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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Distance Education

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Information and communication technology (ICT) refers to a technology that promotes communication through electronic capture, processing and transmission of information (Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, 2006). ICT has been widely applied in educational, industrial and economic development. ICT is believed as the only strategy that can be used to reduce the educational gap that was created during the colonial period which the period when most of the countries were subject to administration by a colonial power. Education that has been enhanced technologically is considered an indirect way of alleviating social division, poverty and improving living standards especially in developing countries. ICT also promotes dissemination of information through communication channels such as TV, radio and even internet. E-Learning is construed in a variety of contexts, such as distance learning, online learning and networked learning (Wilson 2001). These communication channels can be used to provide quality education and a very low cost when compared to traditional education systems.

Educators have long adapted learning to the available technology, and online learning is no exception. Online learning may be a relatively recent application of Internet technology. However, it is simply the latest example of learning evolving to meet the demands of students. In Sweden, for example, In the 1880s Hans Hermod, a teacher of bookkeeping, continued to teach a student who moves away from his own town, by sending lessons through the mail. At the same time in England an English teacher, William Briggs, who ran a tutorial college by mail for student who cannot attend In. The late 1920s Soviet Union accepted teaching for a verity purpose to raise the profit of education system. From the mid 1920s the method of distance teaching developed slowly. To support the education in school, radio was used. 10,000 schools in Britain, for example had radio by 1939. But, while communication had been seen primarily as a way offer education outside the school radio was seen mainly as a support for classroom teachers. In the early 1930s a thousand of listening groups were formed in Britain, the listened to adult education broadcast and went on to discuss them. The movement faded away, however antagonism on the par both of orthodox adult education agencies and of those who saw the listening as dangerous left wing contributed to its disappearance. However the idea of the adult listening group survived and led to farm radio forums, first in Canada and then in India and Africa. The other unusual used of radio came in New Zealand, where from 1937 radio programs were linked with correspondence education. The next big success for distance learning came when the Open University was established in the United Kingdom in 1969. The Open University stood apart for using television and radio as its primary delivery methodologies, thus placing it in the forefront of applying emerging



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