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Understanding Virtual Schools And Their Success Factors
USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION
There have been a lot of myths surrounding the modern-day concept that is the virtual online school.
Right from academicians to parents, this new technology-driven platform has almost everyone wondering about the level of quality education it claims to deliver. Nevertheless, all skepticism aside, online education tools have certainly proved to be the way forward in terms of increasing the reach of educational initiatives and delivering high quality education in an affordable manner. There can hardly be any doubts about that and the naysayers certainly need to take a long hard look at the potential benefits of harnessing the opportunities online learning platforms bring along with them. With ever-increasing hyper connectivity, the role of technology in education cannot be underestimated. More and more educators need to wake up to the possibility of unleashing the potential of cutting-edge technology in their endeavors to provide education to every child in America!
Over the years, there has been some debate over how online learning environments focus more on the technology platform as opposed to the actual curriculum that is imparted to students. This however, couldn’t be further from the truth. While concerns from school administrators, academicians and parents about the future of this platform are justified, the available evidence advocating the use of e-learning tools just cannot be overlooked. Several online schools in the United States have witnessed remarkable improvements in their graduation rates post the adoption of virtual learning methodologies. These solutions can be implemented as standalone solutions or in combination with traditional learning methods. Either way, students stand to benefit immensely from these solutions but ignoring their potential can certainly have adverse long-term effects on the future of the children of our nation.
ACQUIRE EDUCATION IRRESPECTIVE OF LOCATION
Good quality online learning programs offer students the perfect blend of online and offline coursework. Students are encouraged to explore various avenues and are allowed to do so at their own individual pace. Furthermore, they are also provided with regular teacher-student interaction and are required to submit regular work assignments. Essentially, they aren’t very different from their traditional, brick-and-mortar counterparts. Students are still required to study rigorous state curriculum and match up to state standards. The most encouraging benefit of being able to study online is the amount of freedom it brings along with it. Students and teachers are allowed to interact in the online schooling with each other irrespective of their geographic locations and parents too, find it very convenient and affordable to have their children homeschooled via an online learning environment. This has proved to be especially beneficial in remote areas where access to qualified educators is limited, thereby reducing the level of opportunity available to students.
In a virtual school, teachers are required to take on a number of responsibilities akin to those in a traditional schooling environment. They oversee the entire learning process of students and are responsible for ensuring students adhere to their academic schedules. Moreover, being able to administer from a remote location helps in maintaining a healthy student-teacher ratio while delivering high quality education. Teachers also have access to a number of online tools that help them interact with both, students as well as parents, and help them deliver education in a manner that transcends physical boundaries. Delivering education via a virtual learning environment further enhances the level of student-teacher interaction by allowing educators to devote individual attention to each student to address their individual needs. There are several responsibilities that teachers take on in a virtual learning environment much like traditional schooling systems.
Online homeschooling options allow parents and teachers to collaborate in an endeavor to create a holistic learning environment for the child. With a strong support system in place, such an environment allows for the development of specialized learning plans that can be tailored to suit the specific needs of each child. As a result, the child is allowed to proceed at his or her own pace of learning, thereby providing an environment conducive to the holistic development of the child. With revolutionizing technology and the help of qualified and fully certified teachers, online schools are now giving traditional schools a run for their money. It’s no surprise as to why more and more parents now prefer to enroll their children with online schools given the amount of flexibility they provide, the standardized curriculum and the affordability they offer.
SOCIALIZATION THROUGH ONLINE SCHOOLING
Online K-12 courses provide teachers, students and their parents the opportunity to come together and devise learning plans that would cater to the overall development of the child according to each one’s needs. Regular assessments are carried to monitor the child’s progress and the pace of the course is varied accordingly. Students are even provided with the opportunity to participate in social activities and sports via programs conducted in collaboration with traditional schools. Essentially, e-learning options focus on taking learning beyond the classroom. Students are encouraged to explore in an environment that doesn’t limit their potential while providing them with the guidance needed to accomplish their academic goals. Learning is fundamentally the basis of any good education and online K-12 courses help students go beyond what would have otherwise been just a usual course of learning.
Hindrances in traditional learning environments are done away with and each child is given the opportunity to excel at his or her own pace. Parents too, are provided with immense opportunity to interact and participate in the entire learning process of their child. Together with their child’s teachers and other administrative staff, they form the strong foundation that is needed for any sound education system. With the high degree of flexibility available via virtual home schooling environments, parents now find it very convenient to interact with their child’s teachers via alternative modes of communication more suited to their needs. As far as course curriculum is concerned, accredited online schools follow rigorous standards set by the state to ensure their students match up to the standards set for their counterparts graduating from traditional brick-and-mortar schools. Overall, the encouraging results witnessed by those who have given virtual home schooling a try are evidence enough for advocating the adoption of online education.