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Virtual Classroom

Virtual Classroom

November 30, 1999

There is no doubt that the virtual classroom is the wave of the future. Not only does it remove the aspect of travel from the educational equation - with the possible exception of having to retrieve books from the local public library - but it also saves considerable time for both the student and the instructor. By utilizing online college degree resources and a variety of telecommunications technologies, students are now able to pursue multiple interests while having enough time and attention for each one.

The Power of Telecommunications in Online Education

In this technological age, applying computer-based knowledge as a way to enhance education is essential if students of the future are going to receive their education while working full time and living their lives. There is no doubt that telecommunications on college campuses will expand at an exponential rate, offering substantial opportunities to enhance one's educational base. In light of this growing reality, it would behoove employeres  to gain a better understanding of the entire online degree experience.  They would soon realize that this non traditional approach actually provides a much better opportunity for learning.

"New technology continues to revolutionize business, education, health care, government operations and social service delivery. Access to technology can determine whether individuals and communities can participate in and fully benefit from the promise of American society in the next century" (Anonymous, 1997).

Telecommunications technologies are powerful educational tools, indeed. Their mere existence within an online curriculum can bring about significant changes, even if the particular components of that technology do not have any curricular composition themselves. The concept that must be fully understood, with respect to the overall educational strategies, is the fact that these strategies can greatly inspire or modify the direction of a student's course of study. This is especially pertinent when one is discussing the merits of telecommunications technology, as "the cumulative effect can be significant and yet still remain invisible" (Ehrman, 1995, p. 20).

Earning Your Online Degree

The millions of people who seek to earn online degrees clearly illustrate how the entire aspect of education has changed - and will continue to do so - with the inclusion of telecommunications in the virtual academic setting. It has come to the point where students no longer even have to set foot onto a campus in order to reach their educational goals.  You can even earn your online high school diploma to get started, and continue on as high as you would like to go. Some employers consider this a positive move toward acquiring the necessary knowledge to further one's career; others look upon online education as wholly inferior to traditional educational methods.

Technological Advances Encourage the Convenience of Online Education

The convenience of such technology not only enables students to schedule school around their lives - which is just the opposite with traditional methods - but technology also allows more time for the student to digest the information.  The student can take more classes than time typically allows when having to attend brick-and-mortar schools. No longer are they forced to abide by the instructor's schedule; rather, they now have the freedom to attend class by video conferencing or via the Internet, when they are fully prepared to pay attention and receive the lesson (Holzberg, 1997).

Without question, the student of today has a far greater arsenal of learning tools than the student twenty years ago. The primary benefit from these technological applications is how they remove stagnating boundaries that have always existed with higher education opportunities. It will not be long until each and every person will have access to "multipoint technology" (Anonymous, 1997) that will provide a full scope of educational benefits to both the student and employers alike.

Telecommunications technologies are assisting education in a number of positive ways; not only do they "promote career advancement [and] continued education" (Anonymous, 1997, p. D-1), but the various components - including distance learning, video conferencing, Internet access, interactive multimedia and knowledge-based systems - have all come to play an integral role in the educational advancement of students throughout the world. As students continue to reap the multiple benefits of obtaining their degrees online, so too does the rest of the world by having access to a better trained and significantly more astute workforce.