How Has the Internet Changed the Way We Learn Stuff?

internet education

The Internet has largely impacted society by allowing individuals to have access to a virtual repository of information, with sources available at one’s fingertips. This is an age where you can discover information about a new topic or question by simply Googling it. You can be informed within seconds. My older family members constantly tell me how lucky I am to have such immediate access to anything I want to know. They say that back in their day, the only way to find out information was by reading the newspaper or making a trip to the library to read some books.

One of my favorite venues to learn on the internet is YouTube. I am one of those cable-cutting millennials that uses apps on their Roku like YouTube, Netflix and Hulu. One of my favorite hobbies is watching videos with my wife about new technologies and inventions, medical advancements, TED talks, and innovative furniture for tiny spaces. You can search nearly any topic on YouTube and find some interesting content that covers it. There are also many how-to videos available. Earlier this year my wife gave birth to our first child. During her pregnancy, we searched things like: How to change a diaper? How to set up a crib? How to give birth? (Disclaimer: don’t search that last question unless you’re an overly curious parent-to-be). Once we had our daughter, we searched for top newborn and new parent tips, recommendations, and product reviews.

How Has the Internet Changed Education?

From a professional standpoint, there are a variety of websites that cater to professional development, most of which have some level of subscription fees in exchange for various videos or content that reviews topics in specific fields. For example, LinkedIn offers courses through LinkedIn Learning and, providing online content to inform professionals about key topics in a specialized area of interest. I’ve personally gone through some of these extremely beneficial courses, and it’s a great way to learn more about an area before making a career transition. So the use of internet in student life is crucial.

In terms of hobbies and fun, there are also many blogs online that cater to personal passions and interests. I recently became interested in learning about personal finance. There are several personal finance blogs that I am a subscriber of to enhance my financial situation now and in the future. I enjoy reading about the latest research on retiring early, stock market analysis, investing predictions and recommendations. Once I develop enough expertise on the topic, I may even start my own blog. Another great thing about the internet is that anyone can become a contributor. Once you establish yourself as a credible expert, you may eventually have a large following and be able to make money in the process. 

Use of Internet in Education

As a curious person with various interests and motivations, the Internet is the most impactful resource I have available to me, accessible anywhere and at any time. I am grateful to live in a period where I have immediate access to the information I seek. I would estimate that nearly 60% of my knowledge comes from things I’ve researched through Internet learning. It is pretty substantial to think that most of what I know came from online sources, while about 40% of what I know came from family, friends, strangers, acquaintances, my real-world experiences, and books.

This essay is written by the student of the Valencia College in Orlando, Florida

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