Online high schools are slowly becoming the more preferred option of imparting high school education in United States of America. While distance learning and home schooling have been around for quite a while, online education is opening up new avenues that were previously unexplored in an attempt to provide students with learning opportunities they never knew existed. They are helping more and more students to get back on track and are contributing significantly to efforts targeted at helping students graduate. Students who had previously given up hope or fallen behind are now being offered a new lease of life through second chances being provided by online school learning solutions. Forest Trail Academy’s online high school offers virtual homeschool education with an interactive curriculum for Grade 9 through Grade 12 in an online learning environment.
The most significant advantage of studying online is that students are provided with a great deal of independence, which is vital to their holistic learning in today’s cutthroat environment. Being able to vary the pace of learning via online modules allows students to spend more time on difficult areas while allowing them to speed up with topics that may not be that difficult to grasp. Students are provided with access to an online learning environment that allows them to interact with their teachers and peers over the internet. In an age characterized by technology, online high schools allow students to leverage technology in an attempt to garner the best possible opportunities that are available to them. Online courses can either be completely online or a hybrid version that allows the combination of traditional methods with online home schooling.
The potential opportunities of online high schools are not limited to curriculum focused on helping students earn their high school diplomas. Online courses comprise Advanced Placement programs designed to help high school students get a jumpstart on college as well as credit recovery programs that help students make up for lost or missed credits. Students from rural districts too, now have access to teachers who are qualified to teach them courses they previously couldn’t apply for due to lack of qualified teaching faculty in their district. This in turn, has also opened up access to a much wider range of courses that were previously not an option for students from such areas. Employing online solutions can certainly help students achieve their potential due to the nature of their implementation that allows for flexibility in modifying the pace of learning.
When evaluating the role of online high school education in a student’s life, care must be taken not to misconstrue the potential of online learning platforms. While they do offer significant benefits, there have been times when the limitations of such learning platforms have been overlooked. Being able to study online certainly offers students their independence but if a child is more accustomed to or prefers the physical presence of a teacher, then studying online may not be the most suitable option. Students enrolled at this level are expected to work independently with minimal supervision and are encouraged to resolve issues independently with help being provided when it is necessary. Moreover, interaction with peers and teachers tends to be more web-based than in-person, barring social interactions that are explicitly organized by teachers and parents.
Another common misconception parents have pertains to student behavior. The common notion is that a student would be better off studying online if they are facing trouble at school in terms of concentration or social issues. Chances are that studying independently at home will not resolve those issues. Students need to be made aware of the level of responsibility they will be taking on and their accountability not only to their teachers but toward their work as well. The onus in such environments lies heavily on the student and while teachers are present to provide the required motivation, students are expected to complete their assignments diligently and on time. E-learning platforms are not designed to offer students an ‘easy’ way out. If anything at all, the coursework involved is more rigorous than that in a traditional environment, which is why students need to carefully evaluate and consider their options before enrolling for online classes or online programs.
Parents wanting to be more involved in their child’s education process now have options that allow them to ‘tweak’ their child’s curriculum according to their personal needs. Those with a religious inclination too, have the flexibility to incorporate other aspects of learning into the mainstream process of their child’s education because of the convenience and freedom that comes with online courses. The dual advantage of having the involvement of teachers as well as parents offers students guidance that is much more comprehensive in nature, which is a critical factor capable of having a tremendous influence on students during this phase. Moreover, online communication has made it a lot more convenient and faster for parents to communicate with their child’s teachers.