Education is one area that has largely embraced the location-free advantage of the internet with innovations such as e-learning.
Educational establishments have always strived to reach out to all sections of society by offering distance-learning modules to students who could not always travel to the teaching location, for example, adults with children. This was not optimal as the success for both the establishment and the student was based on access to a central location as the traditional teaching methods were centralised. The student came to the classroom, and not the other way round. E-learning on the other hand, brings the classroom to the student. The internet has been instrumental in the development of e-learning, web blackboards and has totally changed the nature of distance learning.
The internet has resulted in an increase in sales of personal computers and record internet subscriptions. As a result, students of almost every age are far ahead of their teachers in computer literacy. Students are also aware that they can do everything faster, and gain access to a wealth of information (Zuckerman).
Students can now take virtual trips and collaborate with other students around the world and access the best libraries (Zuckerman) such as the Athens database and the British Library for current information on various topics. The benefits are also available to tutors as they can compare techniques with colleagues around the country and create innovative teaching modules. When it comes to the internet, the possibilities seem limitless. Schools, universities and colleges are facing increasing pressure to enter the digital world. However this has cost implications, especially when the pace of IT development is growing exponentially. These establishments will have to purchase personal computers, develop and implement information technology strategies and improve their information technology skills. We are already witnessing the growth of e-books and discussion groups centred on published books. For example, most university textbooks have discussion groups on the internet, and this acts as a forum by letting students and tutors discuss certain chapters and therefore exchange ideas. This in itself enhances the nature of communication between students, and between students and their tutors. However, the success is obviously dependent on the level participation.
Internet growth has also affected and has been instrumental in employment choices by students. As more students are exposed to and perceive the benefits of the Internet, less are opting to move to positions in the industrial areas (Zuckerman). This is reflected in the British university system, as more universities are downsizing their engineering departments and expanding their information technology departments. Even existing courses are being modified to include a high degree of information technology elements. For example, engineering courses, are now championing the use of software for engineering drawings, as opposed to more traditional methods of using pen and paper. On the corporate level, the internet has also affected the way they deliver education to their