How To Find An Online Education That Suits You

Online education has been lighting up every education news service since the Internet was created. Some believe it can work in addition to traditional schools/colleges, and others think it could actually replace traditional schools.

However you feel toward it, there is now an easier way to search for online schools. You don’t have to type “online college” into Google to find all the schools in your area or even wait for “empowering” radio commercials.

The US News & World Report launched an online education directory where students can easily find appropriate programs. Visit this site for the directory and other online education information.

There, you can enter in your degree level, school name or program, and the system will automatically find online schools that match your criteria.

Online education has been growing at a rapid pace, and nearly 30 percent of American college students already take at least one course online, according to the US News & World Report. It also stated that online education will continue to affect colleges and universities for years to come. However, online education is still in its infancy, and it will have to be regulated and governed by accreditation standards to really impact education.

"A disruptive innovation always starts out at a lower quality," Louis Soares, director of postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress, told the US News & World Report. "[But], if you take that for-profit energy out of higher education, online [education] wouldn't have grown the way it has in the last 10 years." 

Some educators have used the Internet to further commercialize education, offering free classes through YouTube or other online services. Stanford recently announced that it would offer a free artificial intelligence class online. Many of these online courses are not regulated or accredited, meaning students will not actually earn a degree for enrolling in them. But, they can still be valuable educational programs.

Other than Stanford, the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and the University of Southern California are considered early adopters of online education. Many other schools are now starting to follow these schools and implement similar programs, mainly because these two schools are considered elite colleges.

Other experts believe that online classes will start to replace large, entry-level courses fairly soon. They state that one professor standing up in giant lecture hall with over 400 students is inefficient. Students get very little personalized learning in these classes, making them easy to transition into online classes.

However, there is no standard way of training professors to teach online courses, and these classes can have a very different dynamic than traditional lectures. Experts believe this could slow down the online implementation process.