The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Brain Cramp
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Staff Notice Board
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Bird Envy

The State Of Online Schools: More Heads Than Ever Are In The Cloud

The State of Online Schools: More Heads Than Ever Are in the Cloud

Online education is certainly nothing new to today’s students, though advancements in the field are making available programming more complex—and in many ways more compelling—than ever before. Internet-based university learning began decades ago as a way for older students to continue their education without disrupting their schedules. Schools like the University of Phoenix and Capella University gained fast popularity as ways for busy professionals to finish—or sometimes even start—college degree programs from home, and were mostly designed as online versions of the age old correspondence course. Things have changed substantially since then. Students at all levels and places in life are looking online for education, and academics are responding in record numbers. Many scholars predict that the future of education and learning is likely in the cloud. While the landscape is still shifting and there remain some pitfalls to the online classroom, there is little doubt that the demand and drive are there.

Even just five years ago, the online educational palette was limited. For-profit schools were exploding, which raised questions of accreditation and legitimacy for many. More and more brick-and-mortar schools were offering online “extension” courses, but most of these were put together by professors in their downtime, often without much assistance when it came to technological expertise or web building. Their formats were typically rigid, and most were designed more as an imitation of live courses than an independent instructional model.

In the early days of online courses, a widespread production model was to provide faculty members with release time and/or stipends in return for developing and delivering their own courses,” an Educause review of online learning said. “Often re-creating the lecture, the resulting courses frequently had an idiosyncratic structure and might—or might not—use good instructional design.”

One of the biggest changes has been the development of separate online “tracks,” in which course material is optimized specifically for the online platform with things like chat capabilities, web streaming, and real-time interaction built in. The cost differential has also seen profound change. Online schooling has almost always been less expensive than attending in person, which has long been a big part of its allure. Today, however, many of the top universities are actually offering world-class online learning experiences for free.

Harvard and MIT were among the first to offer free access to online courses through their integrative edX program. edX began as a means of bringing computer science and engineering education to the masses, but has expanded to include a range of courses in the math, science, and even some humanities sectors. Coursera, a similar program built out of Stanford University’s computer science department, promises the same—and in fall 2012 went live with free courses from at least a dozen schools around the country. Most are offered on an information-only basis, but a growing number are also offering certification or, in some cases, credit.

While perhaps not yet a revolutionary paradigm-shift, this is an important step in market diversification and outreach by our leading educational institutions,” Sean Decatur, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Oberlin College, wrote in The New York Times’ “Room for Debate” column. More students than ever before are able to access top-notch education through these free lectures and materials. Most academics applaud this sort of leveling, and many are looking for ways of bringing more students from around the world into the discussion.

The field is still very much developing, though, particularly where credit and certification are concerned. How to authenticate users and prevent cheating is one concern; how professors should handle massive amounts of grading is another. Some critics also wonder how increased online enrollments will affect traditional tuition-paying students—the bread and butter universities depend on to be able to fund these expansive online opportunities.

For better or worse, more students than ever before are looking online for at least some of their schooling. While there are undoubtedly still things that need to be improved, there is also a lot of good that has been done; with the right nurturing, this good could last well into the future.

By Brianna Meiers

Education blogger Brianna Meiers writes today about the sea changes happening in colleges and universities thanks to the Internet. Her insights complement prior posts about the changes the Internet has brought to our society, be it through taxation, telecommuting, or overall quality of life. Readers interested in learning more about the online educational opportunities mentioned here should check out some of Brianna’s other work, including a list of online schools broken down by subject.

Follow Us!

CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information. Most of the excellent CloudTweaks articles are provided by our own paid writers, with a small percentage provided by guest authors from around the globe, including CEOs, CIOs, Technology bloggers and Cloud enthusiasts. Our goal is to continue to build a growing community offering the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more...
Follow Us!

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Popular

Why Hybrid Cloud Delivers Better Business Agility

Why Hybrid Cloud Delivers Better Business Agility

Why Hybrid Cloud Delivers Better Business Agility A CIO friend of mine once told me that a hybrid cloud model enables him to “own the base, rent the spike” when it comes to unplanned events. Let’s face it – maintaining unused infrastructure for rare or random IT events is expensive and unnecessary in a cloud…

5 Considerations You Need To Review Before Investing In Data Analytics

5 Considerations You Need To Review Before Investing In Data Analytics

Review Before Investing In Data Analytics Big data, when handled properly, can lead to big change. Companies in a wide variety of industries are partnering with data analytics companies to increase operational efficiency and make evidence-based business decisions. From Kraft Foods using business intelligence (BI) to cut customer satisfaction analysis time in half, to a…

Cloud Infographic – The Future (IoT)

Cloud Infographic – The Future (IoT)

The Future (IoT) By the year 2020, it is being predicted that 40 to 80 billion connected devices will be in use. The Internet of Things or IoT will transform your business and home in many truly unbelievable ways. The types of products and services that we can expect to see in the next decade…

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences Many people have heard of cloud computing. There is however a tremendous number of people who still cannot differentiate between Public, Private & Hybrid cloud offerings.  Here is an excellent infographic provided by the group at iWeb which goes into greater detail on this subject. Infographic source: iWeb About…

Five Reasons SMBs Fear The Cloud

Five Reasons SMBs Fear The Cloud

Five Reasons SMBs Fear the Cloud Fear of the cloud has been around since the Cloud began. SMBs were traditionally afraid of security issues, while large companies fretted about increasing the complexity of their IT infrastructure. What many budding start-up companies don’t realise is Cloud Computing helps place them on a level playing field with…

Recent

Gartner: CEOs Realize The Cloud Is Where New Disruptive Industry Platforms Get Created

Gartner: CEOs Realize The Cloud Is Where New Disruptive Industry Platforms Get Created

Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey Survey Points to Positive Business Conditions and Accelerating Technology Innovation in 2015 STAMFORD, Conn., April 21, 2015 — Most CEOs expect positive business conditions and accelerating technology innovation in 2015, according to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. The 2015 Gartner CEO and senior business executive survey found…

The Importance Of Cloud Security For Wearable Technology

The Importance Of Cloud Security For Wearable Technology

Wearable Technology Starts With Cloud Security The integration of wearable technology into our society is all but inevitable. Today, major players in the wearable tech field include Google, Fitbit, Boston Scientific and Apple. As users continue to demand ever increasing availability and functionality from their devices, so do security concerns for wearable tech. The future…

Customer Success Guidelines – In A World Gone Cloud

Customer Success Guidelines – In A World Gone Cloud

Customer Success Guidelines for Maximum Upselling and Cross-Selling in a World Gone Cloud With the growth of the subscription economy, companies can no longer assume that a sale means that the deal is closed. Companies need to prove their worth every minute of every hour, every hour of every day and so on. A big…

Contact Us

Sending
cisco_logo_100x100 vmware citrix100
Site 24x7 200px-KPMG


Contributor Spotlight

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Branded Content Programs

Advertising