How Internet Speeds are Affecting Children's Education

Virgin Media offers advice on how to improve yours

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To say that high speed internet is having an affect on education is a huge understatement. Connection speeds are continuing to increase and soon, the rest of the UK will all benefit from fibre optic broadband. In this context, digital content is king in so many different areas, with education being a particularly exciting one.

Free education has never been this accessible before. The internet offers anyone tools to teach themselves just about anything, and your kids won't have to browse through third-rate documentaries while browsing TV channels from Virgin Media at home.

Free further education

Your kids don't have to feel limited by what they learn at school anymore. If they want to, they can now go online to download lectures in audio and video, as well as other course tools from institutions as esteemed as MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) with their OpenCourseWare program.

Not to be left behind, UC Berkley announced that they would be uploading whole academic courses on iTunes U, Apple's education app. They followed this up by creating a YouTube channel as well.

Other Ivy League colleges have also followed the trend, with Yale, Stanford and Harvard also uploading their lectures and courses to anyone who wants to access them.

Better individual attention

Believe it or not, your child is more likely to get better individual attention from their teachers online rather than in a classroom. It's been demonstrated that children tend to perform better in smaller classes, which is at odds with the situation on the ground, as class sizes continue to swell, year after year.

Online schooling, on the other hand, provides the close attention that your child requires to succeed. With assignments and lesson plans that are based on personalised assessments of your child's abilities, they will receive the kind of education they deserve, instead of the standardised education offered at schools.

Enhanced participation

While critics may claim that not being physically present in a classroom can hamper your child's interactivity and interpersonal skills, this is not wholly the truth. Online education features live online discussions with their peers and teachers, via video conferencing as well as classroom discussion boards.

Your child will have the opportunity to discuss his or her ideas without the awkwardness and difficulty of having to do it in front of the entire class. Shy kids tend to thrive in this environment while others work on their interpersonal skills, becoming more direct than they might have otherwise been.

The fact of the matter is that the traditional education system is hindered by all kinds of things that have never been fully addressed, let alone solved. Online education offers an accessible and completely free way of getting around these problems – more parents would do well to welcome the idea of incorporating online learning into their child's education.


July 30, 2013