World Distance Learning Day was created to raise awareness and celebrate how far the concept of distance learning has come. August 31 is a day set aside to acknowledge the learning that takes place outside of the physical classroom. It promotes the remote, online learning that is benefiting more students around the world than ever before. The global COVID health crisis has put distance learning at the forefront—and has brought to light the immense need for high-speed internet.

Surprisingly, distance learning did not begin over the internet. The concept of distance learning began in the early 1700’s via the U.S. Postal Service. Here is a brief timeline of how distance has progressed over the years:

  • In 1728, Caleb Phillips advertised his teachings in the Boston Gazette. Offering a shorthand writing course with lessons delivered by mail each week.
  • In 1840, Sir Isaac Pitman took Mr. Phillips idea a step further and offered students the opportunity to send him their work—which he would then correct and send back to them.
  • In 1969, the Open University began offering alternatives to “in school” learning.
  • In 1984, the University of Toronto brought the first online course.

Interested in distance learning, but don’t know where to begin? Check out this article for World Distance Learning activities and learning tools. And for all your high-speed internet needs, give our experts a call at 715-568-4830. Our local customer service team will be happy to help.

Happy World Distance Learning Day!


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