Advantages and Disadvantages

 

In defense of distance education the article "The Web the Millennium, and the Digital Evolution of Distance Education" says that "schools from the industrial revolution are modeled after factories." (The Web pg. 2) By this it means that administrators were like the boss of the factory. The successful boss would "build more buildings, bring in more students, hire more teachers, administrators, and staff to manage the process of education." (The Web pg. 2) The more I thought about the model presented the more it seemed logical to me. It is true that people who have the money to, flock to the best schools in their local area, and those schools get more money from more taxes or from a student from outside the district who has to pay for the education. With more money they get better teachers more supplies and they get bigger just like a corporation. The sad thing about this is that our education system has been running virtually the same way for so long now and only minimal changes have occurred. We are no longer We are no longer working in factories. The days where one single type of student being produced to conform to impersonal international standards are over. We need to realize that people have different learning styles, different areas/subjects of weakness, and different subjects in which they excel.

This is where another one of distance education\rquote s advantages over traditional education applies. Colleges and Universities adopting distance education programs are doing things like: "Reviewing present faculty make-up, educational philosophy, and orientation; Re-training existing or hiring new faculty; Evaluating what constitutes good methods of knowledge transfer in this Digital Age; Focusing on providing faculty with the necessary resources and support to build and maintain the electronic campus; and Investing in the electronic campus digital library" (The Web pg. 3)

This is not exactly what is needed to t ake care of the above problem, but it is a step in the right direction. If we want to modernize education we have to utilize the resources we have. Right now one of our most abundant resources is computers, hence distance education. I said before that I a m referring to higher education when I talk about DE. I also stressed that we need people to complete our experience of learning. I do think however that we should introduce early on in a child's education the concept of DE and perhaps present a small unit on it in every year or so in the curriculum. I say this because education is moving in a direction, and that direction is technology. In the future we could rely totally on computers to bring us the information we need to learn in order to keep up with in ternational competition. Therefor it is important to integrate computers into our elementary middle and high school curriculums but not let them be taken over by computers.

There are more technological advances being produced as we speak. "The Internet wit h its increasing capacity to transmit synchronous and asynchronous audio, video, text, and graphics, presents educators with tremendous opportunities for distance education." (Interactivity pg. 5) If used correctly and to their capacity we could make the distance learning programs on the Internet superior to anything on the Internet today. As many articles seem to say, DE is good but it is "predominantly electronic correspondence courses." (Interactivity pg. 1) They seem to lack the interactivity between the student and the teacher. The only problem is at this point these new advances aren't being used to their capacity. There are primarily cosmetic differences being made which do not exactly help with interactivity. People aren't complaining though, DE is fast and convenient. They will take the increased interactivity with open arms when it arrives but, for now they are doing just fine with it.

In conclusion distance education has been around for a long time, previous to present day was handled by a host of methods. These methods include mail, satellite television, audio and video recording, letters etc. Although these methods too seem fairly new in a technological sense, the point is we can now do it all over the Internet. Which is why cyberspace makes distance education a practical affordable choice.

This is a web site on learning motorcycle repair through a distance education program, just to show an example of how large the field is getting. http://www.icslearn.com/ICS/51.htm

 

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Hirumi, Atsusi and Andrea Bermudez. “Interactivity, Distance Education and Instructional Systems” Journal Of Research On Computing In Education. Fall, 1996 Vol.29 Issue 1. 11/3/99. <http://ehostvgw14. epnet.com/ehost1.asp?key=204.179.122.141_8000_-62862749 &return=n&site=ehost&user=s3916018& password=p0212816>

Leonard, David C. “The Web the Millenium, and the Digital Evolution of Distance Education.” Technical Communication Quarterly. Winter 1999, Vol. 8 Issue 1, pg. 9. 11/3/99. http://ehostvgw14.epnet.com/ ehost1.asp?key=204.179.122.141_8000_-62862749 &return =n&site=ehost&user =s3916018& password =p0212816