For many, the classroom has become the ultimate box. It has four walls, a ceiling, and a floor, all of which represent boundaries. You must go into the box to have your attendance counted. You must go into the box to hear what the professor has to say. You must go into the box to be tested and receive a passing grade.

But not every student is a great classroom learner. While no less intelligent than any other student, for them, learning means thinking outside the classroom box. Some of the most creative people are just that way when it comes to learning new and interesting things. The good news is that today, there are more ways than ever to take learning beyond the classroom, here are just a few:

Learn to Play an Instrument Online

A classroom with thirty students is the worst possible way to learn to play an instrument. It is easy to understand why a person might want to have the skill. However, if they slavishly associate learning a skill with sitting in a classroom, they will likely never learn the skill they are after.

online-learningJamPlay provides one of the many alternative ways to learn an instrument, especially if that instrument is a guitar. Unlike those Roy Clark Teaches Guitar videos on VCR from the Stone Age, the JamPlay style of learning does not require one to sit in front of a TV. The lessons can be taken wherever there happens to be an Internet connection.

Additionally, the lessons are interactive. While the core of their content is pre-recorded video, students can ask questions via email, forum, or live video chat. It is a little like taking private lessons, but at your convenience and pace. A classroom simply cannot provide this type of experience.

Audit Classes Online Before Hitting the Classroom

Learning music is fun and life-enriching. But it seldom pays the bills or gets you necessary college credits. For that, you are going to have to do some curriculum. Some courses can be daunting for a lot of people. Things move too fast, and you might find it difficult to keep up. That doesn’t mean you are not college material. It might just mean that you need to audit the class before you actually have to take it for credit.

One of the best ways to do that is through iTunes U. It is an integrated part of the iTunes software. That means that you probably already have it and just don’t know it. It also comes as a separate, free app on all iDevices in the App Store.

If you want to take Chemistry, you can just subscribe to one of any number of chemistry classes from top universities around the world, freely available on the service. You will see video of the entire class, and have access to source material and handouts as PDFs. Again, you can go through these courses at your own pace. Take the time to learn the material before you have to take the class. It feels like cheating. But it isn’t.

Go to School Online

When it is time to pay tuition, buy books, and go to class, you still never have to go to class. You can get an advanced degree entirely online. More brick and mortar schools have an online component than ever before. These days, online education is the norm, not the exception.

You still have to attend a virtual classroom by logging on at set times. You still have to listen to a professor lecture. You still get to ask questions right there on the spot. You still get to collaborate in teams with your fellow classmates. You still have books to read and homework to turn in on time. What you don’t have, is the need to put on anything more elaborate than your pajamas.

There are many smart people who just are not particularly good at classroom learning. If you have tried and failed at the traditional classroom, online alternatives can be the answer to you finishing your degree.