Busting 3 Myths About Virtual Schools: Online Learning in Perspective
Online education can be a good option for a variety of students to receive some or all of the learning they need to receive their high school diploma. But both parents and students may have questions or doubts about various aspects of online education and internet learning. In this article, we’ll separate fact from fiction as we bust 3 myths about virtual schools to see whether or not they really make the grade.
Myth #1: Virtual Schools Mean Teachers are Less Involved
There are many variations to this myth about virtual schools. Some parents worry that online education means their students will be taught by computers and the internet rather than teachers. Others worry they won’t have enough support from teachers, or that the students will have fewer interactions with real teachers. At any good online high school, no variation of this “teacher-less” myth is true, and it’s certainly not true at Achieve Virtual Academy. In fact, it’s common for most internet high school students to receive more individualized attention and support from teachers than they were getting in their regular school environment!
Leveraging the power and convenience of the internet to deliver high-quality education makes sense in the digital era of the twenty-first century, but it doesn’t have to mean less interactions or support from teachers. At Achieve Virtual, all our online classes are taught by teachers who are passionate about supporting students and seeing them succeed. They are real Indiana educators fully licensed and highly qualified to teach their subject areas. Each class has a teacher dedicated to the course who provides one-to-one support to each student, and smaller classes means the teacher-to-student ratio allows for great individualized attention.
Myth #2: Online High Schools are Easier than Face-to-Face Classes
Some students are interested in virtual schools because of rumors they hear that the internet classes are easier than in-person learning. Again, this would not be true at any quality online high school, and it’s definitely not true at Achieve Virtual. It’s important for anyone considering internet school that it won’t be easier than traditional classroom learning in a regular school building. If anything, it might be harder. At Achieve Virtual, we make sure every class is designed by a qualified educator to be academically rigorous. The last thing any student needs, whether a teenager or an adult learner, is a course that doesn’t teach them the knowledge and skills they need for life or for college.
Remember that Achieve Virtual is a fully accredited high school that adheres to the same state standards as any traditional school. The only real difference is that instruction is delivered over the internet instead of in a physical classroom. Attendance requirements are the same, as are curriculum and learning expectations. The added advantage, however, is great flexibility not only in terms of engaging learning when and where best suits the student, but also in terms of moving through the material at the pace that’s right for them – slower when needed or faster if they already have a good understanding of the concepts being taught. Achieve virtual also offers a variety of advanced placement (AP) courses and even dual-credit courses that meet collegiate standards.
Myth #3: Virtual School Students Lack Socialization Opportunities
Parents worry that online learning will mean their students will become isolated and lonely. They fear their children will be stuck in front of their computer screens for endless hours every day. They are concerned their youth will end up missing out on all kinds of socialization opportunities and activities. As with the other myths we’ve busted in this article, this should not be the case in any well-crafted online high school.
At Achieve Virtual, we take great care in building a true sense of community in each and every course, and as an online school overall. Whether students are full-time or part-time, all our classes include not only frequent interactions with instructors but also among their fellow learners. Peer interactions are a vital aspect of every course. Technology doesn’t have to be a barrier to continued social skills development. And it also doesn’t have to get in the way of rich, interactive learning experiences.
Taking a Closer Look at Virtual Schools
Now that we’ve busted three of the biggest myths about virtual schools, parents can take a closer look at online high school as a viable option for their children. There are many reasons why virtual learning might be the right choice for some learners, including the following:
- Schedule Flexibility: For some students, the set hours of traditional high school simply don’t work them. Maybe they need to work during regular school hours to help support their family. Maybe they learn best at a different time of day that traditional school. Online high school gives these students the flexibility they need.
- Homebound: In other cases, a medical condition or post-accident recovery can prevent some students from attending regular high school. Virtual learning is an ideal way for these students to continue their education when they have to stay home for extended periods of time.
- Credit Recovery: Some students discover late in the process that they’re short on credits and what they need isn’t offered when they need it. Virtual high school opens up the possibility of making up needed credits outside the traditional school environment to keep them on track for graduation and receiving their high school diploma.
- Homeschool Support: For students who have been homeschooled, many parents find they need additional support when it comes to the high school curriculum. Online high school is the perfect way to continue homeschooling for these families.