I. Vasilyeva

American Councils for International Education (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
The ubiquitous development of technology and research of new ways of its successful implementation in the sphere of education, training and mentoring is finally reaching the focus group of students in Russia and other post-Soviet territories. Having dealt with the severe economic and political crises of 1990s and of 2008, Russia is gradually recovering from the stagnant condition of being isolated from the most part of the world in a whole range of ways. The lack of technological advancement of the country's research institutes and the overall low economic prosperity of peripheral regions intensify the existing problem of low education accessibility depriving underprivileged students from small Russian towns of their right to use educational opportunities otherwise available to students worldwide. However, although tending to progress, Russia's path of exploring the online educational opportunities is drastically different from the experience that the rest of the world have had so far. The major difference lies in the fact that currently a tremendous number of students all across the country have the previously long-desired access to web resources yet at the same time they dramatically lack the understanding of the sole concept of online education, leave alone the appropriate usage of the tools and the allocation of available resources.

Today in Russia, students as well as teachers and trainers inevitably see the online education just as a mere e-version of a regular classroom experience. Nevertheless, based on a research conducted during the simultaneous implementation of SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) preparation projects both in-class and online, there has been made a conclusion regarding the question of a totally different type of an online student's personality. The true accessibility of online education is defined not by the availability of resources such as Internet connection or the level of information penetration, but by the overall maturity and responsibility of a potential online student. The online paradigm of education relies a lot on a student and their ability to perform the necessary tasks efficiently and without any specific in-person control, encouragement and advising. Beyond all doubt, these could hardly be named the characteristics of the majority of high school students in Russia, leading us back to the concept of an online student being much more excelled and mature than their peers.

By and large, the main conclusion of the research is the obvious necessity of creating an essentially new approach to the pedagogy of online education. It should never be about just installing a webcam and a microphone in a classroom or on a computer; the online education is bound to target specifically the students involved in the education experience and taking into account their study habits, ways of efficient perceiving of information and learning in general. Despite the fact that the opportunity to reach out to the world and receive all sorts of useful educational information in a very simple, often even primitive way, might sound very exciting and indeed eye-opening for a lot of students. They should always be aware that it is not just a free-ride opportunity, it is a dedication of a certain level; an endeavor that requires much more than just a good wi-fi signal and a headset and that provides a student with the new model of creative thinking, so indispensable and in high demand in a modern information-oriented society.