The Birth Of Distance Learning
The World Wide Web has been used for many purposes since it was
created by academics to support military research and logistics.
At first it was solely the realm of academics and military
strategists. Then over time it became a source for gathering
vast amounts of information and providing that to select
individuals and companies. But the introduction and rapid
expansion of personal office and home computers with Internet
access quickly changed the Web's focus to commerce and
Almost overnight the Internet became a primary tool for
communication, not only from the experts, but between ordinary
people as well. And of course, the amount of information
available grew as fast as the number of users. So what you ended
up with was vast amounts of information and the ability to
communicate back and forth with people all over the world. The
natural result was a need to try and bring the people together
with the information and the World Wide Web was the perfect
means to accomplish that task.
Like many other aspects of the digital revolution this
interaction was at first limited to the experts and academics
themselves but a personal home computer and Internet access
forced the academics to open up this process. After a while some
of them realized that if the technology and interest existed,
then why not utilize them to help people become better educated.
So they tried offering a few basic distance learning programs
online through various academic institutions and what they found
was that the public's appetite for distance learning was almost
Women who were at home caring for their children still wanted to
get a better education. Veterans returning home from foreign
wars and assignments wanted to upgrade their skills to build a
new life after service to their country. People who lived in
remote areas or lacked the ability to travel to larger
university or college centers wanted access to the benefits of a
higher education. Even people who were already in the workforce
wanted to improve their skills or learn new ones to compete for
better jobs and a better future.
The result was an explosion of opportunities and programs that
offered distance learning designed to meet this growing demand.
Today millions of Americans are benefiting from this new way of
learning and even getting an online degree by studying and
learning online. They are fulfilling their dreams and building
better lives for themselves no matter where they live or even
how old they are.
Distance learning may be phenomena of the Internet age but it is
clearly rooted in the simple desire of human beings to learn and
improve themselves. In the long run that's a very good thing,
not just for the individual, but for our country and the whole