A lot of people have been writing about education lately. Is the university system failing its students? Are students failing to take the opportunities abound on their campuses? Those are important questions to be asking, but this week I’m going to write about the simple power of education. Now, I can’t take credit for this topic, because my wonderful friend and roommate Julia, an education major, has made me aware of its power as she learns about it.
Enough about the school side of education though – today I’m talking about online education. It’s amazing what you can learn online these days – you can get a college degree, learn to make an omelette, make new friends and learn about yourself – all without ever leaving your home. That’s not actually true – because the best way to add value to what you’ve learned, IMHO, is to apply it to the big beautiful world outside. But that’s just me.
The nation’s thought leaders believe in the power of online education. A recent article in Psychology Today mentions two big names – Bill Gates and Jack Welch – as proponents of online education. Gates wrote in his annual letter on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Web site, “In the United States, advances in online learning and new ways to help teachers improve will make a great education more accessible than ever.” And Welch, the renowned former CEO of General Electric, is starting his own MBA program with courses offered almost exclusively online.
So with more opportunities than ever before to cash in on the benefits of online learning – for free! – why aren’t more people doing it? University of Phoenix says many people believe it’s too late, or there’s not enough time. But if there’s time to build your personal brand online, there’s time to learn about the world, too.
Think about how much you’ve learned since you joined an online community – be it a blogging community, or a Web site to keep track of your fitness goals. What’s the best or most memorable thing you’ve learned on the Internet?
Note: This is part one of a three-part series called The power of education.