Online education serves more than just students

Technology-based learning has the potential to better the lives of teachers and education as a whole.

Associate+professor+Biblical+Interpretation%2C+John+Shin%2C+is+an+example+of+how+technology-based+learning+has+the+potential+to+better+the+lives+of+teachers+and+education+as+a+whole.+%7C+Matthew+Maitz%2FTHE+CHIMES%0A
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Online education serves more than just students

Associate professor Biblical Interpretation, John Shin, is an example of how technology-based learning has the potential to better the lives of teachers and education as a whole. | Matthew Maitz/THE CHIMES

Associate professor Biblical Interpretation, John Shin, is an example of how technology-based learning has the potential to better the lives of teachers and education as a whole. | Matthew Maitz/THE CHIMES

Marika Adamopoulos

Associate professor Biblical Interpretation, John Shin, is an example of how technology-based learning has the potential to better the lives of teachers and education as a whole. | Matthew Maitz/THE CHIMES

Marika Adamopoulos

Marika Adamopoulos

Associate professor Biblical Interpretation, John Shin, is an example of how technology-based learning has the potential to better the lives of teachers and education as a whole. | Matthew Maitz/THE CHIMES

Jacqueline Lewis, Writer

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As higher education students feel increasing pressure to act as more than just students by working jobs and finding internships, on-campus classes and other academic responsibilities become more of a burden. The majority of people do not attend colleges and universities for the sole purpose of scholarly enlightenment, but to find a job or to earn the qualifications to work a more desirable job. Additionally, more and more people are returning to school after already entering the career world and starting families. To find time for their career and family obligations, many of these people turn to online education.

LEARNING TO ACCOMODATE

Because of this growing trend, institutions of higher education must learn to accommodate the flood of new kinds of students seeking a relatively new kind of education. Many universities, Biola included, now focus on growing their online education and distance learning programs. Students can now take entire classes online, which includes listening to lectures, turning in assignments and discussing lessons with their peers. However beneficial for the ever-increasing number of distance learning students, the movement made by educational institutions towards online education additionally benefits not only teachers, but has the potential to improve education as a whole.

NOT WORRYING

As the daughter of two educators, I witness the way education affects teachers and professors every day. For example, my dad teaches some distance-learning classes in the apologetics program here at Biola. Because he can stay at home and work with his classes online, he can spend significantly more time with my brother and me than he could if he taught all his classes full-time on campus. My brother and I have really appreciated that extra time spent with us.

My mom originally worked as a teacher full-time, but after she had my younger brother, she stayed at home to take care of the the two of us. She recently returned to her work as a substitute teacher and she loves her job. However, after back and knee injuries, walking around a high school campus or even standing in front of a classroom for a long period of time becomes difficult. However, if more programs emphasized online education, she could possibly continue teaching without worrying about whether she can even walk to her classroom.

A GROWING FOCUS

The growing focus on online education allows teachers to spend more time at home with their families as well as to continue doing what they love even with physical injury that limits mobility.

Yet, educational institutions’ efforts of making more content available online has much broader potential. Simply posting a course online costs significantly less than holding a class on a physical campus where the university must pay for utilities and space. This trend has the potential to drive prices of education down and make education more available to students who may not have access to quality education otherwise.

Technology and online education creates convenience in our lives, but it has much broader potential than people think. As students we must not allow that potential to sit idly, but we must fight for educational institutions to push this potential into a reality for a better future for education.