Coming Of Age: Online Accelerated Learning Is Here To Stay

Growing up as a mod girl in the sixties, with flower power, peace, love and understanding as the motto in elementary school while the rebellion and uprisings on college campuses were on the rise. A revolution was happening and we all wanted to be a part of the scene. College campuses were becoming the melting pot of changing the status quo.

During the 1960s and 1970's the country experienced an increase in student activism on its college campuses and in its cities. Opposed to U.S. political leadership and dissatisfied with American culture, student activists held demonstrations across the country, trying to evoke fundamental change in our culture. From the Vietnam War to the Civil Rights movement, a community of activists led their fellow students to sit ins, protests and media attention. The draft was used by the United States government to force young adult men into uniform to fight a war they didn't understand.

Many young college and young working men began to rethink the policies of our government. There were anti-war marches, petitions, picket signs, and even small round colorful political buttons. "Make Love, Not War." So many of the movements that are still in the forefront today were birthed at that time. From legalizing abortion to 'sex, drugs, rock n'roll', the music industry was a growing phenomenon of broadcasting the ideology and changes desired by the youth.

The greatest bands emerged, such as the British beat, from Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Cream, the Who. In America it was Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Mothers of Invention with Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, The Jefferson Airplane, and dozens more becoming the powerful influencers of 'My g, g, generation.'

College campuses of the past were hubs for many of the most important changes that are influencing our lives today. However, now the trend is moving away from the traditional schooling to unconventional degrees gained from online education and it is projected to grow at a robust rate.

In an article by Candice Adderly, How Technology Has Changed Education, she has touched upon many significant points.

"Over the past 20 years, technology has dramatically transformed how we live, how we work and how we connect. How we learn is no exception."

"Nearly 70 percent of chief academic leaders said that online learning is critical to their long-term strategy, and 77 percent rated learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in a classroom setting."

A more recent study estimates that about 46 percent college students are taking at least one course online and that by 2019, roughly half of all college classes will be digitally based.

On average, students in online learning conditions performed modestly better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.
 --SRI International for the Department of Education

With the increase in online learning options, many students are encouraged to participate in discussion forums. In this time of interacting with other students, there is more time for reflection, as well as camaraderie, and explore each other's ideas.

"The takeaway: If delivered well, online education provides a richer and more interactive classroom, allows students to develop a set of sophisticated virtual communication skills and utilizes the power of multimedia to help students remember what they learn!" Lila Romero, 2015

With so many grads seeking work in an ever diminishing job market, many are going to school to earn MBA's at night while employed. According to US News and World Report, Education, there are many high ranking schools for MBA's. The top ranking schools such as Temple University (Fox), a public school, have ninety-two percent of students who are already employed when they first enroll. "The most important is to note that MBA programs at Temple University (Fox) are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the gold standard of business school accreditation."

Less than 5 percent of business schools worldwide have earned this prestigious designation. Another highly rated accredited school is the University of South Dakota and their online Master of Business Administration. Their Business School was established in 1927, and has maintained accreditation status since 1949.

Many of the earliest alumni would probably be amazed at the future of education and the advancement of knowledge being disseminated in such a powerful outreach. Few would probably have predicted how far technology has come and just how much of an influence it would come to have on the education process.

Looking back to those mid-century years when the college campus was the counterpoint of so many aspects of our culture. There now seems to be the whiff of a paradox where college and school education has become, and continues to become a virtual experience. Students are distanced from one another, yet at the same time more personal in some aspects.