With the advent of the Internet and other information technologies, online or distance learning is becoming more and more popular. An increasing number of universities have opened up distance education at present to help pupils who cannot afford to study a fulltime program. In my opinion, this educational mode is as beneficial as regular programs due to some reasons as follows.
First and foremost, this way of learning allows learners to study in a flexible way. Taking online courses, students can work whenever and wherever is convenient, and they can cover the material at their own pace. This type of learning makes it extremely comfortable for those who want to continue futher education but having not enough time to attend classroom-based programs.
Secondly, long distance learning saves enormous time and considerable expense for pupils. Students who study through distance learning programs can cut down their commuting time, tuition fees, textbook fees and so on just by an internet connection. For instance, numerous underpriviledged children who live in the countryside may not be able to get higher education; however, thanks to lower costs and the widespread presence of distance education, they can take advanced courses regardless of not only their financial background but also current living places.
Futhermore, online learning offers open access to anybody who is willing to study despite their actual age. Attending normal classes at school may put pressure on seniors because they have to study with those who are younger than them. However, by distance learning, the old can enroll in online programs, which can provide learners with immense knowledge in various fields without difficulty and embarassment.
Opponents may argue that this way of learning is lack of face-to-face contact between students and teachers, thus, online students cannot develop comprehensively like the way other students who attend classes at school do. However, the evolution of technology has allowed learners and teachers to keep in touch with each other by such programs as Skype, Video call and so on. Therefore, online learners can develop as well as classroom based pupils.
By way of conclusion, owing to the efficiency, convenience and economic value distance learning brings about, I believe online education can be as effective as school education.