Virtual and/or online learning has begun to change the face of the way American children are being educated. As the interest continues to heighten, the new trend has a significant potential to greatly improve the amount of educational opportunities that students receive without the barriers of demographic or geographical restrictions. Educators and parents agree that virtual learning has improved productivity, enhanced the quality of instruction and lowered costs of obtaining “better education.” The establishment of online public and private schools has great benefits and the list continues to grow.
Potential Benefits of Online Education Continue to Evolve
The informational age of the world has most certainly enhanced the way in which children learn. The internet and other technologies have already improved the lives of Americans beyond what many had imagined. Therefore, the potential benefits of allowing children to attend private or public online schools are significant.
Increased Ability to Obtain Education from High Quality Teachers
Both socioeconomic and geographical differences are a hindrance in students being able to obtain education from teachers that are of high quality. When attending brick and mortar schools, the child’s area of residence and their parent’s financial status greatly determines what type of education they will receive. Online learning has broken that barrier allowing children to receive instruction from high level teachers that are virtually situated anywhere in the US or even the world. Online public and private schools have also removed the burden that many schools face in staffing high quality teachers in certain subjects. It allows students to obtain a well rounded education from educators with experience in that field.
Increased Ability to Customize Learning to the Child’s Abilities
K¹² has a staff of uniquely qualified education professionals who provide extensive, one-on-one support for families.
Most public and private school educators are trained to teach to the “middle” of the classroom. There are some students that can learn at a faster pace and others that require a bit more attention than a traditional school can address by the teacher. Since students are grouped together by their age, school systems do not pay attention to their level of achievement or learning styles. Online learning, however, provides children with the opportunity to have an education that is customized to their individual needs. Students are able to learn at their own pace using resources and methods that are unique to their learning styles and personal interests. When lessons can be customized to the child’s needs, this creates a more fun environment for children to learn.
Increased Flexibility for Students and Families
Students and their families now have more control on how and when they learn. Typically American schools are taught between September and June between the hours of 8am and 4pm. Virtual learning provides students with the ability to learn at a time that is most convenient for them and their families. Families that use this method of learning find that it is better than tradition education, because they can use their time more efficiently and this allows students to pursue other interests and activities.
Increased Flexibility for Teachers
Teachers who work with online public and private schools find that it provides more room for them to get creative in their teaching methods. Such schooling options allow teachers more flexibility to instruct the students in a manner that will be more productive for each individual student. Not to mention teacher quality is also greatly enhanced as virtual teaching affords them the flexibility to tend to their families allowing them to better balance career and family life.
Increase in Parent Involvement
Online education allows for parents to become more hands on in their children’s learning experience. Parents are able to get more personalized instruction from teachers on how to enhance their child’s learning through real life experiences and utilizing online and offline resources. Since the home and parent’s are the first teachers, many educators would agree that students succeed more when they have the support of the school and their families.
Improves Student Confidence
A significant part of a child’s ability to learn and grasp concepts comes from high self esteem and confidence. Students who are taught within a home environment show higher levels of self esteem as they are being taught at a pace that is comfortable for them. This eliminates comparisons to other students who might be learning at a different pace. Students feel much better about themselves when the lessons are taught in a way they understand.
While online public or private schools may not be a viable option for all children in grades K thru 12, those who have a great home support system and the willingness to learn have shown great strides in achieving better grades in school. Parents who are considering online public or private school for their children should first assess whether this is the best learning environment for their child. Parents also need to be 100% involved in the learning process, and need to assess whether they can accomplish this before deciding to enroll their children in an online private or public school system.