If you want evidence of the way the internet is pervading every aspect of our lives, you need look no further than its effect on education. The internet and social media have dramatically changed both teaching and learning.
In fact, most students’ (an incredible 93 percent) first instinct when confronted with a research problem is to turn to Google or Bing to get information rather than going to the library, and despite the best efforts of faculty to discourage its use, Wikipedia is the research resource that is used most often. It’s not only students that are turning to the web, however. A whopping 90 percent of faculty uses social media in the courses they’re teaching, and 8 in 10 have used online video in class. In addition, colleges and universities are reaching out to students in a way they never could before—85 percent of admissions offices use some sort of social media, from video blogging to social networking.
The internet has also had a strong influence on the how, where, and what students are studying. Right now, more than 6 million students are taking at least one online course, and 11 universities across the country offer some sort of search engine optimization or search engine marketing curriculum.
Even with online learning being as widespread as it is, however, as many as one in three academic leaders consider it to be inferior to face-to-face instruction. As these online-trained students continue to enter the workforce, time will tell whether internet education can compete with traditional learning models.