If you’re a busy worker, you don’t always have the time or opportunity to attend a class at a physical classroom. With all the new technology available, many people have turned to learning at home or distance learning. It’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into before you begin. Take a look at the advantages and disadvantages to teaching yourself, and decide if it’s really the right path for you. Learn to love learning again by taking an online course.
The Advantages of Teaching Yourself
- The Flexibility of Teaching Yourself
Taking classes online can give you the ability to learn where ever there’s an internet connection. You can learn from your mobile phone, your tablet, or any computer in the area. Online sites like Udemy offer you the opportunity to login and access your classes from any location and any computer. This gives you the ability to work in classes around your busy schedule far easier than squaring out time for a physical class. With some online classes, you don’t even have homework to deal with. If you still need some kind of schedule to work with, try transforming your at-home education using GMail and Google Calendar with this online course.
- No Need to Commute
With learning at home, there’s no need for you to head to a university or some other place to attend class. As said before, you can learn from anywhere. If you’re taking the bus on your way to grocery shopping, you can whip out your mobile device or tablet to access your class until you get to the grocery store. While in the waiting room for a doctor’s appointment, you can do some quick assignments and actually learn something instead of reading those old magazines you flipped through a dozen times the last time you were in the office.
- The Ability to Choose
With colleges, you have to pick a major and stick to that plan. If you do change your major, you have to take a whole new set of classes, and that adds time to earning your degree. Maybe you’re just interested in learning something as a hobby. Taking classes on a distance learning site like Udemy offers you the choice to pick whatever classes you like even if they don’t have anything in common. You learn what you want to learn and only what you want to learn. You can choose when to go to class, when to do your assignments, and you have no deadlines to hold to. Prepare for your education future with this online course.
- Go to School, and Keep Your Social Life
The flexibility and freedom of learning at home allows you to learn at your own pace. So, if you’re invited to a really cool party that you just can’t miss (without being doomed to becoming a social pariah), you can have piece of mind that attending that party is not going to cause you to fall behind in your studies. Best of all, if you’re catching a ride with a friend or in a taxi, you can take your classes along with you with a mobile app. Every free moment you have can become a learning moment, and it doesn’t have to impact your social life.
- Save Money Beyond Gas Money
Not only will you save money because you’re spending less in gas, but you can also save money on the courses you take. For readers of Udemy’s blog, they usually offer discounts on the top classes. There are also many free classes available, and you can usually find classes that cost far less than their campus counterparts might cost. You also don’t have to worry about paying student center fees or getting a meal plan. By teaching yourself at home, there are plenty of costs cut including the need for supplies and sometimes textbooks. Most of the classes offered through Udemy have any reading material included with them.
- Keep Your Job, and Learn on Your Spare Time
Any working student can tell you that going to classes while working is a pain. There is rarely any time available to complete homework, and juggling a work schedule around a class schedule can be a nightmare for both the student and the employer especially as schedules usually change every quarter or semester. Teaching yourself at home makes things easy to keep your job and keep learning. In fact, with your mobile device or tablet, you can learn while even on your lunch break at work. Find out the goals of learning by taking an online class.
The Disadvantages of Teaching Yourself
- Not Designed for Social People
Some people learn best in the classroom from the discussion going on. If you are one of those people, an online classroom environment might not be the choice for you. There are chat rooms, forums, and email, but this might not be enough for you. If the freedom and flexibility of teaching yourself is far more necessary than social interaction, you can likely find other ways to socialize with others. Just remember to keep it in mind when considering learning at home.
- Not for Everyone
There are others beyond social people that might have difficulties with learning at home. If you’re not self-driven, not self-motivated, have difficulties with procrastination, or need plenty of one-on-one interaction with the teacher, teaching yourself might not be for you. More often than not, no matter where you enroll you’re not going to have a lot of interaction with your teacher. They likely have hundreds of other students, more than an instructor in a usual physical classroom. As far as your drive, motivation, and procrastination issues, these can usually be handled with deadlines and homework needs. Learning at home might give you the feeling that there are no deadlines and homework, but that isn’t necessarily true. Udemy’s classes are far freer as far as deadlines and homework, but you will still need self-motivation to actually complete the class and learn something.
- Classes Can’t Transfer
It’s important to note that most classes you take online, especially through Udemy, are not going to offer you college credit. They will teach you the skills you are looking for, but if an employer is specifically looking for a piece of paper stating you have certification in something or a specific degree, a learn-at-home class certificate is not going to be what they’re looking for. While some employers are actually beginning to accept certain online certifications, the world is still a long ways off from accepting it completely. Make sure that you’re learning something at home just as a hobby or to refresh skills you already have certification or a degree in. Otherwise, you may find you wasted money instead of saving it.
- Requires Some Technological Skill
Most classes available for learning at home aren’t super technical. You will, however, need some basic knowledge on surfing the web, using a mouse, and a keyboard at least. If you want to access your courses on the go, you’re going to need knowledge on how to download an app to your device and how to access your classes through the app. If you have always had some difficulty using technology, you might find that learning at home is not the way to go. Someone with computer skills at least can take a class on how to use an iPad so they can access their classes on the go as well as from their computer.
- You Can’t Learn Everything at Home
Sadly, even in this modern age there are just some things you can’t learn from your computer. If you run into something you want to learn that is unavailable to learn at home, you will probably have to find some other way to learn it. With each passing day, more is becoming available online, however, so a little patience might just get you that class to learn at home.
Interested in Teaching From Home?
If you have a skill you’d like to teach others, you can do that from home too. With Udemy, it’s easy to become an instructor with their easy-to-use course creator tool. Just set up your course, and teach your students. Worried you might mess up? Learn how to teach online with this free course. Here are some more resources for teaching from home:
- How to Teach With Technology is a great course that can also help the traditional in-class teacher. Learn how to connect with your students online and save time making online tools work for you.
- Teach with Your iPad: Part I is another course that is great for the online and in-class teacher. With this course, you’ll learn how to manage, instruct, and evaluate your classroom using your iPad.
- How to Teach Online and Create a Passive Income Stream is exactly what you need if you’re looking to teach others from your home. This particular course is an advanced course designed to help you launch your course on Udemy and give you tools that can help you teach others online. This same teacher offers a beginners course to get you started as well.
- How to Teach Online 24/7/365 is a course designed to help you answer the question “How do I do an effective job of teaching online?” For teachers who are accustomed to a physical classroom, online teaching can prove to be a bit of a challenge, and this is a great transition course to get the ball rolling.
A Side Note for Traditional Teachers
Teaching in a physical classroom doesn’t mean you can’t teach at home too. You may have students in your classroom that aren’t being reached in a physical classroom. Taking the courses above might just give you the techniques and skills you need to teach those students online. You might even become the “cool teacher” just because you implement your iPad into lessons or offer the ability to turn in homework online.
Technology is everywhere, and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. Implement it (learn how in this course) even if you aren’t going to teach from home by using Twitter and iPads in your physical classroom. Nearly every site or tool that you can use on your computer also has a mobile app available for smartphones and tablets, whether they run iOS or Android.