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It’s a well-known fact that media reports very often tend to blow things out of proportion. “Media hype” has taken on new meaning over the last few years. While the information being reported may be valuable, it is often accompanied by a lot of noise. Quite often, this noise tends to drown out the truth. Of late, online schooling has been going through a similar phase. There has been quite a lot of negative information being broadcasted about how online learning platforms aren’t everything they claim to be. Some have even gone on to claim that traditional schooling environments deliver better results than online programs. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Why? Well, there are several reasons for this.
For one, traditional learning environments are drastically different from virtual schools. They include several aspects that come with high input capital costs such as setting up the necessary infrastructure, hiring teaching faculty and administrative staff, students’ course curriculum, ongoing maintenance costs and several other miscellaneous expenses that make them very expensive options. On the other hand, online education platforms can be relatively inexpensive in terms of setup costs. Since they are entirely web-based, infrastructure costs are a lot lesser when compared with traditional schools. Faculty and staff can be managed efficiently to minimize redundancy and the costs for distributing course material too, are relatively low. Maintenance and other costs too, tend to be much lower when evaluating an online platform versus a brick-and-mortar classroom.
The second important factor is the learning process. There are major differences between the manner in which education is delivered in traditional classrooms and via the internet. Conventional classroom teaching involves the use of books and requires students to be physically present in the classroom. Also, the pace of learning is determined based on the grasping abilities of the majority of students present in the classroom. Certain students with lesser capacities, including those with special needs, are then forced to keep up with the rest of the class, which puts them at a disadvantage. This often leads to them losing interest in their studies and has been reported as the primary cause for students dropping out of school. In some cases, the student-teacher ratios have been reported to be highly unfavorable, which is detrimental not only to the students but also to the teacher.
In such cases, teachers are unable to provide quality education and in most cases, struggle to cater to the needs of every student in the class. Such circumstances result in biased procedures skewed toward students who show much better promise of success than those who don’t. Very often, students facing difficult circumstances at home may find it hard to reach out to their teachers. Studies have shown that behavioral issues evidenced by students are very often the result of disturbed environments at home. These are just a few of the challenges of traditional educational environments that online learning platforms aim to overcome. Studying online involves an entirely different approach than convention learning procedures. As opposed to being physically present in a classroom, students are required to log in to their computers via the internet. This can be done from their homes or any other place where they have access to the internet.
Once they’ve logged in, they are free to access their course material in a manner that is best suited to their needs. Online schooling methodologies aim to accommodate the learning needs of every student in an effort to encourage them to go beyond the objective of just earning their high school diploma. Certain accredited online schools like Forest Trail Academy go beyond the call of duty to encourage students to pursue a lifelong learning process. Additionally, virtual schools are designed in a manner to accommodate students with special needs too. While studying online aims to simulate traditional learning environments through web-based platforms (to a certain extent), they have so much more to offer than old-school methodologies.
In a virtual learning environment, students are provided with the ability to interact with their classmates but in a manner that is mutually independent. No student is under pressure to cope with the learning pace of another. The impact of having access to an environment that provides you with the kind of flexibility online courses do can be astounding. Several students who were considered underachievers and were written off by their teachers have managed to turn things around for themselves with the help of online learning programs. Accredited online schools now provide students with a number of options that include full-time programs as well as part-time courses. Students can opt for courses as per their needs. This can be especially useful when students are looking for ways to make up for lost credits or evaluating options for college such as Advanced Placement (AP) programs. Recent research shows that almost every student in the United States takes at least one course online.
Online schooling aims to explore avenues that are beyond the reach of traditional schooling environments. In a bid to increase student engagement, the course curriculum is designed to be extremely engaging and interactive. As a result, students are more likely to go on with their education and earn their high school diploma. The teacher-student ratio in online environments too, is determined in a manner beneficial to both students and teachers. While some schools have been in the news for exploiting this in a manner that focuses only on profitability, most virtual schools make use of this advantage to deliver high-quality education while focusing on the wellbeing of their teachers. Each student is given individual attention and their progress is monitored on a regular basis. Since the entire platform is based online, teachers and parents have access to real-time updates about a student’s progress.
In addition to enabling efficient decision making, accredited online schools minimize response time, which can significantly impact the course of a child’s future. They are truly a boon to us all if only you look beyond the noise!
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