Online Learning and Grant Opportunities

Online basically refers to being connected to the Internet via a device such as a mobile phone or
a computer. Online Education alludes to learning through the internet, frequently referred to as
Distance Learning or e-learning.

It is a system that heavily relies on the internet for the instructor or teacher and student interaction.

History of Online Learning


The Introduction of computers led to an expansion of online learning. Individuals who could
afford personal computers in the early 1990s could learn about particular subjects and develop
skills.

Schools began to incorporate the use of computers which bolstered computer skills, the
introduction of search engines such a google further improving the use of the internet to acquire
knowledge on a particular field. Businesses began training their staff to use much simpler
computer programs which have today advanced enormously.


Today, Search engines that have topped the online searching, the interfaces which provide
online users with pages to log in and register online learning are:


i. Google
ii. YouTube
iii. Bing
iv. Yahoo
v. CC search


How does Online Education take place?


Online Education can easily happen has no physical boundary and hence students can turn
anywhere into a study session without necessarily meeting with the teacher, provided there is
electricity and an Internet Connection.


Students or any other online learner need to log into the websites providing online courses,
register, and begin learning. In Institutional cases, the Institutions may provide their criterion of
learning online, with students attending the classes online.


Online Education has become unprecedentedly popular, during this Corona Pandemic Period,
where extreme measures COVID-19 regulation measures such as Social Distancing and
Lockdowns have been key.

Thanks to rapid advancement in technology, many institutions of
higher Learning are offering online learning as part of their course offerings, from short courses,
certificates to PhDs.


Students in Universities have been able to attend Lectures online using video applications such
as the Zoom platform, Google meet, Meet Now, Glip by RingCentral. Zoom’s application
500m+ android play store download is an attestation to the skyrocketing use of the platform in
communication as an alternative the face to face meetings.

Online education has not only revolutionized methods of learning but also led to the creation of
Online Universities offering courses, most of which are essentially free with certification on the
completion of the course. Students study entirely online while they can still socialize with
classmates and participate in unit discussions.


Facts and Figures about Online Learning


i. More than 6 million students currently participate in online university education.
ii. Most of the students think that online education the same or better than the experience
in the classroom.


iii. Online Education has greatly improved a country’s internet coverage, especially
during the COVID 19 pandemic where most people were advised to work from home,
with all schooling going online.


iv. Online learning is highly environmentally sustainable, as there is minimal use of
paperwork, generating 70% – 80% less CO 2 emissions resulting from modes of
transport from which learners would have used to attend face-to-face lectures.

For online education to occur, some resources may be necessary. Such resources include
Electronic books, videos, Live Question & Answer discussions, a steady internet connection, and
an electronic device such as a phone or laptop to access live and recorded lectures both in video
or audios.


With legitimate accreditation, Online Education has become heavily sort after.

The Top Five Online Courses


i. Programming and Computer science
ii. Web development
iii. AI and Data Science
iv. Design
v. Digital Marketing
vi. Languages


Top Five Institutions of Higher Learning


i. Umass Online – Shrew berry, Massachusetts
ii. New Mexico State University – Las Crues, New Mexico
iii. Florida State University – Tallahassee, Florida
iv. University of Florida Distance Learning – Gainesville, Florida
v. Oregon State University- Corvallis, Oregon
Among the Top Five sites for online classes are:
i. ALISON, which has comprehensive classes on technology, finance, and
entrepreneurship.
ii. Udemy offering over 155000 courses to 40 million-plus students.
iii. Coursera with 77 million users, offering a wide range from programming courses to
entrepreneurship

iv. Udacity with 11.5 million users
v. Skillshare
E-learning has impacted today’s world significantly. Online Education has, however, had its
merits and demerits in today’s world of immense technological elevation.
Five Benefits that Online Education brought forthwith
i. Effective Management of time.


Striking a balance between work, school, family, entertainment and sporting activities
may prove difficult for an individual who has to attend classes amidst all the other
activities. Online learning comes in handy in such situations as it is the student’s
initiative to proactively engage the faculty and create their own time favorable time
schedules to study online and complete assignments. For a student who participates in
sports, he/she could easily create their schedule without necessarily having to put the
sport on a halt.

