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Whether taking a course to complete some graduate work, participating in an online seminar to grow a skill for a career or a hobby, or choosing to enroll in an online school program for children to learn from home, the options brought by online learning are almost endless. With the ability to study almost any subject from almost anywhere at almost any time, education and learning has never been more accessible! 

National Online Learning Day is the perfect time to show appreciation for, learn more about, and raise awareness for the vast array of opportunities brought through education on the internet.

History of National Online Learning Day

Distance education is a concept that has been a part of education for more than a century. The University of Chicago built the first major college-level correspondence program in the late 1800s, allowing people to receive a college education even if they did not live near the institution. Originally, assignments and papers were transmitted by post, and this type of distance learning was an important part of creating accessible education all throughout the 20th century.

The 1950s brought about a unique form of learning when the first televised college classes were offered on a PBS station in Houston. And with the evolution of technology, the internet and email became a viable option so that electronic classrooms and computer conferencing programs started popping up in the 1980s. The first institution in the US to launch a fully qualified college degree program that was completely online was the University of Phoenix. Offering both bachelor’s and master’s degrees by 1989, this type of learning opened up a whole world of possibilities for people everywhere!

By the mid-1990s, high schools and even elementary schools also joined the e-learning party, with many using blended options to connect home-schooled or traditionally-schooled children with online groups. Since that time, online learning has increased exponentially, with an obvious boom created due to the pandemic of the early 2020s. 

National Online Learning Day was founded in 2016 to show appreciation for and raise awareness about the benefits and positive outcomes of those who engage with online learning. In addition to the huge community of online learners, this event has support from a variety of educational institutions and organizations, including K12, Jason Taylor Foundation, Calvert Education, Miami-Jacobs Career College and a wide range of others.

How to Celebrate National Online Learning Day

The wide range of opportunities to celebrate National Online Learning Day are probably as vast as the number of different classes that can be taken and skills that can be learned online. Check out some of these ideas for showing appreciation and celebrating this day:

Take an Online Class

One of the simplest ways to get on board with celebrating National Online Learning Day might be to sign up for an online course and learn something new! Some courses can be found online for free or as an introduction, while many require payment, small or large depending on the subject and the program or institution who is offering the class. For those who have never experienced online learning, perhaps this is the ideal time to try.

Of course, classes that are part of an accredited program and are taken to earn a certificate or degree are going to be more of an investment than something like an online yoga class or a seminar on how to knit a sweater. From learning a new language to getting a graduate degree, the opportunities for online learning are vast and exciting!

Consider Some Benefits of Online Learning 

It’s true that some of the experiences of the pandemic may have burnt people out on the idea of being online, remembering only the negative aspects. But for others, perhaps enough time has passed to be able to again discuss the ways that online learning can offer benefits and accessibility that many people would miss out on if they have to live where they study.

In celebration of National Online Learning Day, take a look at some of these positive aspects and benefits that online learning can bring:

  • Schedule Flexibility

    In-person classes require a large time investment and don’t work for many part-time students who also need to work. In addition, online learning works well for people who live in different time zones.

  • Lowered Cost

    Because there isn’t a need to get people into the same room together, the cost of learning goes way down when it is done through the internet, whether live or through recorded courses.

  • Self Paced Learning

    Many online courses provide opportunities for students to work at their own pace. With the option of slowing down and spending more time on certain topics, or speeding up if they already understand concepts, these programs can be personalized to individual needs.

  • Learn Self-Motivation

    One important skill in the ever-increasing online workplace today is that people need to understand how to keep themselves motivated and act responsibly even if no one is watching them. Taking online classes is a great way to build and flex these self-motivation muscles.

Share Online Learning Stories

Folks who have already experienced online learning and want to participate in National Online Learning Day might consider taking some time to share their stories with others. Whether this is done in person with a coworker or friend, or through online platforms or social media, this is a great time to help spread the word about online learning. Share the benefits to encourage people to participate, while also offering a reality check with some of the difficulties and struggles that also come along with getting an online education.

Learn Facts About Online Learning

Raising awareness about National Online Learning Day can be done in a variety of ways, including social media and marketing campaigns. Those who are passionate about the topic might consider learning and sharing some of these facts and statistics with their sphere of influence:

  • In 2021, the global e-Learning market was valued at more than 200 billion USD and it is expected to increase to over $800 billion by 2030.

  • When students have access to online learning it raises the retention rate by 25-60%.

  • Online learning is good for the environment, reducing energy consumption by up to 90%.

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