Digitalization of Education

By Lauren Wong-Sislow

What is online education?

Online education is defined as distance learning overseen by an educational institution without requiring physical presence. It utilizes technology to exchange ideas and provide access to a large group of people.

Death of Distance

Education can now reach the far corners of the Earth with the help of technology. Physical attendance is no longer a requirement as we are able to enjoy the fruits of education far from the tree (or place of origin). Education can even be shared in rural areas with poor infrastructure. Technology clearly has the power to educate and thus make economic and social strides.

Timeless Time

Online education is the combination of real time communication and storage technologies which enable people to access content at any time of day or night. This is especially helpful for students and teachers alike who live in different time zones. Live lectures are delivered synchronously (in real time) allowing students in the class to interact on the educational platform. On the other hand, video lectures or homework can be communicated asynchronously in which they're posted and viewed later.

Economies of scale

Finally, online education benefits from economies of scale. When there are fewer students and smaller classes, both fixed and marginal costs are high (infrastructure is expensive and marginal profits are low per student). However, when classes get larger we see diminishing marginal costs as fixed costs are spread across more people. As a result, the teacher can simply copy and paste curriculum he/she has already developed for a broader audience.

Overall, online schooling has made education more easily accessible to a larger group of people. This new technology has the potential to educate people in developing countries which in turn could have positive economic and social externalities. It could even lift them out of poverty! All of these possibilities at the tip of our fingers, the only challenge now is to develop the infrastructure for those in need.


Check out the bar graph to the right which lists the top 10 countries with the highest growth rates of online education. Obviously, developed and developing countries alike are opting for e-learning.

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Digitalization of Education

by laurenleanna093

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Public - 7/13/16, 8:40 PM