Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Brief History of Online Education

The internet has given us many gifts throughout the years – from music and video game codes to not so G-rated material. Therefore, it is no surprise that e-learning has made such a big splash in the web world. Within the past ten years, online computer training and internet training has provided many people with a new incentive to learn.

During the early 80’s, e-training was just starting to become a potential creation. Companies and educational institutes were strictly hiring instructors to train their students. This was because computers were only beginning to grow, therefore making it difficult to come up with any other plan. Not one single online computer training class was avaliable in any format. These instructors were great at the time because it allowed training to be very hands on, especially since students were able to interact with their classmates and visually see the lessons. However, the problem with having just instructors was that there was a lot of blank time in between. Students were not being able to learn the material on their own time, thus difficulty set in when training with hoards of other people.

Luckily, as the computer industry started to expand, e-training was becoming a reality. For the next ten years, multimedia was at everyone’s fingertips. Companies were just starting to use PowerPoint; a program that allowed people to create visually enhanced presentations. Video games and other multimedia programs were also popping up, thus resulting in a technology overhaul. As these advances continued, online education was only a step away.

The first type of online education was in the mid 1990’s. This was when the internet was a great success, and multimedia was being taken to another level. The first few e-training companies dedicated their services to mainly businesses who did not want to hire trainers. Although the online education courses were great for new employees who needed training, it was only the beginning of an uphill process. Education online was very slow, as pictures were small and the entire course was text based. Nevertheless, it was beginning to catch the eye of many.

As the 1990’s quickly ended, the millennium marked an entirely new period for technology. E-learning was finally on the map as online education courses were now very popular at colleges and businesses. Great streaming media, online training videos, and fast web site servers made it possible for online education to make quite a splash. Students were also now able to learn from their homes during their own time, since working a job and going to school was quite a difficult task.

Today, online education has come a long way. Instructors are now being hired to solely teach online, which usually consists of being filmed for lesson videos. Companies are also hiring these online education programs, since a training session can not only be quick, but also be accessed at any time of the day or night. For many, it is a great opportunity because it gives us all more knowledge. We not only are able to get college degrees through this type of e-learning, but we also can have a life, without having to stay at the office overnight just to learn some material.