A Brief History of Online Learning
Online education, also known as distance learning or web-based learning, is not as new as you might think. The origins of distance learning can be traced back to a British man by the name of Sir Isaac Pitman.
In 1840, Pitman advertised a correspondence course in the penny press and within five years had 10,000 customers across the British Empire taking shorthand lessons by mail. By 1926, there was an established market for mail-order education in the United States, with some 300 private correspondence schools in operation.
Late in the century, distance education really took off as a result of emerging video and CD-ROM technologies. But it was the development of the Internet, a new universal medium of interaction, which really fueled the evolution of online education. E-learning is clearly here to stay – according to IDC, the U.S. corporate market for online learning is projected to grow from $6.2 billion in 2018 to $21 billion by 2023.