Infographic: How the Internet Is Changing the Way We Learn

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There's no denying that the Internet has dramatically changed the state of education over the past 20 years or so. It brings primary sources into every classroom and allows for more open and rapid communication between teachers and students, among other things. But we've only seen the beginning. By 2014, it is estimated that more than four in five post-secondary students will take as least some of their classes online, according to this infographic created by Column Five Media for Knewton, an education technology company that clearly has a player in this game. But the numbers can't be ignored, even is Knewton has a bias: The Internet is here to stay and it will affect how we learn.

Infographics are always a bit of a hodgepodge of statistics culled from a variety of sources. Here, we sort through the clutter and pull out some of our favorite facts and figures:

  • Education is a seven trillion dollar industry. That's 570 times the size of the online advertising market, equal to seven times the global mobile industry, and more than the GOP of Italy, France, and the United Kingdom combined.
  • Thirty percent of students in the U.S. fail out of high school. Thirty-three percent of U.S. college students require remediation. Forty-six percent of U.S. college students do not graduate. One student drops out of high school every 26 seconds.
  • Three new trends in particular are bringing education into the modern age and helping to improve learning outcomes: digital content (digital textbook sales are projected to grow rapidly over the next decade), mass distribution (the transformation of content from print to digital formats streamlines distribution and enables learning to happen anywhere), and personalized learning (new technologies generate individual learning profiles and custom solutions that ensure concept mastery).
  • Teachers are embracing online learning tools: 93 percent believe online tools improve performance and 95 percent believe that online tools help to engage students.
  • The education community is already adopting new technologies which will work together to result in more effective learning solutions, including game-based learning, learning analytics, cloud computing, personalized learning environments, and open content.

Check out more Infographics on the Technology Channel.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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