By: John Tipton
Just a few decades ago, distance learning existed only in
the imaginations of science fiction writers. Of course,
computers were as big as a house and only those same
science fiction writers wove stories of a world in which
computers were commonplace.
While technology has not taken the strides some predicted
and we Earthlings didn't colonize the moon by the year
2000, there are many who probably never expected that most
people log onto the Internet on a regular basis.
The great advances in technology have created a couple of
new situations. As with any new gadget, there has to be
someone who can work on it. When cars first hit the scene,
those who could understand the workings of a gas engine
were in great demand.
Even more demanding was the need for training to stay
abreast of the development of the automobile. The same is
true today of the computer technology.
But the techs of today have a great advantage that wasn't
available when auto mechanics were trying to learn. They
have computers and access to instant communication through
That means that the very subject they need to learn more
about is instrumental in keeping them up-to-date in their
field. Like those who are already busy with adult
responsibilities, computer techs have limited time for
training, classes and certifications.
But they have a definite need for those things, many on a
continuous basis. Distance learning and elearning can be
While it's always been possible to learn without being in a
classroom, the opportunities to do so were limited by a
number of factors. One of the biggest problems with
learning outside the classroom has always been the fact
that students didn't have an opportunity to actively
If a student simply reads text and takes a test to discover
whether he retained the knowledge, he's likely to get
something from the course. A student who is allowed to talk
to others, ask questions and observe the questions of other
students is much more likely to gain the knowledge.
Even elearning (typically in the form of online courses)
offers the opportunity to do interactive activities and
students usually get feedback along the way to help them
stay on track.
Distance learning and elearning are no longer fictional
ideas, but have become a reality that is opening doors to
many who would otherwise have missed an opportunity. And by
offering technical training to those who work closely with
computers, the distance learning and elearning options will
likely continue to grow.
Find out why distance learning lets anyone go back to
school. Discover what you need to look for in a distance
learning program, and what you should avoid. Click
About the Author
John Tipton dropped out of school early, and worked boring
jobs for 20 years. Then he discovered 'distance learning'
and finally got the education he missed. After lots of
different courses at lots of different schools, Peter
shares his experience in this series of useful articles.