Free Distance Learning Is The Way To Go Argumentative Essay Sample

Published: 2021-06-21 23:38:39
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Category: Learning, Education, Students, Time, High School, Teaching

Type of paper: Essay

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Introduction
There have been admirable advancements in technology amongst them being video teleconferencing, video, email, internet and videotapes. This has brought about change in the education sector. With technology, individuals are able to meet varying educational needs of varying students. Distance learning has in a way undermined face-to-face teaching and being in a class has had its magnitude of necessity minimized. It is a modern approach that delivers education in a different way eliminating the need for the student and the teacher meeting at the same place. The entire globe has identified the need for education and distance learning is helping that become a success.
Thesis Statement
Despite there being cons to this kind of education, the advantages and benefits that distance learning offers justifies that this is the way to go. There are massive distinctions between the distance learning environment and the traditional model of high school. These discussion will include considering and analyzing each of them (Dzakiria, 2012).
Discussion
Expounding on Distance Learning and Traditional High School Education
There is a major increase in the high school students that seek this kind of education. There is a category of youth who get into a business kind of life and still need education while there is an elderly group that due to varying needs decide to go back to high school. With such needs, distance learning is an indicator of developing a more learned global society. Discussed below is an elaboration of why distance learning should be encouraged further and mechanisms to minimize the available cons. Academic institutions have to evolve to ensure that they integrate distance learning into their programs to meet the rising educational demands and the specific personal plans that individuals have.
The absence of the interaction between the student and the teacher is replaced by channels other than the conventional class room mode. Distance learning is a solace to those who may be conducting a tricky and busy lifestyle. Though this discussion will shed light on the benefits that distance learning places on the table, it is convenient at this juncture to indicate that this learning approach is feasible for everyone. These will be explained by analyzing the cons. The benefits include amongst others saving time and energy, the flexibility aspect, saving money, self-pacing, convenience, topic selection, comfort and easy access of information. The cons include the expenses, reduced motivation, over dependence on technology, low motivation, inappropriate learning environment and teacher figure absence.
Delivery of Distance Education
The existing channels of distance learning at the moment have increased. In some cases, postal delivery has been used in the past. Currently however, with the gradual and dynamic web based technology developments, the internet is the most used channel. With the internet in place, there are have been two modes for which distance education is delivered. There is the synchronous learning and the asynchronous learning. The synchronous involves the participants being present at the same time. It is like the traditional class room model only that the learners are located differently. It is thus based on a timetable in order to access the instructional television, educational television, web conferencing and videoconferencing. Others include telephone, live streaming and internet radio. For the asynchronous education, the students have all the freedom, they access the materials for their course with a lot of flexibility depending on their personal schedules. This indicates that the high school students do not have to be together at the required time. Under this model, the varying forms are mail correspondence, fax, voicemail, audio and video recordings, print materials, email and message board (Essel & Owusu-Boateng, 2011). These two models are in most cases incorporated to deliver the intended objectives more effectively.
The Classroom Setup and the Benefits of the Traditional System
Presence of a Group of Students
The Teacher Figure
With the traditional method, students are exposed to teacher figure. This is a unique characteristic of the traditional method of education. This means that they are in a position to receive face-to-face trained and support that is credible and reliable. The teacher further offers guidance the students (Dzakiria, 2012). The students in this tend to understand concepts that may appear difficult thus coming up with appropriate studying strategies. This is actually the biggest pro or advantage of being under the traditional high school approach. There is also the aspect of group study. The classroom set up brings on the students to make them work together. This setup fuels brainstorming and group correctional methods. It is such groups that allows the high school to prepare better for their exams and improved understanding of concepts.
Presentations Opportunities
In a classroom set up, students are given opportunities to offer presentations. They may be in seminars or oral presentations thus this gives the opportunity to gain more confidence by beating stage fright. With this regard therefore, the student will be prepared for the professional world which comes kicking in after school. In conclusion therefore, the benefits of the traditional approach offers a rather wider exposure. This wideness comes to the picture by considering aspects such as the teacher spectrum and students who cause one to learn a lot that may not be included in the curriculum such as variations in cultures and individuals.
Having identified such benefits, it is hereby essential to indicate in detail the benefits of online and distance learning to elaborate why it should be advocated further in the educational spectrum. From a personal perspective, distance learning allows the individual to have absolutely full control of the educational future.
Benefits of Distance Learning
Adaptability and Freedom
The greatest benefit that comes from the distance learning method is adaptability and freedom. This is regardless of the channels that have been employed to deliver the education. Upon understanding what one is supposed and is required to access, one can form a plan and organize himself with convenience. The distance learning method is flexible since in most cases there is not fixed schedule to be followed strictly. Following the adaptability and the freedom, it is an indication that any individual who adopts distance learning is self-motivated. The self-motivation aspect is encouraged further by this environment. In the absence of a traditional teacher, the student in this case understands that he/she has the mandate to take full control of their educational objectives. This aspect of being self-directed results to a cultivation of the motivation streak.
Accessibility
With distance learning comes accessibility. Distance education advocates for an approach that is capable of eliminating or minimizing physical barriers to education. In this case, physical factors focus at issues such as injuries that would restrict one to stay in-doors that would cause one to be cut off from the regular educational pattern, the distance between one’s residence and the academic institutions amongst others. What this physical barriers present is undermine accessibility. Distance learning hereby steps in to make the academic information easily accessible. This is because, todays distance education is advocated for as online education. The requirement for online studies is the internet and a computer, in some cases, a mobile phone is all that is required. Therefore, distance learning comes in handy to improve the globe’s positive education indicators.
