With children growing accustomed to using technology from a younger age, everything is quickly becoming digitalised and being tailored to this new generation. When students are already familiar with watching YouTube videos or scrolling through news articles on their phones, having to sit and listen to a teacher in a classroom is something that they may struggle with. Their way of consuming information has changed and therefore the concept of being able to sit and learn from their device is perceived as a more precedent and appealing method of educating themselves.
An online education can also provide students with more opportunities, for example by allowing them to study at an international institution without having to travel or move abroad. This method of learning is also more cost-effective because it cuts out the need for the student to travel to attend classes or in some cases the need to purchase text books. With the continual increase in tuition fees, more students are re-evaluating whether or not there is a need to attend university. Therefore, online education allows them to be able to gain a qualification without accumulating the same amount of debt that they would have otherwise. Students may also have other commitments such as being a carer or even having children and therefore online learning can allow them to balance these whilst not having to sacrifice their studying.
Younger students are also becoming more conscious about the environment and therefore studying online is perceived as a more economical way of learning. For example, by not having to travel to a classroom or gather countless handouts from lectures, students are contributing to helping the environment. This factor can carry a lot of weight for some students and can be their sole motivation for pursuing online classes. This can also benefit institutions themselves by demonstrating that they are showing consideration for the environment and it ultimately reduces overall costs for them. For example, they have fewer expenses by not having to fly in international teachers. When classes take place online, institutions are able to lower all of their administrative costs.
This method of education can also be more appealing to working professionals that are seeking a promotion or in need of career development. It allows them to simultaneously study and work without either being affected. Learning online helps to cater to everyone and also allows students to be flexible which is something that is lacking in traditional education.
Institutions utilise software such as Blackboard which not only allows them to manage courses but provides students with access to modular information and resources. There are now countless platforms which can help to emulate the interactions that a teacher and student would have in a classroom such as Skype. Whilst some can argue that online learning lacks the social aspect or physical interaction that takes place in a classroom, the use of social media has revolutionised this and now allows students to interact in real-time.
Online learning not only means that students can access information from wherever they are but also ensures that resources are always available. For example, instead of having to visit a library, students are able to access books online. Whether they are at an airport or on a long train journey, everything is accessible. Therefore, with younger students having busier lives and always being on the move, an online education may better suit their lifestyle.
It is important for institutions to tailor content and teaching to the needs of the student and therefore as everything continues to become digitalised, it is only natural for students to seek a more virtualised education. Attention spans are shorter and students have become accustomed to learning in different ways, such as through reading shorter texts. Therefore, online learning will continue to become a more popular route for youngsters over traditional education because it has evolved with technology and is a more inclusive experience. It caters to their needs and allows them to be more flexible, inevitably being presented as a more appealing option.