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Is open education good for you? First, know about what is open education and what people think about it. Open education may offer you free access to educational materials. Though there are certain advantages to this form of the education system, there are some apprehensions or drawbacks too in the present scenario. Learn about the various thoughts and views about open education in this blog post. ~ Ed.
New technologies are currently changing everything we know. Medicine, tourism, politics, and economics are all dependent on information technology and what it can offer.
Education is no different.
Today we can see that the internet is playing a great role in offering what we know as open education instead of traditional methods.
If you’re wondering what is open education, then here’s what you need to know.
What is Open Education
The term “Open Education” became popular about 15 years ago. It was an idea aimed at offering better opportunities to people who have no access to traditional means of learning due to a lot of reasons.
It basically allows free access to educational resources that students would otherwise have to pay for.
So, instead of enrolling for college or university and paying a substantial amount of money, students can gain access to the academic material for free at the comfort of their homes.
Today more students are interested in open education as it allows them to study without having to leave their own countries. They can also work according to their own pace which is a great solution if you have to get a job while studying for your degree.
In fact, open education might be the only way some people can have access to learning, especially if they live in remote areas or war zones.
Open education is all about using the latest technologies to provide students with the chance to learn. Students can work on their own or with the help of their online mentors to get the grades that can enable them to achieve their academic and professional dreams.
Getting a degree has an impact on the person’s life, on his family and the country as a whole. This new trend is more about shifting the learning process from stationary and rigid systems to a more relaxed and personalized system that can be tailored to cater to the needs of various students.
Open education literally opens doors for students and teachers to work across different regions in a stress-free environment that will allow them to excel, in spite of the current circumstances.
Why are Some People Interested in Open Education
Although getting a free education is taken for granted in some parts of the world, there are a lot of students who still suffer to have access to schools, colleges, universities and relevant academic materials.
Just because a student can ask “Can I pay someone to do my assignments?” and have a lot of people who are offering help, doesn’t mean that everybody has the same opportunity.
A lot of people in developing countries are denied the right to learn due to economic, political or cultural reasons. Having a means of education where they can learn according to their own convenience can change their lives drastically.
Even people who live in more developed countries where learning is highly accessible, might not find it affordable. A lot of people have to quit school to get a job that pays the bills. Some might lack the financial resources that allow them to get a college or university degree after studying for four years.
This trend is both beneficial to the governments in developing countries and people living in less privileged areas. By having free access to academic materials, students will be able to study and learn without going to school or paying any fees.
The cost of setting up a laptop with a good internet connection is nothing compared to thousands of dollars that every student has to spend in order to obtain an academic degree.
It also reduces the costs of going to schools and colleges in the public sector as governments are no longer required to build and maintain a big number of facilities. Some students will be able to go on with their education on their own.
Why are Some People Not Crazy About Open Education
Although a lot of countries are trying to improve their educational systems, some simply lack the expertise or financial resources.
However, a lot of people are against the use of open education. Well, some argue that offering education to everyone might eventually affect the quality of the education offered.
Open education is basically less expensive than traditional methods, although advocates think that it should be offered for free. But the truth is that the fees that students pay to get their degrees are used to finance scientific research.
Without the money, researchers and scientists will lack the resources needed to go on with their science projects and experiments. It is hard to argue against something that is offered for free. But the truth is that providing free learning might be at the cost of quality.
A lot of scholars are also against the whole evaluation system. When students go to college or universities they are regularly tested to be assessed. They are working with teachers and professors who can teach them how to do things right.
With open education, there might be some ways that students might manipulate their work and grades. There is no direct contact with between the professor and the student.
At the same time, authors who write the academic material that students use are denied their intellectual rights. A person can write an article or journal that is accessed millions of times without even being paid for it.
Researchers and tutors will not favor working in an open education system that doesn’t cover their expenses. This means that there will not be enough free materials that various students can access and use.
For or Against
In a perfect world, everybody gets the same opportunities. But this can be done in more practical ways than using open education.
Rich countries, educational organizations and world-famous institutions can start working on providing more affordable education in the less privileged parts of the world. The education provided should be run in the same way it is done through the traditional mediums.
It should be monitored and regularly updated by educators who can customize the materials provided for people who live in different parts of the world.
While offering free access to educational materials might be impossible, governments should increase their spending on public education which will, in turn, improve its quality. More money will be available for running studies and researches that will ultimately increase the quality of education provided.
By the same token, people will no longer find themselves obliged to go for private education that typically costs a lot more.
Open source education is all about offering free access to educational materials. More people will be able to get their degrees without leaving their home countries or even homes.
However, this type of education lacks the fundamentals that characterize and govern traditional education. More people should be involved in designing open education programs to make sure that students are following the right guidelines.
Moreover, there should be a reliable means of assessment that will guarantee that the student is following the coursework properly.
Absolutely free education might be a dream that we can never realize. However, governments should work on ways that would make education more accessible and affordable.
Over to you
What do you think about open education? Are you for or against it? Share your views in the comments.