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Learning in the virtual classroom

The joy of learning outside the system -- and getting credit for it

The bad news: university education is not worth what it used to be and is far more expensive

A few decades ago, higher education was affordable. About $100 a year in the 1950s, $600 or so in the 1970s, university education was a reasonable choice to make and in most cases, the degree earned did contribute to a career. Today's student finds that career prospects, even with a degree, are far from certain, and the cost of the degree prohibitive and extortionate. Of course loans are available, but taking out a massive mortgage against a career of questionable worth is makes many think twice -- or stop thinking about it at all.

The good news: Education today is free and universally available.

Education
I think everyone should go to college and get a degree and then spend six months as a bartender and six months as a cabdriver. Then they would really be educated. - Al McGuire

In the past few years, online courses and lectures on all imaginable subjects have become freely available online. (See Free University Resources). It is now possible for everyone with internet access to acquire a first class education. The education rift that has always existed between rich and poor no longer exists -- or at least it has moved. It now separates those who appreciate education and are find delight in study from those who do not.

Unfortunately, the diploma, the certificate, the degree is not free -- or is it?

Though study is certainly worthwhile for its own sake, in most cases, official recognition comes only with official enrollment and excessive tuition payments. This is at least the commonly held assumption. There are alternatives however, and credit by examination opportunities do exist -- some world class degrees which predate all of these recent developments have always been conferred upon those who pass a rigorous examination. One such is Trinity College London, an international examination board that has been functioning since 1877. Nearly 600,000 students in 60 countries sit for Trinity exams every year. Preparation for these exams may be done independently anywhere in the world, making this an ideal opportunity for homeschoolers and other out-of-the-loop learners. Our Advanced Speech and Writing Class is designed specifically to prepare students for Trinity College commuications skills Exams.

Online and traditional educational communities can help to prepare for and acquire a degree by examination.

Education
Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age? - Erich Fromm

We have been teaching and tutoring online for almost two decades and have done a good deal of our own accredited graduate work online as well. Modern online teaching tools actually make the online learning process far more efficient than the traditional classroom in so many ways that any perceived disadvantages (with the possible exception of an atavistic psychological desire for physical contact) are found to lack any solid justification. In fact, a 12-year meta-analysis of research by the U.S. Department of Education found that higher education students in online learning generally performed better than those in face-to-face courses. That said, it is very important to understand that many online learning institutions provide very poor instruction and student support. The medium is not to blame, but, as in the traditional classroom, instruction can vary a great deal and in the case of online study, it is often much easier for students to be neglected, overlooked and deprived of appropriate levels of attention than in the classroom.

Higher education has become prohibitively expensive and students therefore often have to take out student loans from banks or student organizations to help foot the bill for the four or five years they attend college or pursue an online bachelors degree. Alternatives do exist however and access to high quality education is more freely available than ever before.

Education
An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don't. - Anatole France

The Web is full of sites promoting, lauding, and referring students to online educational institutions, most of which are expensive and many of which are of marginal value. That is not our goal. If you are considering teaching or studying online however, our site may provide many tools, insights, and directions that will help you achieve your objective. You may also like to consider taking our traditional and online English Class.

Education
Take away paradox from the thinker and you have a professor. - Kierkegaard

Unlike most online education sites which insist upon your entering your email and providing all kinds of personal information before allowing you access to their lists online institutions (after which you will probably receive a stream of spam forever), we are simply interested in providing online education resources. You will not be asked to provide an email and every piece of information we have is freely available.

Whether working toward a degree, finishing a highschool diploma, or simply pursuing personal development, online study can be, for certain people, a very reasonable alternative. It can also be an utter disaster. Many online educational institutions do very little beyond subjecting student work to a very mechanical evaluation process and awarding (or denying) grades -- leaving all of the work (not to mention the bill) to the student.

Education
In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep. - Albert Einstein

Fortunately, given the current state of online technology, it is quite easy to sample online fare, learning anything and everything, without paying a cent. Only when one is seeking official credit does tuition become a factor. Most major universities make extensive resources available to the public, including complete online courses, debates and lectures and this is often all that one ever gets with an expensive online degree program, meaningful interaction being close to non-existent in many cases. It is therefore only to have a degree conferred that one must pay for education.

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