Freedom of Choice
Freedom to choose is improved further by the aspect of distance learning for the students. To begin with, distance education is a choice itself. The idea that one chooses how to plan his or her time in another aspect of choice. With this system in place, one can even take a break from education due to personal reasons and once an individual has his/her feet firm, one gets back to the system. Still on the choice options that come along with distance learning is the idea that none can learn and earn at the same time. The economic conditions are dynamic. The employment and working opportunities that may come along for the youth are thus critical. With this in mind, when a student gets a working opportunity, there is absolutely no reason for them to let the chance go, it is at this time that they should be polychromic. In the end both academic and work objectives and demands will be matched appropriately.
Saving on Money and Time
While in some aspect distance education has been termed as expensive, on a positive aspect, it actually saves on time and money. This is because some of the courses that are offered under the distance learning are in most cases cheaper than the regular programs. In addition, to be in certain academic institutions that one dreams of, one may have to move across the continents and spend a lot of money and time moving from one part of the world to the other. Distance education hereby steps in to offer light to this dark tunnel. For instance, there are individuals in Africa who access their academic papers from Europe (Essel & Owusu-Boateng, 2011).
Challenges of Distance Learning
Upon understanding such benefits it is now critical to consider the cons of this approach. To some extent, the challenges that develop from this kind of learning are personal. They are not challenges that will affect each high school student. They are more of individual. The first challenge is that, it is not all courses that are offered on this ground. Some courses are so practical. For example, rocket science, medicine and surgery and engineering. Most academic institutions have shied away from teaching such courses through the online approach.
The absence of a teacher figure is a challenge itself. This means that there is missing of a reliable and credible source of support. Far still, the students under this modern education may suffer from lack of motivation. This is because the motivation that is required in this case is more intrinsic. However in the traditional system of high school education, there are many extrinsic motivation factors such as competition, rewards, encouragement from friends and the teacher. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, some motivators are guided by recognition. Therefore under the distance learning program, one will be in a position that they may be demotivated due to absence of recognition.
Overreliance in Technology
Other limitations to this kind of learning include facts such as overreliance in technology meaning that individuals who have little knowledge on technology will be under privileged. There is also talks on the streets that employers and other educational institutions that one would desire to advance high school education undermine distance learning. They perception is that this form of education does not prepare students well enough for further advancements which is a misplaced argument. In some instances, it has been discussed that distance learning can be expensive in terms of the dependency on technology.
Benefits over Challenges
Looking at the challenges facing the distance learning approach, it is for sure that in no way can they outdo the benefits on the table. Most of this challenges are rather personal while some will be reduced marginally with further developments. For instance, challenges like low motivation can be overcame by an individual being self-disciplined. It is self-discipline that will form the foundation of successfully achieving educational goals in this modern approach.
Challenges on issue such as the teacher figure and absence of interaction with students can be reduced. This can be achieved by developing websites for which online students can interact even on non-academic issues. Some of these websites also have actively responding tutors thus students may have their queries sorted quickly by credible teachers. To minimize on student laziness in this approach, there are fines, point’s reduction and other forms of punishment that students are faced with for failure to complete assignments on time or breaking of any other set rule and regulation. The educational bodies including the governments in all nations should advocate for distance learning so as the employers or citizens who still think it does not fully develop the student can have their perceptions cultured.
Conclusion
The world is dynamic, the dynamic aspect influences education. The demand for education still increases at a rate that is higher than the increment of academic institutions. Distance learning will help accommodate this varying needs and demands. The end result is globalization of ideas through education. The benefits of distance learning are convincing enough that this is an approach that should be encouraged and advocated for. Individuals should then identify their status, educational needs and the resources they are willing to invest in education including time. These should form the foundation of the mode of education they should go for.
Demonstrating the magnitude of distance learning however does not mean that the traditional model of high school. The traditional method has benefits and an environment that cannot be replicated. Distance learning therefore supplements the traditional method but in no way does it seek to replace it. Going by trends and the varying educational needs, distance learning is an approach for today and for the future as well. Distance learning is a future’s wave indicating that today’s educational institutions engage in teaching, counseling and mentoring educators, students, college counselors and curriculum developers to elaborate on distance learning.
References
Abrami, P. C., Bernard, R. M., Bures, E. M., Borokhovski, E., & Tamim, R. M. (2011). Interaction in Distance Education and Online Learning: Using Evidence and Theory to Improve Practice. Journal Of Computing In Higher Education, 23(2-3), 82-103.
Bergamin, P., Werlen, E., Siegenthaler, E., & Ziska, S. (2012). The Relationship between Flexible and Self-Regulated Learning in Open and Distance Universities. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 13(2), 101-123. Retrieved from ERIC database.
Distance Learning Net. (n.d.). Distance Learning Net RSS. Retrieved December 15, 2013, from http://www.distancelearningnet.com
Dzakiria, H. (2012). Illuminating the Importance of Learning Interaction to Open Distance Learning (ODL) Success: A Qualitative Perspectives of Adult Learners in Perlis, Malaysia. European Journal of Open, Distance And E-Learning, (2), Retrieved from ERIC database.
Essel, R., & Owusu-Boateng, W. (2011). Access and Success in Learning: Technologies for Scaling Up Open and Distance Learning Programme in the Institute of Distance Learning, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana. Online Submission, Retrieved from ERIC database.

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