Sunday, 20 September 2009

English Lessons Online - The New Revolution

The technology of today means that it is possible to learning anything from English to psychology on the internet. Technology has made education simple; there are more people now than at any other time in history being taught at home.

Thirty years ago there would regularly be features about children all over the world who were being taught remotely, by radio in the Australian outback or in the African bush. The first revolution came with the advent of video cameras, these bulky set ups on tripods with overly large televisions turned peoples houses upside down. You needed to create a TV studio in your living room just to get started studying.

However over recent years there has been a quiet revolution going on, it is now easier than ever to bring internet lessons into the heart of your home. Today much of the planet is linked together as part of the world wide web, with the release of VIOP - “voice over internet protocol” systems such as Skype keeping up with friends and relations across the globe has never been more simple by just talking on your home computer.

It seems like a distant memory when you had to wait hours for the telephone operators to literally, physically connect the lines to make a call between Paris and New York. Today you are instantly connected and at a price that must surely upset the main telephone companies. Reports out of Russia said recently that they were planning on banning access to VOIP systems as they considered them a threat to the countries national security. You can’t help but wonder whether it’s the vast sums of money generated from telephone services they are loosing out on that concerns them more.

As micro technology increased and the size of decreased it became much easier to hold video conferencing, something that a few years before was seen as fanciful daydreams, from the realms of Sci fi scripts. It was said that telephone lines were too small for the job and it was impractical to rewire the whole country but everyday now people are talking and watching each other courtesy of the net.

Probably the greatest classroom revolution came with the introduction of “white boards”, although still not prevalent within the schooling systems they have liberated the teaching environment. Teachers these days are able to include PowerPoint presentations, illustrate their lessons with DVD clips and use music files to enhance the pupils learning experience. From the electronic blackboards it wasn’t long before developers were producing systems compatible with computers and laptops, making it possible to recreate the teaching environment in the comfort of your own home.

Delivering webcam conferences is commonplace and with the addition of “white boards” home schools and virtual classrooms have been appearing at an alarming rate. It is now possible for stay at home teachers and fire side students to enjoy learning anything from Art to Chemistry without leaving the house. Foreign languages are regularly taught by natives of that country online and hotly debated topics are talked over by a truly international classroom from all corners of the globe.

While I am sure everyone will miss the slide projector jamming or the end of lesson bell, you can’t help but feel that we are entering and exciting time in education.

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