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Distance Learning: From Snail Mail to MOOCs and Beyond

In celebration of Distance Learning Week 2012, Post University has created an interactive infographic detailing the surprisingly long and storied history of distance learning, from its initial reliance on “snail mail” to the fully online and hybrid learning opportunities available today. The infographic can be viewed now at evolution-of-distance-learning.com.

“When most people hear ‘distance learning,’ they think of the Internet and the past 20 years of innovation in online education,” says Jane Bailey, Ed.D., Dean of Post University’s School of Education. “The fact is that distance learning developed as the postal service evolved, providing a means for teachers to mail lessons to their students. The past century has been marked by a series of transformative events, bringing us today’s high-tech and highly interactive online delivery models. The Internet provides the means to bridge time and space, offering education to anyone, anywhere, at any time. What a gift!”

Post University’s infographic includes highlights from the past 120 years, as well as five bold predictions about the future of distance learning from higher education experts including:

Readers are invited to submit their own predictions on the future of distance learning to Post University’s Facebook page. Submissions will be accepted now through Nov. 16 at 11:59 p.m. EST. At the end of the submission period, Post University will hold a drawing and one entrant will win a $50 Amazon gift card.

“Online learning has become an exciting means of providing lifelong learning opportunities to people around the world,” said Bailey. “We’ve already seen a dramatic shift in the quality of today’s online learning models that has been largely driven by smaller, less well-known schools and for-profit universities. With the recent entry of more elite schools into the online learning space, we know that online learning models will continue to evolve and have an increasingly significant impact on how we educate students at all ages.”

Distance Learning Week is sponsored by the United States Distance Learning Association. It creates greater awareness for distance learning and the leaders who’ve shaped the field. This year’s celebratory week is Nov. 5-9.


Founded in 1890, Post University is committed to providing students with the knowledge, personal skills, and experience required to become leaders in their chosen fields. Located in Waterbury, Conn., Post University provides a wide array of degree programs for on-campus and online students. It is known for its quality, career-driven academic programs, small classes, and competitive NCAA Division II athletics. Its more than 14,000 full- and part-time students come from the United States and abroad, and are supported by faculty whose mission is to prepare students to compete and succeed in today's global workplace. To learn more about Post University, visit http://www.Post.edu or call 800-345-2562.

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