The Internet has radically transformed the face of education at every level. Children have gone from occasional days in the computer lab playing Oregon Trail to courses that are held completely online. The new computer-focused classroom makes diverse educational options available to students of all ages.
Whether you’re getting your child ready to attend a preschool program, or you’re substituting for a classroom with at-home instruction, you’ll find plenty of preschool programs available on the Internet. These generally offer simple and engaging games that cover the basics like counting, colors, letters, and shapes. You can play these games here and there for the fun of it, or enroll your child in a complete online curriculum like the one available from the ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy.
Many states now offer full-time online schooling as an alternative to attending brick and mortar schools. In certain states, students can attend qualifying programs completely free of cost. This may include:
• State-funded public programs
• Private online programs that receive government funding
• Charter schools
Students who attend school this way can do all their schooling from the comfort of home, while still following state-approved curriculum. Students can graduate from both private and public online schools with a diploma just like what they would receive from a traditional school.
Many homeschooling families prefer to develop their own blend of curriculum instead of strictly following what’s set forth by the state. For these students, online courses offer an excellent supplemental resource to their other educational activities. Parents may use online courses to supplement their own knowledge. For example, when a high school student’s knowledge of chemistry surpasses the parent’s, an online course can help him to continue beyond the parent’s own ability.
Computers are changing the way classes take place in traditional schools as well. E-books are on the verge of replacing more expensive traditional textbooks. Clearwater High School in Clearwater, Florida replaced all traditional textbooks with ebooks in 2010, and gave a Kindle to each of its 2,100 students. College textbooks are available to buy or rent in the form of ebooks for much less than what standard textbooks would cost. Technology in the classroom can also include laptops for note taking, computer design programs incorporated into art classes, and more.
College courses are available online for both undergraduate and graduate students. Students may combine online and traditional courses, or opt to get an entire degree online. With online graduate programs and degrees, adults can return to school easily even with a family, job, and busy schedule. Many students find that they actually learn better with online courses where they’re given more independence and flexibility.
Online learning has drastically changed the face of schools and will continue to do so in years to come. With access to the Internet, it’s easier than ever for students to get a complete education at any age.