The internet has changed the way consumers do everything from dating to buying toothpaste. Considering that, it makes total sense that students have found online learning to be a great alternative to the traditional classroom. In recent years, middle and high schoolers have discovered the many benefits of online learning, including the flexibility and personalized learning that comes from technology-based education. As you’re deciding whether online school is right for you, here are some old myths that students and their families have learned aren’t quite true.
Myth #1: Online School Is Easier
As with traditional classroom education, online school providers are required to meet state and federal standards when it comes to educating students. If an online school is accredited, students will be required to take all the classes necessary to earn a high school diploma in that state. There are also rules of conduct that you’ll be expected to follow, just as you would in a brick-and-mortar setting.
Myth #2: Online School Is Less Structured
One of the best things about online learning is that your curriculum can be tailored to your unique needs. You’ll likely have the option of participating in group-paced courses and live classrooms, where you may have to be online at a set time. But even if you choose the self-paced option, you’ll be expected to turn in assignments and meet deadlines. Time management skills and responsible decision-making is an important part of online learning. It’s essential that students possess a high level of these skills, which in turn helps to prepare them for the workforce.
Myth #3: Online Students Are Isolated
Communication isn’t limited to in-person interactions. Online schools make an effort to ensure students have the same sense of community they’d have in a classroom environment, providing opportunities to interact in virtual classrooms and through chat rooms. You’ll also have individual access to your teachers, which will allow you to get the kind of one-on-one assistance often not available in a busy classroom environment. BlueSky offers an onsite student learning center so that students can feel more connected and touch base with their teachers in person.
Myth #4: Online Education Is a Trend
Although virtual education is nothing new, the growth in the number of K-12 schools popping up online makes it clear it’s far from a trend. According to the National Education Policy Center, in the 2017-18 school year, 501 full-time virtual schools enrolled nearly 300,000 students, with 300 blended schools enrolling more than 132,000. This increased availability has made virtual schooling available to more students than ever.
Myth #5: Virtual School Looks Bad to Employers
Before the age of the internet was so widely accepted, it was true that online school seemed strange to many, but getting your high school diploma online no longer holds a stigma of being easier or less than traditional education. Virtual education is now much more mainstream. Counselors will work with you to make sure you’ve completed all the courses and testing necessary to move on to your next phase after graduation. If you opt for a vocational path, they can even help you develop a career portfolio that will help you land that all-too-important first job.
The best way to find out what you can expect from an online school is to meet with one of our counselors. We’ll work with you to determine the perfect curriculum, whether you’re opting to be a full-time virtual student or you’re participating in our supplemental program. To discuss your options with one of our friendly counselors, feel free to call 651-642-0888 to schedule an appointment, or complete our contact form here.