Personal computers and computer networking are an integral part of communication and productivity in modern society. The Internet is a key facet of computer networking, which is used extensively in many fields such as business and higher education. The Internet offers numerous advantages to both students and educators at colleges and universities.
One advantage of using the Internet in University education is its ability to allow you to communicate quickly to large numbers of people if necessary. Email allows students and teachers to contact one another even if they cannot physically meet. It enables educators to send out announcements, such as assignments or a course syllabus, without having to hand out paper copies. Students can submit assignments via email or some other online submission system, which can cut down on the amount of paper waste produced by the institution. Online communication is also advantageous for students (such as athletes) who must miss class time, enabling them to receive class notes and other important information.
The Internet is a powerful tool for assisting students and educators with conducting research. Going to a library and searching through a card catalog by hand can be laborious and inefficient compared to searching for the same information on a computer. Many institutions offer online library systems which allow students to find information on books using lab computers, or to access databases of scholarly articles that they can read online.
One of the most powerful benefits of the Internet in higher education is its role in e-Learning. E-Learning uses course materials that exist entirely on a computer or the Internet. Some schools offer courses that are entirely e-learning based, meaning all texts, assignments, quizzes and tests are accessible online and no face-to-face meetings are required. E-learning allows students with limited mobility or inflexible schedules to take courses and study at times that are convenient for them. E-learning also allows students to learn at different rates; one student could go through a certain course and finish it in half the time of another student. Many brick-and-mortar colleges and universities offer online courses or have courses with aspects of e-learning, such as online quizzes and exams.
The Internet serves to streamline the admissions process to colleges and universities. Many schools allow prospective students to download applications online and some may even have online application forms. University websites usually have information that prospective students can read to help inform their school choice.
Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.