Is eLearning for Everyone?

Education is changing, and at a speed that can sometimes seem a little bewildering.   The electronic age has brought many changes to the way we live and the way we learn is changing too.

Some people resist it, but eLearning is without doubt the way of the future. Not everyone has access to the top notch universities such as Oxford and Cambridge in the UK, or Harvard and Yale in the United States. No matter how much money fine institutions like this have in their budgets, there is always going to be a limit to how many people can benefit from their expertise in person. Online and distance learning, on the other hand, provides the potential for people around the world to gain access to the very best professors via the internet. Now a boy or a girl in a small town in India or China can potentially watch lectures taught by the finest professors in a field online.

While it is early days yet, support for this kind of content delivery is slowly spreading among colleges and universities worldwide. Even students preparing for college have opportunities to learn from the best online. Not every high school or secondary school student has access to the best teachers where they live.

If they find themselves struggling with a particular subject or concept – let’s say Geometry – they can simply tap the abundance of resources on the subject available for free online. Many school teachers post information about the subject they teach simply out of a passion for teaching. The type of teacher who has this kind of enthusiasm is very likely to be able to engage with their viewers with their passion for the subject in a way an average teacher may not.

Even if we forget about the established sources of educational material, there’s still lots online.   Just imagine the material available on a handful of public broadcasters – the BBC allow you to download whole series and watch them offline.  That’s thousands of hours of multi-million pound educational programmes at the touch of a button.  Although it has to be said there are some restrictions on where you can download from so you may need a VPN in some cases (see notes below).

With ever growing budget problems for a growing number of educational systems around the world, I have no hesitation in predicting that we will see more people turning to eLearning resources to enhance – or even replace – traditional classroom based learning techniques. We should not fear this change, but rather embrace it an opportunity to better educate our children – something which is surely need


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