The Father of Distance Learning
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When a person thinks about distance learning, what do they tend to imagine? They probably think of students using computers to browse through learning modules and communicate with teachers and peers online. One might imagine second language learners being tutored by a native speaking instructor through video chat. They may even think of a rural high schooler filling out his online AP Calculus homework offered by a high school 100 miles away. It is nothing short of remarkable to witness classes like these where teachers and learners are interacting worlds away. When a person thinks of the technology that made this possible, it is hard not to imagine lightning-fast Internet connections and laptops. But distance learning has its origins in a much simpler and humbler technology: mail.
Most history articles or essays that discuss distance learning will mention mail, but often immediately dive into how radio, television, and computers have revolutionized the format (Phipps and Merisotis 1999...
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