Online Videos and the Future of Education

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Many parents are looking for a way out of the public schools, but they need a viable financial alternative to make it happen. Private school sounds great, but it can be expensive. However, what if you can get a high-quality private school education for cheap? That’s where online video education comes in.

An Exploding Market

The online educational market is exploding. New resources are being created every year, and prices are falling because of an increasing number of users and few expenses after initial production.

This means parents no longer need to be experts in a subject in order to homeschool their children. Instead, they can use top-notch teachers who are making their lessons available through affordable online videos. Instead of slogging through textbooks for each subject, videos provide excellent primary instruction for students. They can and should be aided by reading assignments, but videos are a superior tool for primary instruction.

Isn’t This Impersonal?

Sure, online video education means less student–teacher interaction. It is not a perfect system. However, this also has its advantages. For one, there are fewer distractions from watching the lesson. Trying to pay attention can be difficult when there are 15 to 30 other students in the room, especially when some of them do not behave.

Second, videos allow you to go at your own pace. If you are sick or want to take a vacation, you don’t miss a lecture. You just take a break and pick up where you left off.

Third, wouldn’t you rather have an excellent teacher on video than a poor (or even average) teacher in person? Online education makes the best teachers—both in knowledge and in communication skills—available for cheap. This is an amazing opportunity.

It must also be said that video education can still be personal. Many online educational websites provide ways to communicate with teachers and other students through forums and email. Online courses can also be done in groups (with siblings or homeschool groups), and parents should be there to help guide their children in their online classes, especially when they are young.

Video Resources

Here are some video resources to look into:

Khan Academy. This site is completely free. Khan Academy is best known for its K–12 math curriculum, as well as its extensive science curriculum. Khan continues to add more subjects all the time, including some interesting courses on economics and finance.

Ron Paul Homeschool. This is a Christian and free market approach to education. $250 per year will get you access for the whole family, with an additional charge of $50 per course. The Ron Paul curriculum also has forums for each course. This provides an entire K–12 education.

Tom Woods Homeschool. Tom Woods teaches two Western civilization courses and a government course for Ron Paul Homeschool. These great courses are intended for 10th and 11th graders. They can be purchased individually through Tom Woods Homeschool—$100 for each Western civ course and $50 for government.

Roman Roads Media. This a classical Christian approach to education. Their signature product is a video series called Old Western Culture, which integrates literature, history, geography, philosophy, theology, and art. You can own the DVDs and workbooks for $230 for each set. There is material for four years—Greeks, Romans, Christendom, and Early Moderns. This is ideal for grades 8–12.

Logos Press. Another classical Christian resources, Logos Press offers online courses from 7th through 12th grade. These are not just videos but actual online classes that meet Monday through Friday for 50 minutes per day. This is a more expensive route, costing close to $2,220 for a full time student. But these have all the benefits of live online courses.

These are all different types of video education—online videos, live online courses, and DVDs. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. But the point is that parents have options.

This is good news. The viable financial alternative to public school is here. You can get a high-quality private education for low cost. You can choose your professors and your courses. The free market has done its job. Now it’s time to do yours.