The Education Of Distance Education

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Today when one hears words like online learning or distance education, thoughts of digitized content, and images of different types of technological media frequently come to mind. However, traditionally it has been revealed that distance education is actually not a new phenomenon at all. Historically speaking one could actually uncover that distance education was practiced in the United States in the form of correspondence schools as early as the eighteenth century. In fact, one of the first educational programs to provide formal distance educational services to home bound women was founded in 1873, by Anna Eliot Ticknor. The school was called The Society to Encourage Studies at Home, Caruth & Caruth (2013). In the early 18th century these correspondence schools primarily used the U.S. mail system as a method of communication between the student and the teacher. These types of educational systems were also sometimes referred to as independent study.
Notwithstanding, when discerning the above information in historical context, one would have to ask the question, did these pre-industrial correspondence schools help to shape what is commonly known as distance education or e-learning as it exist today? Presumably the answer could be a resounding yes. Not only were there correspondence schools but other forms of anywhere anytime modes of education also existed before the advent of online learning. Simonson, Smaldino, Albright & Zvacek (2012) state that “The original

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