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Electronic education

Despite the hope that universities would rush into cyberspace, electronic learning is still in pre-school stages.

In his State of the Union address just a few weeks ago, President Clinton extolled the virtues of connecting public schools and libraries to the Internet. But today's online learning revolution is not taking place in school, but at home.

Young entrepreneurs and mid-career professionals are heading to the Web in droves to get practical skills that will help them stay ahead of the learning curve. That means big business for virtual vocational schools teaching topics ranging from practical nursing to, of course, computer programming. Even established universities are getting into "distance learning," albeit at an academically deliberate pace.

This NEWS.COM special report examines who is doing what in online education and how Web technologies are changing the way students learn:

Working the wires: Job training leads the way
Technical difficulties: University inertia
Tools of the trade: Chalk gives way to chat
Gray areas: How the brain absorbs facts