Saturday, April 20, 2019

Online High School as an Alternative

The previous year, I experienced education in a completely different way than I had before when I completed my senior year of high school through an online school. Prior to this, I had always attended school regularly, like most other children, and had never even considered virtual school as an option. However, after being out of school for almost two years due to familial circumstances and having only 12th grade left to complete, online high school became the ideal path for me. The idea of attending a new high school at that point was not appealing to me, as it would have meant me integrating into my fourth high school in total as well as having to wait until the following fall semester to start college. I was eager for a fresh start and needed the flexibility a regular high school could not provide, so I decided to enroll in an online school called Laurel Springs School.

Online high school is a form of education in which students can take classes online to earn their high school diploma. These schools can either be private, public, charter, or university-affiliated. The school I attended, similar to most other virtual institutions, gave me the freedom to progress through my schoolwork at the pace that worked best for me, as long as the school year did not exceed 10 months. I had access to help from my teachers, be it through a phone call, email, or video call. There was a wide array of clubs offered, which involved cyber meetings, and a physical education requirement. With just a few steps from my bed to my family study room, I had all the resources I needed to receive a high school education.

The flexible schedule in online schools is its greatest virtue. I was able to cut down the amount of time I spent completing my senior year of high school and begin college a semester earlier than I would have otherwise. Students can also progress at a slower rate if necessary for a better understanding of the subject material. Certainly, it is not all about the speed with which one is able to finish school, but rather the quality of the education. For this reason, it is crucial to enroll in an accredited and reputable school. Another benefit of online schooling is the extra layer of convenience it provides. Whether you are traveling for sporting commitments or your family is relocating to another country, you can take your education along with you rather than putting it on hold or changing schools. It is also a more comfortable form of learning for those who do not function at their best in social environments, and those that get distracted by peers and the school setting.

While there are many positives that can be identified about online schooling, there are areas of added difficulty. This form of education would most likely not be suitable for those who thrive and function through physical interaction. While you can meet people and befriend them through clubs and video calls, it might not be as fulfilling. Additionally, there is no doubt that it is easier to communicate your confusion and questions to teachers in person, and having the degree of separation that comes with online high schools could create some difficulty. Finally, there is a certain level of responsibility necessary for the freedom virtual schooling brings. With no requirement to physically attend classes, it can be easy for one to fall behind in or fail to do their coursework.

Online schooling is definitely not for everyone, but it is certainly a worthwhile alternative for those interested. I feel as though I had a deeper understanding of class material than I had ever had before due to the fact that I was essentially teaching myself the course material through the resources provided by the school. While it is mostly used nowadays for people in special circumstances, such as students with an illness that inhibits them from attending a school or those pursuing professional athletics or the arts, I believe in the years to come it will start to become a form of education people are more aware and informed about. As we steer towards a more technologically-dependent world, online schooling might one day become the more popular form of learning.

You can explore an online school here:

Contribution by Chizbel Oham

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