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The virtual classroom

Created date

August 5th, 2009

As the school season and fall semester fast approach, online virtual training and online classes let you fit learning into your busy schedule, without ever having to leave your computer. Around for quite some time, online virtual training has grown in popularity over the past few years due to the power of the Internet. Through the use of online chat and video conferencing, it s now possible for the student and the teacher to work together in a virtual environment. Many of these programs use online PowerPoint and PDF documents and multimedia technologies to create a virtual class in real time. Other programs allow you to work at your own pace by either downloading instructional videos or videos of lectures at your own leisure. Some even offer online exams and tests. While online programs may not be as good as a classroom environment, they do foster student involvement through discussion forums, blogs, and chat rooms or sometimes through phone and e-mail communication.

Ehow.com.

You can spend hours learning tips and tricks in many categories ranging from exercise to cooking. Ehow.com has topics like setting up a wireless Internet connection or changing wiper blades on your car. There are literally thousands of other topics and all of them are free.

Lynda.com

Ever wanted to learn how to create your own website, blog, or podcast? At Lynda.com, you can access a variety of software packages, from simple to advanced training, through its online library. The videos are available for you to watch at your own pace for a low monthly cost or an even lower cost if you purchase an entire year.

Degrees and certification

Many schools offer online training. Some of the most popular graduate-level courses are through DeVry University (www.devry.edu) and University of Phoenix (www.phoenix.edu). These two schools also offer online certification for thousands of courses as well as associate, bachelor s, master s, and even high school degrees. One of the most popular directories to help you find online courses is Elearners.com, which includes more than 6,000 online college-level courses for you to continue your education. Whether you are looking to expand your learning or continue your degree, you ll find many opportunities online to do so. Have a question for T3 (Tribune Tech Team)? Go to their blog at www.EricksonTribune.com/tech.

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