The rise of the Internet has created a tremendous impact on the world, connecting people in ways more than one. It goes without saying that the internet has made the accessibility to all genre of resources much more efficient, including the access to education via numerous online education platforms.
What exactly are ‘online education platforms’?
It is exactly as the name says. A mode providing of education, but online. Consider it as a school, but on the internet. (However, there is a huge difference between the two!) Each course on any platform has its own method of imparting education, whether it be via –
- Textual format
- Games (a worthwhile example of this is CodinGame, for programming)
– or even a combination of all of them. Tutors may or may not be assigned to each person partaking an educational course. Of course, this depends on the platform providing the said education. These platforms are changing the way people pursue education. There are many varieties of such platforms present, each with their own admirable and useful qualities.
Some popular platforms are:
– and many more.
How are these platforms useful?
Anyone can learn.
Yes, anyone. Whether you are a Bank Credit Clerk willing to learn Programming or a Software Engineer with an interest in Bioinformatics or even a curious school kid with a home computer, you are eligible to pursue an education in whichever field you are interested in. Of course, some prerequisite knowledge (primarily mentioned in course details) may be required for beginning the learning journey, but usually, that is not a daunting challenge and there is no need to worry. In fact, those prerequisites may be covered by another course that may be available in the same education platform.
Coming back to the topic at hand, yes. Anyone can learn. No matter the age, profession, or the status in society.
Earlier this year, a railway coolie in Ernakulam used the railway Wi-Fi (set up by Google and Indian Railways) to clear the KPSC (Kerala Public Service Commission) exam by studying online. Inspiration at its finest.
Monetary costs are minimal.
Aside from paying for an internet connection, the costs for studying on these education platforms is minimal. Majority of these platforms provide the service for free.
However, there are certain courses online, such as specialization courses (to master a specific career skill), online degrees (from top-tier institutions) which require the user to pay a certain amount to receive a certificate, to highlight the knowledge and skills gained by stating that they have successfully completed the said course. The price ranges vary, depending upon several factors –
- Complexity of the course
- Platform providing the concerned course
- Instructors teaching the course
– and many more. A person can sometimes undertake this course for free, and it is only the certificate that requires payment. Generally, these prices are made much affordable to the general community to garner a much wider consumer base.
Absence of time constraints.
An individual can learn at any time of the day (whether it be day or night), unlike traditional offline sources of education, such as school or college. Courses or tutorials may be perused through at one’s preferred time, and also at length.
For example, a learner who may have traveled from one location to another, each of which has distinct time zones, will not have to conform to the timing of the learning done at the previous location, nor does he or she have to get back to it within a stipulated time.
Available in numerous languages.
Online education platforms now provide their source material of learning in a wide variety of languages from all over the world. A person may learn in any language that they prefer (usually the one they are most comfortable with)and the one that the source material is present in. Majority of the online material present on the internet is present in English, but the same material may also be found in other languages.
For example, Coursera, a popular online education platform provides for a diverse global audience, presenting their mode of learning in over thirty different languages.
Aid in Career Change and Resume Boost.
Online education platforms provide a plethora of Specialization Courses, each course containing a series of rigorous courses. These Specializations also allow the user to gain hands-on experience as they are assigned projects based on real business challenges.
The certificate(s) obtained helps to improve your resume (and your potential to employers) and may also help in a change of career, particularly from one industry to contrasting one. There are many recruiters who approve of certifications, particularly from popular platforms such as edX, Udemy, Coursera, as the instructors teaching there are from world-renowned and reputed universities.
The range of topics available.
Online education platforms eliminate geographical and monetary constraints of obtaining education on a wide range of topics that may not be available to the user via offline learning platforms. These topics range from Architecture to Social Sciences, with many other topics in between.
It is enjoyable!
One of the main reasons why people dislike (and come to resent) learning is because of the presence of grades and the stress it causes them. Online education platforms remove the stress of grades and the user is filled with an absolute sense of free will with regard to these education platforms. He or she can decide whether or not they wish to pursue the course of study, and whether or not they want to complete it. If they find the course of study to be unsatisfactory, they can easily switch to another education platform providing a method of learning on the same topic, whenever they please.
Education is a birthright for all individuals regardless of colour, gender, or race, and online education platforms only serve to propagate this style of thinking. It has significantly helped make education more accessible, especially to the vestigial group of people left in the world who have not had proper access to education before. Online education platforms may have their shortcomings, but it is completely self-evident that they are helping make the world a better place by fulfilling the global dream of “education for all”.