World Distance Learning Day Date in the current year: August 31, 2024

World Distance Learning Day World Distance Learning Day is celebrated annually on August 31. It was created to dispel the stereotype that the classroom is the only place for successful education and raise awareness of the many forms of distance learning that exist today.

Distance learning is a form of education where learners are not always physically present in a classroom. Although many people think that distance learning is synonymous with online education, it emerged long before the advent of the World Wide Web. The first reference to distance education dates back to the early 18th century. A 1728 issue of the Boston Gazette advertised the services of a shorthand teacher named Caleb Phillips, who intended to teach students via mail.

However, it took more than a century after that for the first full-fledged distance education course to be developed. In the 1840s, English shorthand teacher Isaac Pitman wrote text transcribed into shorthand on postcards and mailed them to his students; his students, in turn, mailed transcriptions to him for correction.

Several years later, the Phonographic Correspondence Society was established to provide correspondence courses on a more formal basis. The first correspondence school in the United States, named the Society to Encourage Studies at Home, was established by Anna Eliot Ticknor in 1873.

The first university correspondence course was the University of London’s External Program established in 1858. During the second half of the 19th century, more and more universities began to offer correspondence courses. These courses eventually evolved into open universities that transformed correspondence programs into an accessible and respectable alternative to traditional classroom education.

However, it was indeed the Internet that revolutionized distance learning, making it faster, cheaper and more accessible. The first entirely online distance learning course became available at the University of Toronto in 1984. The closure of the vast majority of schools and universities due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to a surge in distance learning and significantly contributed to its further development.

Although distance learning is unlikely to completely replace traditional in-person education anytime soon because it does have its drawbacks, it can be a great addition to classroom instruction. Distance learning comes with flexible scheduling opportunities, helps to reduce social anxiety, allows you to learn at your own pace, and gives an opportunity to learn from educators from different cultures and parts of the world. In addition, there is no commute or exposure to various infections.

The exact origin of World Distance Learning Day is unclear, but there is no doubt that the holiday is extremely relevant. You can celebrate it by learning about the benefits and forms of distance learning, signing up for a distance learning course, and sharing your experiences with distance learning online to encourage more people to try it. And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday with the hashtag #WorldDistanceLearningDay.

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