Education: Classroom or Paperless?

Going to college and university is great isn’t it? New school, new people and new experiences.

One thing that isn’t so great about it (aside from how much it costs), is having to lug around all those books, binders, papers and a laptop, if you got one.

By the end of the day, your back and shoulders are killing you from all the weight you’ve been carrying around in your backpack all day long.

But, what if you didn’t have to lug all those books around all day? What if you didn’t need to use any paper to takes notes with? What if instead of a lecture hall, the computer was your classroom?

Today, post-secondary institutions from all over Canada and the United States are putting their courses for diploma and degree programs online so that people all over the world can access them.

And in an age where society seems to be relying more and more on computers as part of their daily lives, it only makes sense to put education online. Right?

But, what’s the difference between receiving education in a classroom or online?

Which one is better or worse?

When receiving an education on the school’s campus and in the classroom, it provides you with more interaction between you, your professors, and your fellow classmates. Professors have office hours each week where you can make an appointment with them to ask any questions you have about the lecture, any class assignments or past and upcoming exams.

And, as for your fellow classmates, you get to meet them, chat with them, make friends with them, take notes for each other when the other one isn’t there, form study groups outside of class and hang out at the coffee shop on campus and play pool.

Receiving an education online doesn’t provide you with that interaction with your professors (unless through email) or your fellow students. All of your course’s information and all your assignments are accessed through the school’s website that you have to log on to. It’s just you and your computer all alone.

So, which type of post-secondary education is better? In a classroom or on the web? Paper or no paper?

Well, like most decisions in life, there are pros and cons to both classroom and online education.

The classroom provides you with visuals, such as diagrams, slides and presentations and sometimes funny little jokes or stories from your professors that make you and your classmates laugh out loud or give you insight into what it’s like out there in the real world. It also provides you access to your professors during their weekly office hours, as well as to your classmates so you can get together with them to study, as was previously mentioned above.

But, for everything the classroom provides you with, the catch is that you can’t pass your classes without being in attendance for them, which means that they are very time consuming.

On the other hand, online provides you with easy access to your course information, notes and assignments. You’ll be saving a lot of money since you won’t have to fork out thousands of dollars to go away to school and live in residence, which I can tell you from personal experience is extremely expensive and is getting more and more costly every year.

Your time is a lot more flexible because you are not tied down by class start and end times, you don’t have to be at a specific place at a specific time. You just have to make sure that you have your assignments completed and emailed to the professor by the set due date.

This means, that since your attendance is not required, you can work a full-time job and still receive a post-secondary education and earn that degree or diploma.

That makes online education ideal for stay-at-home or working mothers, as well as students from other countries who can’t afford to leave home or their countries.

So, whether you want to gain your course credits in the classroom or on the web is up to you. Both have their merits and drawbacks.

But, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how you get your education. What matters, is that you can look at your wall and see that degree or diploma hanging up and say to yourself “I did it.” And, you can also be proud of yourself because getting an education is an accomplishment to be proud of, for life.

Below are some websites that provide information on online education:

Also, if you go onto any college or university website and type in online courses in the search box, something usually comes up.

3 Responses to “Education: Classroom or Paperless?”

  1. Joel

    Well put, I’m always thinking about doing on-line schooling, but I think I learn more through discussion then reading, maybe one day i’ll be able to look up on my wall and say “I did it”

  2. Melissa

    This article really confirmed for me that if/when I got back to school to get my degree I will do it online, the flexibility and freedom to work and learn when I want to makes continuing education all the more appealing! Paperless for this girl!!

  3. Geoff

    Having experienced both online and in class educational courses, I must say you make some valid points. The convenience of online courses is very alluring, while the classroom interaction is irreplaceable by a monitor, for better or for worse.


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