The article under consideration is entitled The New Faces of Adult Education, the author of the article Amanda Stevens is concerned in adult education as she, as a young mother and a full-time student, faces similar. The article deals with the difficulties individuals encounter being full-time students, the reasons preventing them from studying and a possible solution which facilitates young and busy parents in their daily life combined with intensive studies. From the very beginning, without any preamble Stevens proceeds with giving five vivid examples of young people: Jason and his wife, Shannon, Brett and Desiree. They are all focused on maintaining home and working, but still have time for studying. It seems quite a mysterious phenomenon how they manage to be Jacks of all trades. Online education for adults is a salvation for them. Distance learning and Internet courses are “a natural progression in our ever increasing technological world”¯ (Stevens 2004). They provide education in real time, offer freedom and flexibility, opportunities to excel as students. Materials are available online all the time and students are given enough time to think the answers over.
Stevens focuses mentions that online tuition is offered both to in-state and out-of-state students. Some universities may offer also some financial aid, but entering an online university, it should be taken into account that it may not be accredited in accreditation agency or have improper admission requirements. The author summarizes by defining the role of online education in modern world.
Virtually, I cannot help but agree with Amanda Stevens. Online education has already brought a revolution in the world of education; an individual has got an opportunity to receive education without leaving an armchair. Any course satisfying even sophisticated tastes of the entrants is accessible on the Net with instructions and guidelines to join it. Studies are followed by the interactive session; student’s time will justify further possibilities of the education.
More and more adults turn to distance education as it has a number of irrefutable advantages. It usually turns out to be challenging for an adult to start studying again, but the barriers are put down. It is amazing that according to recent statistics, about half of adults returned to school after the age of twenty-five. The humanity has always looked for the new forms and modes of education, in the eighties and the nineties the number of evening colleges rapidly increased, in the twenty-first century the enrollment into online universities and colleges grows by twenty per cent annually.
Traditional universities are inferior to online ones. After understanding what benefits distance education has to offer, it is not difficult to understand why it remains a popular option for adults all over the world. The most important advantage of online learning process is flexibility, the author of the article made casual mention of its convenience. I think that due to the technology provided by online courses, night schools are forever in the past. One more benefit the form of education provides is economy, as the cost of traditional education in a college or university is rather expensive in comparison with online education courses. I should also emphasize that online education gives adults a wide choice of courses. Earlier if a person wished to study some course that was not provided in the local universities or colleges, the only way was to move to a place where it was provided. Now it is no necessity at all, as engaged in distance learning one may choose whatever he or she prefers or needs for promotion at work. By the way, in addition to being economical and flexible, the education of such a type will most likely assist in getting a higher paying job and improving life on the whole. Online education also does not give you so strict time limit, a student who is shy or timid and may no not excel because of his psychological peculiarities will surely benefit from this education. Online discussions held in interactive classrooms are never limited to fifty minutes and give students opportunities for shaping their point of view and airing it by email. Still conservative way of learning supporters consider this to be insufficient, as students in their opinion need to interact closely, having face to face discussions in which they participate as well as their tutor does. They say that modern technology isolates people and adds problems for teachers who need to reveal every student’s potential. However, in online learning students from different cities and even countries may study in the same class and participate in any discussion which no doubt makes it more fruitful and all-embracing. The professors do the teaching and staff helps them with technical service, checking Web links, refreshing data, etc. But, unfortunately, there is a point why many employers are still doubtful about the proficiency of online students and it lies in the fact that there function a great number of bogus online universities over cyberspace. They are not accredited by the Department of Education and cheat millions of people all over the world.
I consider that education in the Information Age is changing so rapidly that what is topical and progressive today will tomorrow either be most likely upgraded or go out of date.