In this world nothing is permanent except change. Changes affect the way people live, interact, communicate, do business, perform their daily undertakings, and even the manner they acquire knowledge. Effects of change may be progressive or regressive; toward development or in the contrary, towards stagnation. Among these changes, education is not exempted. From the curriculum to course offerings, to teaching methods and strategies, education has changed over the years. One conspicuous example is the alternative mode of delivery of instruction. Aside from the traditional classroom style where the teacher and students meet face-to-face at the same time in the same place, another mode was developed—the distance learning mode.
Commonly known as distance education, learners and teachers do not interact tete-a-tete. Teacher and students interact with each other via the internet, thru video podcasts and audiobooks with quick links from the school’s web site, aside from previously known media like the telephone, radio or television. According to study, distance learning is one of the most dramatic technology-based changes occurring in education today. Communication technology enables learners to receive instruction despite geographic and time disparities that would make traditional classroom instruction impossible.
Why should you consider distance education? Chances are it will open up educational possibilities you didn’t know existed.
In the western part of the world, distance education is not a new concept since the pre-industrial period. It was offered to provide education opportunities to people who cannot afford full-time residency in an educational institution.
As the modern means of communications advance, delivery of education through distance learning becomes more efficient and widely available. Virtual-face-to-face via video conferencing and web streaming became inexpensively possible with use of communication software and computer hardware available. Latest transmission media now are capable of providing two-way, full-motion, real-time interaction between the students and teachers. This makes distance education more affordable as evident by the increasing numbers of elementary schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities that offer distance education programs.
In Philippine educational setting, shortage of calssrooms, qualified teachers, and skyrocketing cost of books and instructional materials are few among the perennial problems.
In the private sector, the cost of education is nearly unaffordable to average income-earning family. Leading higher education institutions (HEIs) are situated in the urban cities far away from the reach of the poor but capable students from the provinces thus increasing the cost of education because of board and lodging.
In view of the foregoing, concerned institutions are implored to develop a national distance learning program for education affordable to every Filipino family.
Distance education can provide immediate solution to classroom shortage. It doesn’t need physical classrooms. It can also contribute to providing economically feasible education opportunities to many learners in disparate regions. To name a few, less transportation cost, uniforms, school supplies, and books among others. Recent innovations in hardware, software, internet technologies, and the proliferation of internet café businesses, have made telecommunications-based distance education systems more available, easier to use, and less costly.
The NEU Promise
As the means of people’s way of living continue to improve, the medium of information dissemination keeps itself abreast and dynamically upfront with it.
New Era University (NEU), in its celebration of 35th Emerald Anniversary opens its door in adopting these means. NEU recognizes the use of information highway as equally effective media and very powerful tool in providing people with information and learning relevant to their acquisition of knowledge. NEU futher recognizes the enormous role played by the electronic media from wired to fiber optics to wireless propagation of knowledge to cater more and more people—specifically our brethren worldwide, where our school cannot reach them.
In a very significant way, the world wide web will be helpful to the school in catering the needs of different people in different parts of the world, not only for self-propelling individuals, but to all people eager to learn more on his own, and those who believe distance education is practical and expedient.
And so, as technology surges forward, NEU will make full use of this opportunity as an additional medium to intensify its effort of delivering quality education. As part of its vision to become world-class, NEU envisions reaching larger community of learners through electronic learning modules and instruction. It commits itself to Viable Education Management remotely. Yet with all these changes, in the means of communicating information and knowledge, we maintain one imperishable good we are determined to deliver to all: Christian-inspired education.
• Moore, Michael G. "Distance Education." Microsoft® Encarta® 2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2008.
• Guide to Distance Learning, By Michael R. Simonson Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.