Distance Education

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Distance Education


The purpose of my paper is to discuss distance education: What is it? What is its effect on education and the world? How will educators be affected? What are the pros and cons surrounding its use?

What is distance education?

"Although the term ‘distance education’ is of relatively recent coinage, the concept of ‘learning at a distance’ is not new at all. For example, correspondence courses first appeared in Germany, England, and the United States in the mid-nineteenth century (Neal, 1999, p.1). Neal continued to say that "these courses were intended to provide vocational training to serve the demands of growing industrial economies, but the idea of learning on one’s own proved so attractive that by the early twentieth century courses in every conceivable subject were offered by colleges, universities, and proprietary institutes (Neal, p.1).

Weinstein writes that "…[Distance Education] gained momentum in the early 1980s using a combination of satellite delivered video and two-way audio. Many sites could watch the broadcasts, and phone or fax in questions and assignments. Now, spurred by the Internet and videoconferencing technology, distance learning is taking off…(Weinstein, 1997, p.1). He said that "initially, distance learning was envisioned as a way to serve students who lacked access to a complete education, whether due to insufficient resources, geographic isolation, or physical disabilities (Weinstein ,p.1). "Distance education is becoming a viable way to supplement programs and support innovation, rather than being merely a better-than-nothing alternative to doing without (Weinstein, p.1).

Effects on Education and The World

Today "distance education, [w...

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...ournal of Business & Technical Communications: Vol. 13 (pp. 208 - 222).

Neal, Ed. (1999). Distance education. National Forum: Phi Kappa Phi Journal: Vol. 79 (pp. 40 - 43).

Poley, Janet K. (1998). Distance education for American universities and the world. American Journal of Agricultural Economics: Vol. 80 (pp. 973 - 978).

Potashnik, Michael; Capper, Joanne (1998). Distance education: Growth and diversity. Finance & Development: Vol. 35 (pp. 42 - 45).

Rangecroft, Margaret. (1998). Interpersonal communication in distance education. Journal of Education for Teaching: Vol. 24 (pp. 75 - 76).

Trinkle, Dennis A. (1999). Distance education: A means to an end, no more, no less. Chronicle of Higher Education: Vol. 45 (A60).

Weinstein, Peter. (1997). Education goes the distance: Overview. Technology & Learning: Vol. 17 (pp. 24 - 25).

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