How the Internet Revolutionized Education

Courtesy of, check out this infographic about how the Internet has revolutionized education.

Some interesting stats:

  • In 1971 The Open University opens in England with an open admissions policy, and begins broadcasting lectures on television. 25,000 students enroll – it now boasts 250,000 students (the largest University in the UK)
  • In 1989, the University of Phoenix launched its private, online school starting with 12 students — it now has more than a half-million students.
  • In 2004, “Salman Khan records instructional YouTube videos to help his cousins with math. The rising popularity of these videos leads him to found the Khan Academy, a not-for-profit, free, educational online organization.”

Check out the infographic below. If it doesn’t blow up when you click on it, this is the referring page.


3 thoughts on “How the Internet Revolutionized Education

  1. Jim Wheeler

    While there is a great amount of educational material available on the internet, there also appears to be a lot of controversy as well as indications that it is expensive. According to its Wikipedia page the U. of Phoenix (online) was involved in a financial aid scandal amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars. If the internet has revolutionized education, it is not apparent to me. I am left wondering about its quality and cost. (Also, I can’t get much out of the graphic, Jennifer. Too hard to read. Do you have a reference?)

    I see considerable irony in seeing higher education become more about money than about quality of instruction. Theoretically the internet ought to make instruction cheaper and more efficient, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Instead, many students seem to want a brick and mortar school that tries to make them learn, even as they resist learning. What is missing from the equation? In my opinion it is a profound lack of integrity in the grading system, and in some cases it is lacking in the teaching quality too. The knowledge is available, but getting it into students’ brains is a big problem. I stand by my post on the subject at this link:

    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      Jim, I just inputed a link to the original infographic that should be much larger. If you click on it, you should get a much larger view. Yes, U of Phoenix (and other for profit institutions) are hugely controversial. I used to be more ambiguous about them, but I am starting to see them as pure evil. Some schools do a very good job with online education (like Open University). I’m surprised that educators have not done more to explore it – but my experience tells me that a lot of educators are hesitant to change the tried and true methods of education (that don’t always work). When I was at TCU, I podcasted all of my lectures (the links are in ‘about me’) and simultaneously published them with my course. I was nervous, initially, that student attendance would drop exponentially and warned the students that if attendance dropped off, I wouldn’t publish them anymore. To my surprise, it didn’t (well, no more than usual). What I found, however, was that the better students did better. Instead of furiously taking notes trying to write down everything I said, they actually listened, asked questions, and had meaningful discussion. They told me that they knew they could get the slide info later, so they wanted to pay attention to me. Additionally, those students with Learning Differences told me that it helped them immensely, they would listen to the podcasts over and over in the car and the gym to help solidify the content. I would excited, but my colleagues were not. They really hated the notion of the podcasts.
      In terms of teaching quality and attitude. I’m sure that is some of it. We pay teachers poorly and treat them so badly that we truly cater to the lowest denominator. Most really bright people don’t want to teach because they can get paid better and be more appreciated in other places. Because education is so accessible, students (and even parents) can be quite blase about its opportunity. A friend of mine teachers AP Calculus at a posh private school. He told me that parents regularly complain that the class is too hard and demanding. It’s AP Calculus!!
      The issues in education are profound and myriad – quality of teachers we recruit, retention of good teachers, low funding, too much entitlement, etc.
      Oh and on a side note – grade inflation. Vomit. When I was teaching at UCLA you had to fill out three pages of paperwork to fail a student. When I was TAing, the professors refused to do it so we always bumped them up to a D (even a student who didn’t turn in the papers and failed the tests we would bump from a 22 to a 60).

  2. Pingback: How the Internet Revolutionized Education | Γονείς σε Δράση

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