The Internet helps education in many ways, including making education more accessible, granting easier access to study and research materials, and facilitating communication. The effects of the Internet on education are wide-reaching, frequently changing and always expanding.
The development of distance education is one of the most notable ways in which the Internet has affected education. Online courses make education accessible to learners for whom it previously may have been out of reach. Online education allows students to work at their own pace, around their own schedule and without the need to physically travel to a school. This increased level of convenience and access is a major development in education.
Similarly, advances in download speeds and streaming capabilities have allowed colleges and universities to offer a range of educational materials free of charge to the public, including everything from lectures to lesson plans. UC Berkeley houses an exhaustive collection of recorded lectures on both Apple's iTunes U and YouTube, according to The Next Web. With millions of downloads to date, the service is a boon to current students and lifelong learners. This type of online learning works to make higher education more democratic. Any individual, regardless of educational background or income level, can access a vast supply of information for free. Similarly, online compendiums like Wikipedia and the TED Talks series provide a wealth of knowledge that is accessible to anyone.