Like online dating before it, online education has surpassed stereotypes and is being embraced by New Yorkers as a real alternative to the brick-and-mortar university experience, amNewYork reports. Most NYC-area colleges and universities — both public and private — offer some sort of online courses. Classes are sometimes entirely online or a hybrid mix of online and on-campus meet-ups. But more and more universities are also creating unique classes specifically meant for online students, and the focus has shifted to small classes that are highly interactive. Online classes can help students fulfill post-baccalaureate requirements, switch careers, get masters degrees or certificates. And universities report that enrollment, demand and diversity of offerings are up across the board. … Columbia’s School of Continuing Education has developed “Networked Learning,” their own online education model which allows students and faculty to communicate using social networking and other tool, which Tableman refers to as a “side benefit.”

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