In the employment sector, employers expect proper management of time with projects
being done in less time. Such a skill could be gained through online learnings, where
we have to complete certain tasks we set ourselves, strictly follow the schedules to
get work done, and staying productive. Whether it’s on the train, during lunch breaks,
and on the weekends, online learning can always take place.


ii. Improved Communication especially virtually and Interactions
In online live group discussions where every input counts, you will learn how to work
with others, capacity team building, and gain leadership skills especially if you are
the one hosting the Zoom meeting or the google meet. With time, one gets better at

pitching their ideas and making strong professional arguments. with Interactions with
a diverse group of people from different parts of the world, one improves their
communication skills which in turn to a handful in employment as one of the
requirements most employers seek in job recruitments is good communication.

iii. Multi-tasking and Motivation.
By acquiring a Degree online, one shows determination, resilience and proves their
ability to tackle multiple tasks, set and stick to their priorities and adapt to changing
work conditions.

To be able to multi-task, one requires to practice time management.
In today’s world, employers seek a keen interest in seeing the motivation an
individual has, and such motivation is evident in some of the online course
certifications one might have taken themselves through.


iv. Acquire New Technical Skills.
As part and parcel of your online coursework, utilizing digital learning materials and
getting familiarized with new applications and soft-wares, you learn to use the digital
system applications to come up with solutions to problems. A statistician who took an
online regression modeling course could easily fit logistic expressions and predict the

expected spread of a pandemic like a coronavirus pandemic. Embracing technology is
part and parcel of what employers seek.


v. High Flexibility
Since Online learning is self-paced, one can be able to juggle several tasks at a go.
For example, a working individual need not quit employment to sign up for a
master’s program, as they can sign up for online classes which they will attend at
their own scheduled time. Such flexibility allows the learners to learn at their own
pace while handling other responsibilities.


What are the Demerits of Online Education?

i. More Theory, Less Practice.
Where the hands-on practice is mostly required, most online instructors fail to deliver
the practical section since the learning is distant, and the most he/she can do is
demonstrate onto their screens, but such a practice may not be enough in areas such
as Chemistry where students have to part of the process.

Online coverage course may
therefore not a correct reflection of what the student has learned. The solution to this
could be a blended online and face-to-face learning system.
ii. Unavailability of the Internet in some regions.


In areas where there is low internet connectivity, students within the areas may be
disadvantaged and may not be able to access the online courses they may have wished
to partake. When institutions of Higher learning carry out online learning, these
students in poor internet regions fail to attend the lessons hence lagging.

The solution
to this would be improving internet connectivity through initiatives such as the
governments’ initiatives.


iii. Quality Assurance on the red light
Poor quality or unaccredited online courses may spell a disaster to the motivated
students who registered for the course. Such courses are not checked for quality
assurance and they thus weaken the legitimacy of online education. A fix to this
would be to create systems and bodies that accredit online courses, ensuring the
authenticity of online learning.


iv. Limited to Specific courses or disciplines
Some courses which require hands-on practice may be a challenge when offered
online as the learners are spread within the world. Theory-related courses are more
available than hands-on practical courses like Medicine and Mathematical courses.
This is a limiting factor to a student in a country who is interested in taking an online
course offered by a university abroad.

v. Limited to the literate.
The illiterate within a society may be disadvantaged when it comes to online learning
as the assumption is that most people are literate, and hence navigating the internet
won’t be a problem. However, those with no mobile phones that can access the
internet are left behind.
vi. Isolation.
When people can access an online class from the comfort of their beds, it creates
increased detachments from friends, new interactions, and thins possibilities of
exposure to new activities. This may contribute to higher rates of loneliness and
depression.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Online learning benefited more than 100 million students
worldwide proving its sheer significance in today’s world. This has greatly enhanced such
student’s familiarity with this advanced technology. Many Countries have provided devices to
enable online learning, improved internet connectivity in most regions, and broadcasted learning
sessions on national televisions.


The World Bank has been at the forefront in working with ministries of education to support the
utilization of educational technologies to provide remote learning while schools are closed.
It is there undebatable that Online learning has taken its place in today’s world, even with
anticipated further technological advancements, which will further ameliorate the existing e-
learning system.

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