Friday, 22 August 2014

Online Educators Act As Mentors, Not Lecturers


Online education has become one of the most popular and preferred modes of learning in the last few years. Numerous aspiring learners are now going online to acquire higher education as well as secondary education qualifications. With growing demand for web-based learning, many reputed universities and institutions are now offering their programmes online to expand the reach of education. But can our students benefit from learning over the Internet? Let’s find out.... 

Making Education Better
Being an educationist, I have seen a number of schools, both public and private, modify their operations with the help of online academic tools. Although I am not an expert on online education, but I do believe that all children should have the opportunity to study and learn. I don’t think that online learning is some magical solution to current academic challenges; however it is an important tool which can enable educators to teach students better. 

Helping Non-Traditional Students Learn
It is only with the help of education we can reach and educate those students who are incapable of pursuing education in a classroom environment. For instance, those children who cannot attend school for medical reasons can be successfully taught through online learning programmes. Moreover, various other types of individuals, like teenage mothers or working professionals, can earn high school and college degrees and also focus on their personal and/or professional commitments while studying with the help of online education.
Furthermore, online learning has made it easier for aspiring athletes to dedicate adequate time in training and yet manage time to pursue their education. I have known students who are pursuing higher education online while they are training for the Olympics. 

Offering Higher Flexibility

I can assure you that traditional education can never match the level of flexibility and convenience offered by online learning. You can earn a high school degree or diploma from a brick-and-mortar school while working or being a mother. With the help of educational technology and online learning, students in different parts of the globe can access high quality education irrespective of their financial backgrounds, location and previous qualification. 

Online education can undoubtedly help various people achieve their academic goals in an affordable way. However it is essential that online programmes offer high quality education and excellent learning experience to enable our students build their careers successfully. 

Is There A Need For Concern?
But I believe that when our teachers are taken out of the scenario, we need to start getting concerned about the effects of online learning. Teachers are an essential part of the learning experience and there will always be a need for educators to guide and mentor our learners. 

However, I don’t think this necessitates face to face instruction. It can also be effectively done online via video chats, live chats, email, social media and other forms of digital communication. As a result of this, the role of the teacher changes drastically from purveyor and administrator of knowledge to coach and mentor for students. The focus is now to guide the learners to accomplish their goals, instead of just giving lectures 

Turning Teachers Into Mentors
Online educators constantly stay in communication with their students and regularly keep track of their progress. Online educators can check exactly what the students are learning and how they are learning. Moreover, they can easily identify weak students who have fallen behind and help them progress. A traditional teacher will not be able to access such information in a classroom setting. 

As technology develops and the reach of education expands, I believe that more and more schools will implement online learning tools in their classroom by using blended learning techniques. Moreover increasing number of students will also opt for learning online instead of going to a traditional classroom to earn a degree. 

What do you think about online education? Can it help our students learn more effectively? Share your thoughts and ideas with me by commenting below. I would love to hear from you.

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