Many prominent schools are beginning to see how online learning is shaping the education front. As a result, they are starting to convert some of their course and program offerings to the web-based format.

Some universities are only converting general education courses to the online medium, while others are taking whole programs and making them web-based. Furthermore, various states are pushing schools to include online courses, which could slash tuition prices and allow more people to attend.

For instance, University of Georgia recently announced that it will be offering more online programs in the near future. First of which will be a masters degree in reading education, which will be offered next fall, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.

Officials told the news provider that the program will mark the school's third fully online program offering. They added that the web-based curricula are next step in the evolution of education. However, the school has been slow to adopt the Internet as an effective learning model.

"There is a great future for it," Arthur Horne, dean of the College of Education, told the news provider. "I am convinced our Athens campus is going to be here forever, but we are going to have more and more [online students], particularly adult leaders. I see this becoming a huge enterprise."

However, officials told the media outlet that the university is not headed toward a future where students no longer take a course in a classroom setting. Instead, administrators see this type of learning as a way to expand enrollment in graduate programs.

School earns grant to offer online certificate option for its business degree program

Other schools, such as Highline Community College are pushing specific programs to the online format, the two-year institution recently received a $40,000 grant to offer a new short-term online business training program, The Waterland Blog reports.

Officials told the news source that after completing the program, students may continue their education with the online certificate option from the school's small business and entrepreneurship program.

The 55-credit curriculum prepares individuals with the skills they need to effectively plan and operate a small business, which includes classes in management, marketing, retailing and accounting. The program will begin in the spring quarter, which starts in March.

According to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, approximately 30 percent of all college and university students now take at least one web-based course.

School begins using digital means to provide education

However, some schools are pushing existing technology to the brink by offering applications that coincide with their classes.

For instance, Abilene Christian University (ACU), which is located in Texas, recently announced that they may be the most technologically innovative campus in the state, The Texas Tribune reports.

A recent school-wide survey shows that 83 percent of ACU professors say they incorporate a mobile device into their instruction on a regular basis, which has shown to increase student participation.

The state's college system was recently asked by Governor Rick Perry to begin offering more online options for degree programs to provide students with a $10,000 bachelor's degree. The proposal looks to cut tuition and book costs by moving courses and curricula to the web-based format.

"I think higher education is going to figure out at some point that we can really use technology to get a quality, engaging, rigorous experience," Dan Branch, state representative, told the news source. "But along with that, the interface with the professor is going to change."

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