What is an online learning platform?
An online learning platform is a space or portal filled with educational content and/or live instruction on a particular subject or many different topics. Such platforms - also referred to as "e-learning" - are typically membership-based, but there are other options where users can jump in and learn immediately without registering.
Examples of online learning platforms
There are a number of various types of online learning, taking a variety of forms and setups, and differing between industry, offerings, and more.
For instance, some of the better known online learning platforms include Udemy, which touts over 100,000 courses and 24 million students, and Coursera, which offers courses, certificates, and degrees from different companies and universities.
For kids, specifically, you have ABC Mouse, which operates with a goal to:
“...help children build a strong foundation for future academic success by providing a comprehensive and engaging online curriculum to greatly assist early learners to succeed in pre-k, kindergarten, and early elementary school programs.”
Virtual summer camps like iD Tech's Virtual Tech Camps offers a different take, allowing students and live instructors to come together for two hours per day over a week, with curriculum based in Python, Java, Roblox, Minecraft, and more. A similar approach is taken with iD Tech's online after-school program, Squads After School.
Other, less formal examples that don’t offer memberships or subscriptions include something like PBS Kids, where kids can have fun learning through a variety of games and different online activities.
And then of course YouTube is routinely used as an online learning tool, with videos spanning from lectures to step-by-step “how to” clips, explainer videos, and much more. (Take a look at the positive and negative effects of YouTube.)
Benefits of online learning
It’s easy to see how learning online can be advantageous, offering a number of benefits including:
- Immediacy: Users can learn pretty much whenever they want
- Breadth: Users can find opportunity in most any subject/topic
- Cost: Online courses can be free and often less expensive
- Self-paced: Users can typically move and learn at their own pace
- Comfortability: Users can learn in whatever environment they prefer
Like all things, there are potential downsides as well depending on your unique situation, and many wonder about the differences between face-to-face and online learning.
Online learning allows for exploration
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, perhaps the biggest overarching advantage of online learning is the fact that it allows for exploration.
Think about the curious kid who isn’t taught coding at school, and isn’t even sure it’s something they’d enjoy, but wants to give it a shot...
Online learning opens the door and allows for them to take a step inside and see if that "something" - whether it's coding or something else - is a topic they’d like to pursue on a deeper level.
If this sounds like your child, that first step could be now! Check out iD Tech’s online coding courses for kids to get started—whether that’s today, tomorrow, next week, or at some other point in the future. Lessons are tailored to your child’s interests and busy schedule.