Indiana is a state known not only for its basketball and mid-western hospitality, but for its great educational opportunities as well. There are many great distance learning avenues for students of all ages to participate in, each having its own unique perspective on the learning process.
Indiana University offers many classes and programs to students. Undergraduate and graduate classes and degrees are available online, as are several interesting certificate programs of study. Undergraduates can choose from Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Communications, Psychology, Nursing and Labor Studies to name a few. Graduate students can choose from many online Master’s degrees to advance their careers including Library Science, Recreational Therapy, Music Technology and Public Affairs. Doctoral degrees are also available in Nursing Science and Instructional Systems Technology. Certificate programs are available to both undergraduate and graduate students in such areas as Gerontology, Sports Tourism Development, Nonprofit Management and Business Analytics. With over 80 degree programs and certificates to choose from plus additional classes being developed for the general public, Indiana University is setting the standard for distance learning in the Midwest.
Indiana State University, home to the Sycamores, offers students over 20 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that can be completed online. Some of these include Human Resource Development, Adult and Career Education, Mechanical Engineering and Insurance/Risk Management. Master’s programs include Criminology, Elementary Education and Occupational Safety. In addition to these, Doctoral level programs are offered in School Administration and Higher Education Leadership. For those needing certifications programs in Driver Education, Teaching English as a Second Language and Public Administration are offered. Classes can be taken at computers with high-speed internet that have audio/video capabilities. Many courses also include live and interactive Web-based conferences allowing students and professors to interact person-to-person.
When it comes to distance learning, one place that usually does not come to mind is a zoo. However, in Indiana that is not the case. The Indianapolis Zoo offers many innovative programs for children in grades K-8. From any school classroom in the state, the zoo can transmit a broadcast from the zoo to the students. But the broadcasts aren’t just limited to schools in Indiana. The classes can be taught to any classroom in the United States as well as abroad. Students in Mexico and Saudi Arabia have experienced the amazing opportunities these interactive classes give.
One of the first zoos to offer two-way interactive distance learning, the Indianapolis Zoo has been coming into classrooms since 1994. The zoo’s distance learning mobile unit can go anywhere within the zoo, letting students experience polar bears in an Antarctic-like setting and animals from the desert. Classes are taught by zoo personnel and allow students to see animals interacting within their natural environment. Students can ask questions about the animals while also viewing video footage, slide shows and other activities to keep them engaged during class.
Whether it’s a college class or a trip to the zoo, the state of Indiana offers something for all types of distance learners.