Online training has many uses outside the workplace. Distance education is one of the best-known examples. Triton College in Lake Forest, Ill., offers online classes ranging from art and history to astronomy and earth sciences, depending on course availability in a given semester. Students can register online, attend classes and even turn in final exams online.
Online drivers' training programs are another option. With online driver's safety, defensive driving and other programs, those who successfully complete the training program may be eligible to get speeding tickets and other minor moving violations dismissed from their driving record in participating states. Some Web sites even offer "court-approved" driving programs [source: Defensive Driving].
The Texas Education Agency offers a comprehensive list of state-approved online driver's safety courses. Many of the companies offering these programs have online courses designed for every state, but it's important to check the laws in your area to make sure you're eligible, and that the program you choose is state and court-approved. One Texas-approved Web site, www.Traffic101.com, warns that eligibility for driver's safety training also depends on the nature of the traffic offense.
Some Web sites claim discounted auto insurance rates are offered for seniors who take "Mature Driver Safety" courses online. Companies, such as Geico or Allstate, may offer discounts for those who complete Web-based driver safety training. While this type of safety training can be helpful, it's important for anyone considering it to contact their insurance provider to ask if the training will indeed earn them a discount.
According to a recent study, millions of people are taking advantage of online training, teaching, and learning opportunities [source: Educause]. In 2004 alone, there were nearly 2.5 million students taking college classes online. The future of online training, according to a survey of 12,000 college instructors and administrators, indicates a huge upward shift in reliance on online training and teaching. Nearly half those surveyed believe the quality of online training over the next 10 years will be greater than that of traditional, classroom based teaching and training methods. [source: Educause]
Employers see the value of online training in a similar way. Companies are spending more on online training and increasing their budgets to take advantage of the increasing availability of job-related training. If your company or university doesn't offer online training yet, don't worry. Chances are they will very, very soon.
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