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1 YEAR "E-Learning Online Courses"

E-Learning : The Future of Education

If Bill Gates is excited about online education, you should be, too.

In a recent letter for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates focused on the power of the internet in improving and widening access to education. He states that the internet has changed so much of what we do—from buying airline tickets to voting in elections—and that it’s high time for the education sector to catch up in this dynamic field.

The scope for innovation is truly vast. The web contains the biggest store of information available to anyone in the world, and the internet is the widest-reaching and most democratic communication medium. A considerable amount of valuable information is already available, and universities in the US and Europe are using online tools to improve this content. Many universities are now posting video lectures, reading materials and other resources for free online. The range of materials covers everything from introductory videos and podcasts to advanced textbooks and detailed research—a true multimedia experience.

However, Gates says that it’s not enough just to have good content: it needs to be organised in a useful way and backed up with a solid teaching support network. It is difficult to test knowledge or prove capabilities without structured academic programs. But this is where the internet can truly shine: an online course is not hampered by physical constraints or the high costs of full-time, contact-based learning. One teacher can easily oversee and support many students from anywhere in the world, and learning can be done at the student’s pace, with access to a wider range of materials, discussions and resources than would be possible in a traditional physical learning environment.