In the past couple of years, an online education has become more accessible that ever imaginable. For example: Many college students are sharing course notes on sites such as ShareNotes. Moreover, the general intellectually curious go getters are soaking up Ivy League school lectures from schools who have made them free online, such as Princeton. MIT was the pioneer of enabling internet users to free higher education lectures, with their OpenCourseWare service which includes the entire curriculum, online. (P.S. Bill Gates has been rumored to take in one or two Physics lectures from MIT in his spare time, when he is not managing his philanthropic work.) The course material available is often up to date, and taught by the some of the smartest professors in their field. So, in reality, an Ivy League education is really just a click away for any internet user.
Some of my favorite lectures that I have seen have been through AcademicEarth. Their portal has accumulated lectures on an array of subjects from numerous institutions, even offering AP course test prep for high school students. 2010 is truly the advent of digital learning, where classroom time will main irreplaceable, but learning online will increase greatly.
Many people hold up, and limit their view of online education for the college/university level. That is absolutely false, because the largest group of learners online are the K-12 kids going through school right now, who are engaging with school lessons online. Here, take a look into the life of my typical day in high school-
Glancing back at my PreCalculus class notes posted online, while doing homework:
I realize what you may be thinking, that is just the math and sciences of the curriculum. For my English class, the widely used study aid CliffNotes now offers all of their materials online, offering literary criticism among many other study tools. In addition, for institutions to combat academic dishonesty, the leading tool Turnitin was created to scan a students work and compare it to all existing publications available on the web, which is often used in my history class for research papers.
Finally, the next step of my education is the college search and application process, which non-coincidentally takes place on the web these days, with the help of powerful software such as Naviance. This is the age of digital learners, and the internet is the new path towards a higher education. If you are looking for the next place to continue your education, then the chances are that you are already here.