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Anthony Rizol

Mr. Padgett
UWRT 1102
2 April 2015

The new online classroom
The outlook on education in the United States and globally is changing dramatically over
the next few years as it has already. The use of online classes has helped expand education to
many places all over the world, where it otherwise would not be. Any person with access to the
internet can get to a computer and learn material from the top universities in the world. Now this
is wonderful for people who are interested in casual learning or wanting a better understanding
on a certain topic. The problem with some online classes would be students paying for college
and not getting the full benefit of the traditional classroom, so some researches say. In the
traditional classroom there is a teacher whom a student can ask questions and maybe small
assignments to help keep students on pace or better understand where they are at as far a learning
the material. With all of this being said, access to online education adds to the motivation of
wanting to learn and not just becoming robotic-like in your actions. In my opinion the online
classroom is helping expand education and really contributes to the important spirit of learning
and becoming knowledgeable, rather than just grades. So I am definitely in favor of the online
classroom. Many articles and studies referred to point out parts of learning more important than
having a live teacher. In other words, the pros out weigh the cons.

First and foremost in college the goal is to get an education that will help with your
advancement in the workforce, and benefit you the most. Its possible online classes can more so
contribute to your knowledge at least as much as the traditional classroom experience does. In
comparison of the two, having online access to school materials and information can help a lot.
Many people can benefit from online access but where that is taking place of an actual classroom
and professor it would, in some opinions, hurt the experience. On the contrary it may help the
college experience as a whole. At large colleges it is easy for the administration to get many
freshman through general education classes. There really isn't a limit to how many can be
enrolled in an online class. Universities just need to have assignments graded, and grades
updated to have the class continue to function. One article speaks about how some students
struggle finding a major they enjoy or wish to have a career in.This article explains that online
learning is an easier way to Clarify learning goals, and one or more paths to them.(Sieber 332)
just showing advantages of different types of learning styles, and subject preferences. The theory
being online education causes a student to do more research and expand their thought process.
While still some articles point to the fact of how easy it could be for students to cheat in online
courses and not actually earn the grades they receive. The best alternative would seem to be part
online classes where tests are taken in a classroom, and the material is covered by videos of
professors or professionals in a field of study speaking on the material. This method ensures
there is no cheating on tests but also conveys the material in ways that are similar to the styles in
the classroom. One study done by EnvisionIT compared two groups, the baseline and then the
group using online classes to learn for students with disabilities. The baseline group had lower
test scores and even lower employment rates than the students using online classes and internet

tools. It seems that most studies believe there is mostly positive feedback from the online
classroom for students with disabilities. With so much research being done on learning
disabilities this study is critical. The numbers from the study indicate online tools can drastically
improve learning capabilities. Each learning disability was crafted a specific lesson plan, to most
help the students.Every aspect had improved rates, most importantly the higher employment
rates and test scores.

In many college situations the online classes do pertain mostly to the entry level
curriculum and not so much the advanced course work. One source from the New York Times
refers to some class sizes with astronomical numbers. The same article points to the class not
having the same enthusiasm, but classes like this can serve an important purpose. The purpose is
to pass on the focused students and fail the students not mature enough to handle the classwork.
In a sense these online classes can sort out students not there for the right reason or the students
not working hard enough. It is a sad fact that freshman weed out classes exist for many of the
more popular majors. These two aspects become intertwined, you have your strong students that
care a lot and work hard and also the student who really cares about learning in general and
embrace the class and the learning material. Much of college learning is done outside of the
classroom with much self research and analysis, online classes just make learning on your own
an ever stronger point of emphasis. One author, of a literary article draws some parallels to other
technology. The author, Ryan, supports online classes as long as it saves money If its free like
TV, I say go for it. But something tells me that very shortly down the road, these classes, with
their promises of opening education to the masses, will be charging fees. (Ryan) with the

assumption it soon will not always cut price. This article offers a really interesting perspective,
comparing the online classroom growth to that of television in the past. In the spirit of learning
the online classroom makes an education more attainable. People can learn any specific subject
they wish to learn about and not just a curriculum based on the recommendations or
requirements of a school. Really making classes available to as many people as possible gives no
more excuses to not study a subject, a person may not have an official degree but they are now
more than ever capable of educating themselves.

The easy selling point of the online classes is the access from basically any spot on the
planet. As an article from the Wall Street Journal points out, online classes and degrees have
seen an increase in popularity over the last few years. This article focuses mostly on the older
generation and going back to get college degrees. The most relevant impact of online learning
comes in the form of the younger generation of students. The internet and online classrooms can
take students to places they have never been before, a student in New York could be in the
middle of a forest somewhere because of their imagination and online recourses. Learning has
become more focused on specialized subject rather than a wider curriculum. In the article it
points out perspective students can pick the classes for themselves, leaning towards the learning
for the sake of learning environment. In the world today these classes for students will prove to
be vital for self improvement rather than just learning because they have to. Gone are the days
where people hand write notes to each other everyday or even every week for an important
information. As a part of the younger adult group I can say I have written possibly three letters in
the last year. Now the best way of written communication is through either email or text

messages on a phone. Incorporating these technological resources into the classroom is important
to the development of the younger generation. While the online classroom is unavoidable, it
definitely has some big advantages as it help people better fit into this current culture. Where
everyone is in constant contact and mail moves at the speed of light.

In conclusion the new online classroom contributes to the ability to learn for so many
people, and really is what learning is all about. Wether it spans from improved learning for
students with learning disabilities to students who wish to research different majors.There really
are no barriers to entry when so many people have access to the internet. Many studies and
reliable sources come to the agreement most of the online classes are a good idea as long as they
remain cheap or free. Now in an era of computers and technology official degrees do not matter
as much, and actually being able to apply learned material matter the most. So in essence anyone
can use the new online classroom and and become an expert at pretty much any subject they
wish. Any people wishing to contribute to society these days and especially younger people, the
internet and online classroom is the best way to go about it, this creates a much more educated
population and hopefully a better word to live in. Learning means so much more than just grades
and is a life long pursuit. The important aspect of the online classroom is the advantages it gives
people who otherwise would never have a chance, it inspires people to want to know more
information. It really helps spread the basic right to learn and, in a sense, levels the playing field.


Works cited:
Manzo, Kathleen Kennedy. "Online Classes." Community College Week 12.15 (2000): 6.

Mount, Ian. ped.Sep 21 2004. ProQuest. Web. 11 Mar. 2015 .

"Online Classes for the Masses: What Gets Lost." New York Times 27 Nov. 2012: A30(L).
Science in Context. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.

Sieber, Joan. "Misconceptions and Realities About Teaching Online." Science and Engineering
Ethics. 11.3 (2005): 329-340. Print.

Vreeburg, Izzo M, Amanda Yurick, Haikady Nagaraja, and Jeanne Novak. "Effects of a 21stCentury Curriculum on Students' Information Technology and Transition Skills." Career
Development for Exceptional Individuals. 33.2 (2010): 95-105. Print.