Beyond earning a degree, high school students acquire skills that prepare them for adulthood and workforce. Among the most important skills gained during those four years are soft skills – or personal attributes, personality traits, inherent social cues, and communication abilities needed for success on the job. These are the skills that can’t always be quantified or benchmarked but are inherent to long-term success well into adulthood. There are some specific student soft skills that are developed in excess with an online education, as detailed below:
Where online education is concerned, communication is key. Without it, clarity around assignments, due dates and feedback simply doesn’t exist, leaving the student open to failure or poor performance. When navigating the online education space, students are forced to be more self-reliant and self-sufficient where communication is concerned, since physical classroom space and face-to-face interaction is eliminated. As part of digital communication, students also develop additional flexibility, problem-solving, critical thinking, and conflict resolution skills.
Physical classroom space doesn’t necessarily foster collaboration. In fact, the physical environment can be a catalyst for pressure and anxiety for some students. Collaboration is required for most online education courses, ensuring students still flex their social muscles and work alongside their peers to master their required curriculum. Technology has come a long way and now allows students and teachers to be face-to-face when need be, despite physical location or proximity.
Self-Discipline and Time Management
Online courses often require a higher level of independence than traditional courses. Without the reminders and routine associated with the traditional classroom, online students must rely on their own good habits to ensure assignments are completed to standard and on time. When left to their own devices, online students are held to maintaining their time and prioritizing assignments, versus traditional students who execute under predetermined class times.
Advocacy for self and others
Online classrooms still create an environment for advocacy, despite the distance. Students work closely on projects and curriculum, learning important skills required to boost oneself and each other. Moreover, virtual students become advocates for their own futures, steering their education toward their next endeavor. In having the freedom to utilize time outside of school grounds, virtual students are freed to take chances and operate under less traditional expectations.
A flexible schedule creates time for students to explore their passions and interests, which can unlock a work of creativity and innovation. After creating their own scheduling and progressing through their studies, virtual students have the opportunity to tap into creative outlets of their choosing, like music, theatre and beyond. Creative muscles are also developed by necessity by virtual students, as they are generally less reliant on (or accessible to) their peers as a crutch. When facing a challenge or hurdle, virtual students must get creative with their problem solving and resolution skills.
Independent Pursuit of Passions
The traditional high school offers elective courses, but what about students whose interests aren’t reflected or offered? If your student has a trajectory toward a lesser-expected destination or outcome, virtual schooling allows for more independent pursuits of passions. If a student has a passion that requires them to travel to a different part of the country or world to tap into, traditional high school education simply won’t fit the bill. But with virtual education, a student can complete their education while pursuing passions outside of their home, town or beyond.
If you are interested in learning more about virtual education, Achieve Virtual is ready to connect. We are happy to discuss your student, their goals and challenges, as well as ways in which we can help them on the right track.