News You Can Use 6/07/01
By Bruce Mushial
Many investors want to have little to do with e-anything or dot.gone
companies, but one area of the Internet that will grow down the
road is e-learning and the technology necessary to support it.
Traditionally people have gotten into their cars and went off
to a college, university, or trade school. If your schedule of
free time didn't match when the classes were offered, or if you
lived too far from the school you wanted to attend and couldn't
just pick up and leave your existence behind you, too bad. Now
things have changed. You can earn bachelor, masters, and doctorate
degrees and complete certificate programs along with vocational
training online. Many degree programs of this type were of questionable
quality, but now degree programs are available that are fully
accredited by the same academic accrediting organizations that
accredit all the major colleges and universities. Now you can
take classes at the pace you want and you can complete the coursework
no matter how crazy or erratic your schedule. If you travel
a lot for business you can log onto the school's website from
your hotel room after a days work or at two o'clock in the morning.
If you live in remote Alaska, Nova Scotia, or on an oilrig in
the North Atlantic you can still complete a bachelor or masters
degree. In traditional education there has been the expense of
the instructor and the classroom space. At many colleges there
is a minimum enrollment required for a course or it will be canceled
and the instructor's time will be utilized in a different manner.
Some courses have such a small enrollment that they are only offered
once a year or only every other year. With e-learning this doesn't
have to be the case. In California there are community colleges
that have joined together to provide courses that usually have
too few students enrolled to economically offer. They have one
instructor teach the course, and via the Internet they provide
the class in real-time to a small groups of students at colleges
spread all across the state. The class format is interactive
and students can ask questions of the instructor and each other.
Once the courses are taught they can be used as teaching aids.
Some would even say the education received is better than traditional
courses because a student can review the actual lecture instead
of just their notes. Most of the companies focused on e-learning
are privately held, at the moment. The next time the markets become
favorable for IPOs we will no doubt see some of these companies
emerge. Other companies that will benefit from e-learning are
providers of Internet Services, broadband technology, DSL, and
manufacturers of video cameras. Keep your eyes open and you can
profit from this growing technology.
star can win any game, but a team can win every game." --
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