brown wooden table and chairs

When you think of traditional education, you probably picture students gathered in a classroom, sitting at desks, eagerly jotting down notes as a teacher speaks in front of the class. While this has been the traditional learning model for decades, it’s starting to take a back seat to online learning.

As with everything, the educational model is shifting and transforming thanks to the internet. Education is no longer something contained within a building that people visit to attain. Today, education is available to anyone with a computer and an internet connection.

The benefits of this transformation aren’t small, either. The internet has changed education in some very important ways. Here’s a closer look at some of the most important changes.

1. Professionals can earn CEUs online

Certain professions require people to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) each year in order to maintain their credentials and continue working in their industry.

For example, the AARC requires respiratory therapists to earn a certain number of CRCE credits each year, which varies by state. Thanks to the internet, respiratory therapists can earn CEUs online by taking AARC-approved courses and passing the exam.

Here’s a list of several professions that require CEUs to maintain licensure:

  • Psychologists
  • Pharmacists
  • Engineers
  • Accountants
  • Lawyers
  • Teachers
  • Pilots
  • Architects

All of these professionals used to be required to sign up for an in-person exam, sit in a cold building, and take an exam in an uncomfortable chair or desk. Thanks to the internet, now they only need to sign up for an online course, study and take the exam from the comfort of their own home.

2. Training courses can be self-paced

Perhaps the most important way the internet has transformed education is by allowing for self-paced courses. When students and professionals need to visit a physical building to take a course, they have to learn according to the dates and times of the program. However, with the internet, they can choose self-paced courses.

Not all online courses are self-paced, but the internet makes it possible to administer self-paced learning programs. For example, there are plenty of courses online that offer pre-recorded content that can be consumed according to each participant’s schedule. It doesn’t matter if it takes them a week, a month, or a year to get through the material – they can go at their own pace.

Self-paced learning is ideal for people who have families, caregiving responsibilities or are working multiple jobs.

3. Exams can be proctored online

Sometimes exams need to be supervised to make sure nobody is cheating or breaking the rules for the exam. Without the internet, this would be impossible, and all exams would need to take place in person. However, the internet makes it possible for online exams to be proctored.

All it takes is a simple setup – like Zoom – that gives the proctor a view of all the test-takers in real-time. The proctor can monitor everyone on one or more screens, depending on how many people are taking the test.

This makes online learning more accessible since it allows important exams to be taken online.

4. Some professions can be entered into completely online

Some professions require hands-on training, like becoming a doctor, a plumber, or an auto mechanic. The hands-on component is non-negotiable for obvious reasons. You can learn how to take apart a carburetor in theory online, but until you do it in person, you don’t really know how to take apart a carburetor.

Other professions can be entered into entirely online. You’ll find that most of these professions are also conducted online rather than in the physical world. For example, graphic design, website development, digital marketing, and copywriting are all professions that people can get into without setting foot in a physical classroom.

Although in-person guidance is extremely valuable, it’s not necessary to create a career in some industries. This was simply not possible before the internet paved the way for online learning.

Education was long due for a change

Thanks to the internet, education has finally received the level-up necessary to become more effective. Today, people are short on time and attention, and many people just don’t want to bother going to a building to learn.

Moving education online benefits everyone, including the learners, teachers, and institutions that offer courses. If you’ve been thinking about exploring online courses, now is a great time to start. In the end, you’ll likely find that online learning is easier and more effective than traditional methods.