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Just 20 years ago, if someone told us that children would be learning from tiny screens — or, better yet, that adults would rely on online learning, we’d all probably glance at that person with suspicion and scepticism.

And, yet, fast forward to 2021 and you’ll learn that online education hasn’t even hit its peak yet. Things are only just starting to gear up for a total revolution of how we learn, interact, and grow — digitally.

Yes, the rise of COVID-19 has certainly accelerated how the internet has changed education. Online education, for example, has become a necessity in mainstream schools and this is just one of the ways internet technology has changed education.

However, the market for online education is set to hit $350 billion by 2025 and that was true before the pandemic ever hit.

Let’s take a look at just some of the tangible perks that online education has provided for families, students, and educators alike.

From external to internal motivation

Researchers have identified four key elements to intrinsic motivation — and online learning is well-positioned to embrace and enhance all four.

These include:

  • Autonomy — being able to control when and how something happens and how it can be done
  • Competence — the experience of feeling successful when doing something
  • Relatedness— feeling that others care about the activity and you can connect with others when doing it
  • Relevance— knowing that this experience of the activity is interesting and valuable to either the present or to future goals

To understand how online education changed the world, you need to look no further than these four behaviours. Consider that:

  • With online learning, students can choose when they want to begin a lesson and, once they watch a module or lecture, they can decide how to approach the assignments (Autonomy)
  • Thanks to gamification and instant assessments, students can feel distinguished, successful, and rewarded right away. The instant gratification triggers their dopamine centers, but the instant feedback also makes them more self-aware learners (Competence)
  • Online education platforms have multiple students working on group projects, posting in forums, and messaging each other at the same time. This allows students to feel that their participation is connected to their success (Relatedness)
  • The continual use of gamification to motivate students and make learning fun, along with concrete evaluations, instant feedback, transparent marking, and syllabi that’s always accessible, students finish their work with a feeling of accomplishment and the sense that what they’re doing virtually will help progress them to the next level (Relevance)

Greater rates of homeschooling

It’s no secret that the rates of homeschooled students are rising. Part of the reason, again, is the pandemic. Parents who began with online education began to see positive shifts in their child’s overall mental well-being and energy levels. So, they simply decided to continue on with this “at-home” methodology.

However, internet technology changed education because it made the option to homeschool more viable and accessible.

Parents who are concerned about access to education resources, how to keep their children on track, and how to connect with other students and educators, suddenly have a game changer in their midst.

Internet technology.

They can connect with students all over the world. They can complete their studies using online learning courses with pre-built lessons, units, assignments, and tests.

More quantifiable data to improve what’s not working

It’s not just students who are gaining instant feedback (and thriving, by the way, thanks to the way online education has changed the world). It’s educators and instructors who are receiving real, quantifiable data about their students’ preferences, their learning styles, what works, and what doesn’t.

One of the ways that internet technology has changed education — and, indeed, every industry it touches — is to allow users (in this case, teachers and tutors) to gain access to data insights.

Educators can quickly learn about engagement rates, click rates, completion rates, success rates, and so much more because students are interacting with the online learning environment.

They can get a deeper understanding into what’s resonating with students, and where they might need support, or what aspect of the curriculum might need to be changed in order to improve learning outcomes.

Engage students in multiple ways with iSmartStudent’s online tutors

To truly understand how the internet has changed education, you have to experience for yourself. Internet technology and online learning don’t allow for passivity. You have to interact with the screen, take charge of your learning, and make decisions about what you work on.

That’s exactly the advantages iSmartStudent tutors harness to make online learning and tutoring for students fun, engaging, and educational. Above all, we see students actively taking an interest in their work. They collaborate with their peers, and their work, and our tutors as they’re able to gain immediate feedback and one-on-one attention from the comfort of their own home. Learn more about our unique approach to successful learning at iSmartStudent today.