Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

Op-Ed: The future of cyber-learning

By Alexander Baron     Dec 11, 2013 in Lifestyle
If you would like to study for a degree but can't find the time or the fees, and don't want to be burdened with a student loan, there is an alternative.
If you still haven't heard of MOOCs, it's time you did. The British authorities made a big fanfare about these in September, but they have actually been around for sometime. What if you want to go one better than a MOOC and take a regular course? There is some good news for you here too, because many regular institutions of higher learning are online colleges that offer laptops.
Research by the American-based Sloan Consortium has shown a mushrooming number of students taking on-line courses. That is one prediction even Sylvia Browne could have made, but a more than tenfold increase in as many years has led of necessity to their rethinking how they keep cater for them.
Many are offering heavy discounts on laptops and related necessities - yes, a laptop is now a necessity for many students and will be increasingly so. If you are considering enrolling, you might also check out the My College Laptop Facebook page.
If programmes of this nature are mainly US-oriented, they won't be for long; on-line learning is not only here to stay, it is a global phenomenon, even for those who are not interested in learning either formally or less formally through a MOOC. At one time in order to do serious research you needed access to a major archive like the British Library, the Library Of Congress or at the very least a major university library. Now all that is on your desktop and more. Back in the 1990s, the British Library was adding around 5 shelf miles of material every year. Today, one website - the Internet Archive - is currently boasting 368,000,000,000 pages. Even allowing for duplication, this is staggering. Combine this with the ad hoc University of YouTube, and all the other archives on your desktop - and there is now no excuse for ignorance. If only!
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about online colleges, MOOCs, sloan consortium, Internet Archive
More news from