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A Short History of “Distance Learning.”

onlinedegree.JPGIf you think “distance learning” is a new concept, it’s time to go back to school. In fact, the idea of a “virtual campus” is one that goes back more than 150 years. Today’s online colleges and universities are just the last in the long, distinguished line of private and public institutions that have allowed students to learn and earn degrees without ever having to step into an actual classroom.

Here is a quick timeline covering the history of distance learning:

1840s – Sir Isaac Pittman, inventor of the world’s most widely used shorthand system, begins to offer training courses through the British mail.
1858 – The University of London establishes its External Programme, offering courses and degrees to students throughout Great Britain via a mail-based “correspondence” system.
1873 – Founding of the Society to Encourage Studies at Home in Boston, Mass., a group devoted to the education of house-bound women. Over 24 years, it served more than 7,000 students and had more than 200 correspondent teachers.
1890s – The University of Chicago, under William Rainey Harper, establishes the Extension Service, the first fully accredited correspondence program for college students in the United States.
1910-1913 – Thomas Edison issues the first catalog of instructional films.
1920s-1930s – Several instructional radio programs are attempted, but none is commercially successful.
1948 – The University of Iowa launches the first instructional television station.
1957-1958 – Multiple published studies show that learning via television is functionally on par with traditional classroom education.
1960 – PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching), the first computer-assisted teaching system, is developed by the University of Illinois-Urbana.
1961 – The Midwest Program on Airborne Television Instruction (MPATI) begins broadcasting instructional programs to school systems and the general public in Indiana and surrounding states, eventually reaching 2,000 public schools and universities throughout the Midwest.
1964-1968 – Charles Wedemeyer of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, funded by the Carnegie Foundation, creates the Articulated Instruction Media Project (AIM), using radio and television to bring college classes to off-campus populations.
1969 – The Internet is established by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).
1971 – New York State’s Empire State College opens its doors as America’s first “open university” designed specifically for off-site education.
1976 – Coastline Community College of Fountain Valley, Calif., offers education telecourses via KOCE-TV public television.
1978-1984 – Universities begin to use cable and satellites to transmit courses to off-campus students.
1982 – The Computer Assisted Learning Center (CALC) is founded in Rindge, N.H., as a small, offline computer-based, adult learning center.
1994 – Open University Virtual Summer school opens to allow students to take a Cognitive Psychology course from home via computer.
1994-1995 – CALCampus.com is the first fully online-based school that offers real-time classroom instruction and allows real-time interaction between students and teachers.
1996 – Cable pioneer Glenn Jones and Bernard Luskin launch Jones International University as the first regionally accredited online university.

Today, more than one in five college students are taking at least one class online, and the total number of online students is close to four million, according to the Sloan Corp., a consortium of online educational institutions.

Everest University is Available Online

Everest is one of North America’s leading career education schools with more than 100 campuses nationwide. Online degree programs are available from Everest University Online, a division of Everest University, in a wide variety of subjects, including specialties in the health care, business and IT industries. For more information on programs, schedules, accreditation and costs, contact Everest University Online today! Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

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