interest.
Cut out the commute
As well as saving you money, staying home can also help save the planet. In cities across the world, CO2 emissions decreased dramatically as people started staying home. Emission in San Francisco alone dropped by 25% in the weeks after their shelter in place order. This has a huge positive impact on the environment, as greenhouse gases trap solar energy closer to the Earth, resulting in global warming and the greenhouse gas effect. The long-term environmental effects of the pandemic remain to be seen, but a decrease in road traffic has definitely helped.
Have you ever been stuck in a classroom or lecture theatre, knowing you’ve made the wrong choice of subject? After enrollment, it’s often hard and complicated, not to mention costly, to switch courses. It’s important to studying something worthwhile that you enjoy, especially if you are committing to it for a long time. With so many options available, learning online allows you to pick and choose your courses, easily switching topics to find something that’s right for you. Even if you already have a degree in one field, you can study online to boost your current knowledge or change industry with courses like these accelerated BSN programs in Texas, which you can check online and, in some cases, complete in less than a year.
Studying online allows you to schedule your day, building up your time management skills. This can be very tricky at first, but once you get into a routine, your day will seem more structured and in turn, more productive. The flexibility of online classes is a huge benefit. Depending on your course or institution, you can access content whenever you need, schedule your lectures and meetings, and work at your own pace. This is particularly helpful, as the atmosphere of in-person learning can sometimes become competitive and overwhelming. It’s important to remember that everyone learns best in different ways, so whilst some may thrive in the loud, debating lecture hall, others enjoy the quiet, focused approach of an online seminar. Courses don’t have to be full 4-year degrees either. There are plenty of short study options to try out, which is ideal if you’re not sure what you want to do. What’s more short courses look great on a resume, showing a broad knowledge of subjects, and an interest in learning new information.
Leading on from this, online learning can cater to many methods of learning. There are four primary learning styles:
- Auditory- learns best via listening to information and repeating it out loud
- Visual- learns best through visual stimuli like graphs, images, drawing and taking notes
- Kinaesthetic- learns best through physical activity, experiments, live examples and acting out scenarios
- Reading/Writing- learns best through the written word. There are a few similarities to visual learners, but these types of students absorb information through books, diaries, journals and research
Once you have identified what kind of learner you may be, or a combination of a few kinds, you can find courses that use methods that you will benefit from. Do you enjoy researching topics on the internet, using dictionaries and academic journals? Or would you rather watch a documentary or video on your subject? Look closely at course content and methodology to find what works best for you!
These are just a few positives that you may come across whilst studying online. The pandemic has forced us all to adapt and change the way we work and live. It’s definitely not easy, but it is beneficial to try and see the bright side of things whilst we get to grips with them.
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