Distance Learning History

Despite research to the contrary, many people, teachers often included, continue to claim that no person of perceptive benefit ever discovered anything of worth in the history of distance learning. This is my reaction to that foolish prejudicial notice that it requires a lecture area and a bell tower to make a university. Studying occurs within your head, not within an educational setting. This helps describe why graduate students of distance learning and communication degree programs have, for more than a century, gone on to win Nobel awards, found business empires and write literary works worth international popularity. One need only look into the record of distance learning to locate several big-name graduates. So, here’s a look at how distance learning evolved during the years.

distancelearning

  • 1840 – Isaac Pitman teaches shorthand by correspondence in the UK.
  • 1858 – The University of London creates External Program.
  • 1883 – New York State authorizes the Chautauqua Institute to award degrees earned via correspondence.
  • 1891 – The Colliery Engineer School of Mines renames itself International Correspondence Schools.
  • 1892 – The University of Chicago starts administering the first university courses by mail.
  • 1906 – The Calvert School of Baltimore becomes the first primary school in the United States to offer correspondence courses.
  • 1916 – The National University Continuing Education Association is created in the United States.
  • 1921 – Pennsylvania State College begins broadcasting courses on the radio.
  • 1933 – The University of Iowa begins broadcasting courses on television.
  • 1950 – The Ford Foundation begins offering grants to create and develop educational programs for television broadcasting.
  • 1967 – The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is created.
  • 1970 – Walden University is established.
  • 1974 – California State University offers a Masters degree via correspondence.
  • 1982 – The National University Teleconferencing Network is established.
  • 1984 – The personal computer is named “man of the year” by Time Magazine.

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