Monday, 18 November 2013

How Did Online Learning Become the Cultural Phenomenon That It Is?

It used to be, back in the age of antiquity (also known as the pre-internet era) that education was the province of the schools, colleges and universities. This promoted a somewhat elitist attitude throughout the world of education, as ordinary people were barred from the major educational institutions of the world. In this way education is like financial trading, as it was also once elitist; the territory of the stock brokers and the mega rich. We’ve talked numerous times about how the internet has opened up financial trading to the wider public; today we want to explore how the internet opened up education to the wider public to such an extent that now it is seen as a hallmark of the post-modern age.

When the internet was in its infancy it was hard to imagine that sophisticated educational models such as the one practised by the Academy of Financial Trading would become the province of the internet. Back in 1990 when the internet was first conceptualised it was hard to imagine the heights it would grow to. However over the decade the internet slowly began to take shape into what it would eventually come to be in 2013. Sites were set up, video sharing began, the first stages of what we would come to know as social media cropped up, blogging began and so on and so forth.

We can pinpoint this as the beginning of the ‘web education’ phenomenon. Although there were no official channels of online education at that point, the internet rose to prominence as a tool of information sharing and the early webhosters and most importantly bloggers, who educated the masses through their need to connect with people online, created the beginnings of what would one day become a global method of education; sharing and learning online.

The dawn of a new millennium saw the first official steps to mass online education programmes emerge, as the phenomenon of open universities appeared, and grew to have an increasing amount of recognition and respect in the professional sectors of the world. The phenomenon of the open university began in 2001 when MIT announced it would release its learning materials online, which it then proceeded to do. Since then not only has open university education become amazingly wide spread, it has come to be seen as a valid alternative qualification by businesses across the world. Open universities have opened up first rate education to those who couldn’t otherwise afford it.

In conjunction with this the tools that online education programmes use have rapidly improved and diversified. Video sharing became a widespread reality, social media has fostered a greater flow of information and streaming services have made live online lessons a reality. This has culminated in a culture that allows sophisticated educational platforms such as the Academy of Financial Trading, which utilises the most up to date internet technologies to bring a range of financial trading courses to the public on a mass scale, to flourish

The internet has transformed so many areas of life that it naturally makes sense that education is one of  them. It is the early pioneers of internet education;  those who used rudimentary online tools in the pursuit of knowledge, who gave rise to the building of entire educational platforms that have the capability to bring that pursuit of knowledge to so many. As one of those educational platforms the Academy of Financial Trading is grateful to those early pioneers. 

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