The Internet Offers Convenience, Economy in Continuing Education
As long as you have an Internet connection, it’s possible to buy clothes, book tickets, chat with friends—even find a date—without ever leaving your living room. In the world of massage, therapists are also using the Internet to enroll in and attend continuing education courses.
On-site vs. Online
Traditionally, continuing education courses are held on-site, and the class locations can vary from your hometown or a city that’s five states away to a cruise ship or even another country. Although attending classes on-site is a very effective way to earn continuing-education credits, the dates they are held don’t always suit your busy schedule. Not to mention, the cost of plane tickets, lodging and meals may not suit your budget.
This is where the Internet comes in handy for those who have made a career of providing healthy touch to the other people. A busy bodyworker can simply search the Web for any upcoming, relevant continuing education courses offered online, and then earn their credits at their convenience.
A trustworthy provider that offers continuing education online should offer a summary of the course, including teacher information and cost, prominently on their Web site. It should clearly state the number of CEUs that may be earned, how long it will take and whether the course provider has been approved by a professional entity such as the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).
A computer and a high-speed Internet connection should suffice for most online continuing-education classes. Depending on the course and the teacher, you may receive books or CDs in the mail, or you may be able to download the necessary information for the class straight from the Web.
As you search for the right continuing education courses, find out whether classes can be taken according to your schedule—or if they happen at a set time each week, with required attendance at that specific time.
One form of online education employs asynchronous learning techniques, which means you may choose to “attend” your Internet continuing-education course at the time that best suits you, while still sticking to the basic course schedule. Interaction with your teacher and other students in this type of class often involves tools such as blogs, wikis and discussion boards.
If you enroll in an online continuing education course that meets at a set time each week, the teacher may lecture live, using streaming audio and video, and allow students from across the country to ask questions and offer comments via the Internet in real time.
You should choose the form of virtual education that best suits your schedule and lifestyle. Both are valuable ways to earn CEUs, but certain students may prefer one over the other. It may be a good idea to try out both forms of computer learning first to find out which one you like the best.
Convenience and quality
One of the biggest benefits of earning CEUs online is the convenience of taking a class from the comfort of your home or office. Without the cost of travel, food and lodging, enhancing your education becomes much more affordable. In addition, an incredibly wide variety of continuing education is now available online.
And though there may be some classes that are better than others, gone are the days when Internet education was seen as subpar. The biggest names in massage and bodywork, including professional organizations, training institutes and individual providers, now offer complete workshops via the computer. Just make sure you check out the course provider to make sure their online offerings conform to the proper requirements for the continuing education credits you’re looking for, such as an NCBTMB-approved class. If you’re unsure, call the provider and the organization requiring the continuing education credits, and ask if they are approved.
Look before you leave
So before you begin planning your next continuing-education “vacation,” sit down and research the latest online offerings. Earning CEUs via the Internet is a wonderfully convenient and economical option for those massage therapists with packed schedules and budgetary boundaries.