Distance Learning – Education for the 21st Century

Chances are you know someone who is working toward a college or post-college degree via the Internet. Perhaps you yourself have attended online classes to continue your education, obtain a certification, or to improve you chances for advancement in your job.

More and more people are finding they can earn their degree from an accredited online university which offers the same challenge and quality of a traditional classroom in an environment which allows them to fit education into a life that might be too busy for a more conventional method of instruction.

According to a recent government study, about 127,400 distance education courses were offered in 2001-02, and there were about 3.1 million enrollments in distance education. Over one-half of all postsecondary education institutions offered distance education, and another 12 percent planned to offer distance education in the next 3 years.

Distance education is defined as education or training courses delivered to a remote (off-campus) location via audio, video, or computer technologies. Courses conducted exclusively on campus, as well as classes conducted exclusively via written correspondence, are not included in this definition of distance.

It is increasingly clear that technology has expanded the ability of students to participate in postsecondary education. Virtually every type of learner can benefit from some form of online education. In addition to the rapid proliferation of new courses and programs, colleges and universities are taking advantage of the Internet to enhance the admissions process and give potential students the opportunity to apply online.

Online education enables you to learn without causing a major upheaval in your life. You can access online class rooms using any Internet connection, anytime and practically anywhere. This round-the-clock access allows you to download assignments, read and participate in class discussions, review faculty feedback, and much more, all at times which are convenient to your professional and personal schedule. Many students find that this added flexibility, which does not sacrifice quality, helps keep them on track toward their goals more readily than with the rigid scheduling of a traditional learning environment.

There is also evidence that a portion of those students who participate in postsecondary education in their homes or workplace would not otherwise enroll in postsecondary education. Thus, it appears that technology is opening up new markets of potential students without significantly diminishing the number of students who would enroll in traditional colleges and universities, many of which also are offering technology-mediated distance education.

Distance learners are also generally happy with their online learning experience. A large-scale national study of student participation in distance education addressed student satisfaction of distance education classes and, when asked how satisfied they were with their distance education classes compared to their regular classes, a majority of both undergraduate and graduate students were at least as satisfied or more satisfied with the quality of teaching in their distance education classes compared with their regular classes.

Perhaps it is time to focus attention on the more basic question of how students learn, regardless of the delivery …

Early Childhood Education Course for Teachers

Early childhood education is a concept that has been applied very effectively to children below the usual school age. It is based on the belief that children will learn through play, which is why the basics are integrated into play and taught to the children. The developer, Jean Piaget, believed those young children and even older ones learn more efficiently effectively through fun and play. Several activities are especially effective such as art, social games and dramatic play. These are supposed to awaken the interest and curiosity of the child and invoke the tendency for make believe and social thinking.

Teachers

Teachers who are educated and trained in early childhood education handle classes in preschool, which includes nursery and kindergarten classes. Children who attend these classes are usually around the ages of three to six years old. Parents are encouraged to be active teachers for their kids as well since they are considered to the first ones to teach while they are still at home. For the most part, some daycare centers recognize the need to integrate the basic lessons to the kids that they care for during the duration of their stay. Such is the importance of educational toys and an educational background for the caregiver. Teachers are taught, educated and trained to recognize the various ways and techniques that will capture the interest and curiosity of a child in order for him or her to want to learn more about the different toys and tools that are utilized. In many universities and schools, this course may reach up to the standard four year course for those teachers but in some, early childhood education may just take a couple of years to learn. Since this is a specialized course, administrators of schools that offer this to young children prefer their teachers to have a full educational background on preschool or elementary as well as have the requisite additional course.

The reality of it is that most of the toys and tools used for early childhood education can be common things that can be seen in the house or replicas of these. This actually encourages the kids to view things in the house in a different way as well as to make them familiar with these things and their uses in everyday life. Make believe and the use of their active imagination is highly encouraged in order for kids to be able to think out of the box and expand their minds and imaginations. Although there is no formal education for this course, some schools and daycare centers integrate formal lessons with play in order to give their children a leg up before they enter nursery or kindergarten. Parents are encouraged to make learning as much fun as they can without the pressure of formal teaching.

This is part of the background for early childhood education. It has become a trend for daycare centers and other places that take care of younger children to integrate basic lessons in their playtime …