For many centuries that followed the invention of writing and reading, education was confined within the walls of classrooms. Consequently, teaching was dubbed a noble profession, with teachers commanding absolute respect as icons and ambassadors for knowledge and wisdom. Their words were considered the golden truth, and teachers became synonymous to information. With students on the receiving end, the ground was set for knowledge to flow in one direction. It was up to the learners to grasp as much as they could, and leave the classrooms ready to shape society. As such, the various teaching methodologies adopted and adapted by teachers provided no room for student involvement. If anything, various forms of lecturing became the order of the day.

However, the glory of the teachers took a new turn, with the advent of computers and discovery of the internet in the 1990s. Since then, the education sector continues to surprise many, with various technological advancements breathing fresh air into distance learning since the early 2000s. 

This article seeks to help us appreciate change, by highlighting why e-learning won’t be going away any time soon!

  • Customized for implementers: One of the major setbacks that have seen teachers resort to conventional teaching methods is the lack of varied and adequate teaching-learning resources. Thanks to advancements in science and technology, this nightmare has been dealt a major blow by a variety of e-learning solutions. Some of these solutions include instructor-led training, rich animations, video-based approaches, gamification, stories and simulations, as well as information management systems for directors, teachers and finance officers.
  • Saving Time: Ever heard, “Time is money?” The idea of e-learning could not have come at a better time than now, when humanity seems to be overwhelmed by various duties and responsibilities, and 24-hours a day seem inadequate. Balancing between work and school or family life and school has proven a tall order for many, with either of them having to be severely compromised for lack of adequate time. Thanks to e-learning solutions, all the time that was previously wasted, can now be meaningfully spent advancing yourself intellectually.
  • High cost of living versus pocket-friendly options: With many governments and organizations looking for means to cut down expenditure and financial aid, coupled with increased population growth and rising unemployment levels, individuals and families have found it impossible to take children to school or advanced their own education. This unfortunate situation has been turned around by e-learning, which has significantly removed barriers like accommodation, upkeep money, and traveling-related costs, among others, money that can now be channeled more directly to learning. And with more governments and organizations acknowledging certificates and degrees awarded for online programs, the number of such graduates can only triple in the coming years!
  • Learning continues: In the same way countries are struggling to keep up the pace of a 24-hour economy, there is no-longer day or night for learning. Technological advancements allow people to not only work and travel all day long and through the night, but to also continue with their courses whenever they are available. This flexibility in learning schedules was unheard of in the conventional setting. In an attempt to catch up with this reality, many traditional schooling structures have been compelled to come up with evening classes. But given the convenience of e-learning, they may not be lucky for long, given the option of clicking the buttons from your convenience.
  • Learners grow at their own pace: In the spirit of many school mottos which often read “Knowledge is Power,” another old adage has it that you cannot be transformed unless you are informed. In the pursuit of this knowledge, personality traits have compromised the learning process for introverts, and those that generally fear embarrassment from colleagues due to their academic inadequacies. Irrespective of physical, social or other forms of challenges, e-learning presents an equal opportunity for all to advance in knowledge, without fear or favor, an alternative that will bring many out of their hideouts through technology.

With BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) becoming the norm around the globe, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) will continually shift education to informal learning and adaptation of cloud-based learning.