With an increasing number of new technologies and an expanding global population, self studying is on the rise. Education is no longer confined to just the classroom, and some would argue that the classroom model is outdated and does not meet the intellectual needs of individuals in such an interconnected society.Being an autodidact, or self teacher, has become increasingly feasible due to MOOCs (massive open online courses), Internet encyclopedias, and more colleges and universities offering courses online. Learning a new language or obtaining a certificate for career advancement can occur from the comfort of your home, on your own time, and at your own pace. At low costs, these methods of education are encroaching upon traditional educational institutions.For high school students, self studying can help improve transcripts. In the context of Advanced Placement exams, self learning gives students whose high schools do not offer certain AP courses the opportunity to still take AP exams. While it is hard work, independently studying for and taking AP exams can allow students to receive college credit before freshman year even begins. Additionally, high school students benefit from self studying habits to prepare for a more independent learning environment in college.Self studying is an excellent way to highlight personal drive and intellectual curiosity when applying to schools.In higher education, some argue that it is especially important for students to be assigned projects and material suitable for self learning, so that they may exercise and develop intellectual independence and explore subject matter they personally find interesting. One study suggests that self study, in addition to being more affordable and convenient, is surpassing classroom learning as far as effectiveness.
Self study and traditional classroom learning complement one another. When used together, they help students learn and retain information better however, the world is becoming more accustomed to the benefits of solely self learning.The Internet is an optimal resource for aspiring autodidacts, and with more sites being geared specifically towards learning anytime and anywhere, individuals all over the world have access to a cost efficient and customizable education. Udacity, edX, Coursera, and Academic Earth are just a few of the low cost or free education providers available through the web. Classes covering physics, law, business, engineering, politics, history and more are available and many contain lectures, quizzes, and tests that students complete at their own pace. Because of this autodidactic approach, students in MOOCs have been found to test better than students taking the same courses in large in person lectures.While it is unlikely that the classroom as an educational forum will ever be entirely replaced, as the benefits of a physical space for collaboration with intellectual and social growth is undeniable, self learning will likely become increasingly integrated into traditional educational institutions. Students of all ages may find exploring a subject matter of interest or learning a new skill on their own time, and at a low cost, to be highly rewarding. After all, a sense of freedom and self determination can come with being your own teacher, as it is believed that if people begin with learning what they really want to, then that thirst for knowledge will spread to other subjects.