There can be a number of reasons that a student is unable to attend school in a traditional classroom. Whether due to unique health needs, time limitations, distance or cost, students looking for an alternate means of education now have a plethora of options available through Massive Open Online Communities, or MOOCs. While the idea of distance learning isn’t a new one, the widespread availability of high-speed Internet access via mobile devices is helping to drive the growth of this global education trend.
MOOCs represent a growing movement which gained a massive following in the U.S. in 2012 when prestigious universities, including Stanford, Harvard, MIT and many others, began offering college-level courses through online learning such as Coursera and edX. Since then, millions of students have signed up for the chance to access a wide range of courses, many of them free, and some that even deliver partial college course credits.
In some cases, MOOC lectures are streamed over a Google+ hangout and can be referenced later via YouTube (although a new YouTube channel created for MOOCs is under development.) Cloud solutions also make it easier than ever before for users to access current coursework. For example, a Google+ community can host a syllabus, notes and announcements for coursework. In some cases, with more than 20,000 students taking a course at one time around the world, this type of learning is only possible due to technology.
The Chronicle of Higher Education named MOOCs and tablet computing on the top of its list of emerging higher-education technologies. Tablets like the Verizon Ellipsis 7 are great tools for the always-connected student. With substantial battery life, WiFi and cellular connections and large high-res screens, tablets can be powerful, budget-friendly tools for learning inside and out of the classroom. And with the Verizon Wireless MORE Everything plan, students can tack a tablet onto an existing MORE Everything plan for $10 a month monthly access fee.
Fast, reliable Internet is all you need to get started. If connectivity at home is a barrier, explore HomeFusion® Broadband to bring 4G LTE into your home to make accessing online education a reality.
Whether investing time in a class or diving into a new field of study, take advantage of growing tech tools to gear up for a successful online learning experience.