Millennials Speak Out: We Don’t Need Classrooms To Learn

Many college kids in America feel they don't need to be inside a classroom to get an education. For them, virtual education is the wave of the future.

A recent survey by Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm, and brought this to light.

Out of the 1,345 millennials surveyed, only half felt they needed to actually be inside a classroom to get an education. Thirty-nine percent of students said virtual education is what's next for colleges, and 19 percent think that in the future, students will engage with classrooms via social media.

So is all this just about laziness, or is this really the way education is headed?

Well, as we know from the growth of MOOCs, online education is not something that should be readily dismissed. Even Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is a fan. He said a few weeks ago that he is, "very, very, very interested in MOOCs."

He added that, "We need some disruptive innovation in higher education."

Professor John Covach teaches a MOOC at the University of Rochester. He told TakePart that MOOCs "should be a central part of any institution of higher learning—not just to produce students who will get jobs, but to foster the pursuit of knowledge in general."

While not everyone is on board with online learning, millennials who grew up with the Internet "are prepared for that change," according to Dan Schawbel, the founder of Millennial Branding.

He said in a statement that, "Education should not be a one size fits all model because everyone learns differently, regardless of age, occupation and location. More online courses should be offered to cater to those who learn better in a virtual classroom."

Online courses aren't just growing in the higher education sector. They are also on the rise for kids in grades K-12.

Since 2010, there has been a 378 percent increase in enrollment in cyber charters in Pennsylvania. In Arizona, enrollment in these schools has nearly tripled since 2005.

"Just look at the demand and you'll see, there is a huge need for these schools," Jessica Anderson, Executive Director of the California Pacific Charter Schools, told TakePart.


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