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The Growth Of Distance Learning

Distance learning has been defined by the United States District Learning Association as the acquisition of knowledge and skills through mediated information and instruction. Distance learning encompasses all technologies and supports the pursuit of life long learning for all. Today distance learning is being used in al most every area of education including primary, elementary, and high school.

Distance learning is also being utilized for college, university, and technical training as well as home school education, continuing education, corporate training, military and government training, and telemedicine.

Distance learning has undergone a phenomenal growth in the last ten years, primarily because of the technology of high-speed Internet combined with the upswing in home computer ownership. Both technological advances have allowed Americans to access distance learning programs and as we all know the laws of supply and demand mean that where there is a need or an interest, business will respond by making more of the needed product available.

But the other main factor in the growth of distance learning is the continuing and seemingly insatiable human quest for knowledge. It's not just young people fresh out of high school that are looking at distance learning to complete their education through an online degree, but homemakers, veterans, and even seniors as well. There is a desire of many Americans to have the full American dream, live in peace and comfort, own your own home, and get a college education.

Distance learning has grown as well because it works in both helping people of all ages learn and comprehend even the most technical subjects. Research has shown that distance learning programs report similar effectiveness results as reported under traditional instruction methods. In addition, research studies have also pointed out that not only do students learn in distance learning but that they are quite positive about the experience itself.

Distance learning can be the sole training experience but many teachers are using it as a support to their regular teaching programs. They offer special courses and electronic field trips for students to enhance their regular programs and to break the monotony of sitting in a classroom every day of the week. They also use distance learning to assist both rural and inner city classes with student through enrichment, student courses, staff development and in-service training for teachers and administrators. In the field of higher education you can now earn both undergraduate and advanced online degrees through distance learning.

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