Sunday, January 18, 2015

Inside or Out? The Pros and Cons of Learning From Home

If you want or need a post-secondary education for professional or persona development, but lack the ability to enter a school for personal, transport, or time-related reasons, then Distance Learning from a practical school like Centennial College may offer the answer you need. Via the internet or correspondence, you can receive skills-based practical degrees where and when you want, without the need to drastically reshape your life. So, where will you learn? Given the lack of a need to enter a school, your home may seem the ideal choice. However, it may not be the best option, and you may still need to venture outside to get your learning done. It's dependent on how you learn, and what your work ethics are, but here are some factors to consider.

Pro: Build your own workspace
The big idea behind distance learning is you can learn whenever or wherever you want, the "wherever" being a space that suits your learning conditions. If you're at home, your instinct is to make it as comfortable as possible, and you'll want to facilitate it. Put on a robe, grab a cup of coffee, wrap a blanket around you, sit in a bean bag chair, or don't even sit at all and prop a computer on your stomach in bed. The possibilities are endless, and you can fill your ideal home workspace with as many creature comforts as you wish.

Con: Comforts aren't always a good thing
There's a bit of a trap to working at home: If you spend too much time building your comforts, and preparing to study, you won't spend that time studying. Similarly, if you're in the safety of your own home, and accountable to no one, what's to stop you from simply nodding off to sleep in your comfortable space, or using that time at your computer to alt-tab between Facebook and Youtube. That's the trap of creature comforts: They aren't always good for productivity.

Pro: Learn to your own schedule
Aside from space advantages, time is the other appealing aspect of distance learning, specifically the ability to schedule your learning in at any time of day. If you're working, or have family to take care of, or just have any sort of commitment, distance learning lets you schedule it in whenever you can. In other words: You can sleep in, and tackle your schooling later on, instead of being forced to move your life around a schedule.

Con: Lack of a concrete schedule can cause issues
There's a trap to this, too. I have memories of reading a children's book about the "land of later," about how putting things off will result in them either never getting done, or getting done in an inferior form. And while distance education can be had where and when you want it, the onus is on you as a student to put the effort in to get the most out of it.

So, what's the solution? Ultimately, an understanding of your own work habits is essential, acquired through honest self-analysis. If you're in the comfort of your own home, do you have the discipline to still get work done? If the answer is yes, a home setting will be ideal for your distance learning. If not, you still have options. A library, a community centre, even a coffee shop will get you into a more focused environment, and enable you to get the education you deserve.

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