Online Education and Its Artistic Impact

Online education and Financial Aid

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Education has been at the center of many debates lately. It seems the finger is being pointed at higher education for all of America’s woes. It doesn’t matter if the workforce is simply too short on educated personnel or not, the downfall of America’s due to an inadequately educated workforce is a topic for another blog. I can think of something I find more interesting to discuss about education. My thought begins with something I learned in my humanities class a long time ago. In film studies, we learned that films are often representative of the way things are in society. Movies parallel the stories of our lives. One film that shows the balancing of education and life is the second Transformers live action movie. This film shows the anxiety, pride, worry, and freedom for both parent and child when the child leaves the nest for higher education.

So how does a robot battle movie have anything to do with the topic of education? Very Simple. Transformers omits a story that has yet to be fully told. The lead character had to choose leaving college to save the world and he complained to Optimus Prime how important focusing on his future was to him. Had he attended online, he could have studied remotely from any location and since the Autobots are connected, finishing school shouldn’t be a problem no matter where his adventures would take him.

Many schools, public and private, offer online education. Online education will change many of the stories about going to college. College is supposed to bring freedom, independence, and of course, parties to the young adult. The Sims 2 has an expansion pack built around all of the joys of campus life with parties, pranks, and relationships. Aren’t there some budding young teens opting to go to college purely online? How will online college be portrayed in future scripts? How will it change the dynamics of the college student of the future? Online college courses enable the student to both work and study.  Would this become the new norm many years from now?

Online learning is a perfect complement to military service personnel and this point is often advertised by online schools. Military personnel can go online during the first years of service and complete and Associate’s degree in the first four years, or they could really knock themselves out trying for a Bachelor’s degree in four years. Are any of you young readers planning college purely online right out of high school?  Are you ready to focus on school with the distractions that come from not being in class?

One positive aspect about campus life is socialization. How much face to face time with people can you get from an all online college experience? Is it really anything to worry about? After all, the student can leave the home and venture out for a part-time job.  The student can find many socialization options from parties, clubs, beaches, or other teenage hangouts. A remote student could develop online relationships, but would that satisfy the needed human connection skills a person should have?

As many students point out, online will save on travel related issues such as vehicle repair and fuel. College online would remove commute time as well freeing up time to do things the student couldn’t do while traveling in a car. More free time for Xbox type play or even outdoor fun would help reduce the stresses of higher education.

Quality of education often comes up as a discussion point, but distance learning is nothing new. Colleges have offered distance learning long before the Internet was popular. The Internet makes distance learning much simpler. Faxing and mailing assignments is greatly reduced. A college can make course lectures available through recorded video or even enable the class lecture in realtime over the Internet, similar to Oracle’s Online University training. Educational delivery option choices are only limited by the school’s imagination.

Now let us get back to the human side of the future of learning. What will the writers write? Will we see a sitcom character going to school online? What situations will make for side-splitting comedic entertainment of online education? How will the writers make compelling stories about the online student? Could you imagine A Different World with all the characters messaging each other from the comfort of home, in their pajamas all day? Could any drama be found  in being in your jammies all day? Can you imagine never having some face-time to say “hi” to fellow students? When will we see an online university for working Sims?  The Internet will surely change the mold for future pursuits of education.

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About David Crumpton

Computer Enthusiast
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