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Creating a Study Group Online

December 2nd, 2019 by

Whether you’re an online student or a student at a traditional school, study groups can be hugely beneficial. They can help you increase your understanding of concepts, get clarification on certain materials, and review information to help you prepare for a test. All students can participate in or organize a study group, even those who are online students. Online study groups can be just as effective and helpful as in-person study groups, and with some preparation and organization, your online study group can help you increase your understanding and improve your grades.

Set Goals

Each online study group needs a goal. It may be to review information from a specific chapter and ensure everyone is comfortable with all the concepts. It may be to prepare to write a paper on a specific idea. It may be to study for a test and get the best grade possible. Everyone in the group should have a similar goal so that each study session can be focused on achieving it. Individuals should discuss their goals for an online study group before the first meeting to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Choose a Platform

Once you’ve established a group of people for your study group, choose how you’ll actually meet online. Your school may have a platform for you to use, or you may need to set one up outside of your school. Google is a great tool for this, as you can organize Google hangouts, share screens, use Google docs, utilize a virtual whiteboard, and so much more. You may also consider using ThinkBinder, Rcampus, or something else similar.

Define Roles

Every student has different strengths, and it’s important to utilize everyone’s strengths within the group as well as ensure all aspects of the group are organized and taken care of. You should select a leader for the group who can ensure everyone stays on topic, knows when to move on from one concept to the next, and hold members accountable for their roles. You may also wish to have a note-taker, a time-keeper, and so on.

Establish Expectations

No one likes being part of a group where only a few people pull their weight and the rest just show up without contributing to the group. You should establish expectations for the group right from the start so that anyone who does not wish to uphold them can find another group. These expectations should include things like being prepared for the study sessions, committing to stay on task and focused during meeting times, staying positive and encouraging during study sessions, and more.

Determine How Study Time Is Managed

This may be primarily up to the group leader, but it’s important for the entire group to have a conversation about how the study session time is going to be managed at each meeting. It may change from meeting to meeting, but each group time should include asking members what they want to touch on, a review or presentation of information, and a summarization of what the group went over during the session. Certain meetings may be more focused on one concept than on a comprehensive review, but the group should decide how study time is going to be managed from the start so that everyone is on the same page.

Limit Numbers

This is a minor detail of creating a study group online, but with any study groups, the number of members should be limited. If a study group gets too big, productivity will lessen and the group may deal with some unforeseen challenges. It’s best to keep online study groups around five to eight members, but you may find that slightly fewer or slightly more work best for you. As others seek to join your group, just be aware of how the group dynamic shifts and be cognizant of the productivity and efficiency that occurs during study time.

Be Consistent

Consistency is an important factor in the success of any study group, and it may be even more important in online study groups. Consistency is multi-faceted in these situations. Your group should be consistent in meeting regularly, ensuring that everyone is aware of the meeting schedule and what is going to be covered at each meeting. You should also be consistent in communicating with one another outside of the meeting times so that everyone knows what to expect at the next meeting and is properly prepared for it. Finally, you should be consistent in the way you run the group meetings. This includes not only sticking to the agenda you’ve determined, but also in starting and stopping on time. This consistency will make your group more effective as all group members will know what to expect and will feel as though their time with the study group is respected, leading them to then return that respect toward the group and other group members.

Wrap Up & Summarize

Having a summary at the end of each meeting should absolutely be included in your normal agenda for meetings. One person may have the job of keeping notes of key things you go over, or it may shift from one person to another during each meeting. Either way, someone should be in charge of notating the main ideas and concepts that you review during the group meetings, and the summary should be discussed at the end of each meeting. Additionally, it will serve the group best if that summary is sent in writing to each member at the end of the meetings so that they can easily reference which meetings covered what information.




Benefits of an Online Education

November 4th, 2019 by

The world is changing drastically at a break-neck pace, and while some things may remain the same for a time, just about everything will have to adapt to the technology-driven era that we now live in. Education is no exception. Online colleges and universities have seen a huge boom in enrollment, and it is estimated that about one-third of all college students take at least one class online at any given time. That is a far cry from the traditional college experience that many of us one had. Even more than that, however, is the increase in online education for younger students, including those in both middle school and high school. While private schools and homeschooling have all been available as alternatives to a traditional public school environment, more and more students and parents are discovering the benefits of an online education and are jumping aboard this fast-growing educational revolution. The more people enroll in online schools, the more those online schools have resources to pour back into their educational models, and the more the students benefit. If you’re considering enrolling your child in an online school or allowing them to take some virtual learning classes, get in touch with San Diego Virtual School to learn more and see for yourself all the amazing benefits that an online education can provide for your child.


By far, the number one benefit of getting an online education is the flexibility it allows. Most families first begin exploring online schools due to the increased flexibility. Students at traditional schools spend a lot of their time at school doing busywork, traveling between classes, socializing at lunch, and waiting for their next class to start. With an online learning environment, students don’t have any of that downtime, meaning they can get an entire day’s worth of lessons done in half the time (or less!). Online students can also work at any time. They typically need to check in with instructors regularly or log on a certain number of times per week, but that can be done at any time, day or night. If your student is a night owl, he or she can start their lessons at midnight rather than at 7 am. If you have a busy family schedule, assignments can be done on the weekends. Many of our students are those with unique schedules, like military families, students who work full-time, or those who are training or competing in athletics, performance arts, modeling, and more. No matter why you need the flexibility, online schooling offers it.

Soft Skills

Students will learn hard skills, or job-specific skills, in college or during training for a particular job. Soft skills are things that employees are expected to have mastered already before applying for a job or beginning a career. Unfortunately, many high school and college graduates lack these soft skills that are vital for their future success. Thankfully, however, many students who are virtual learners are able to practice and master these soft skills while in school due to their unique learning opportunities and atmosphere. Soft skills include communication, empathy, self-discipline, adaptability, work ethic, teamwork, flexibility, self-motivation, conflict resolution, time management, problem-solving, critical thinking, and more.

Positive Environments

A traditional school environment can be very challenging for some students. There are a lot of distractions and interruptions during learning time, peers can be mean, and even teachers can be discouraging and unsupportive. At San Diego Virtual School, we pride ourselves on our positive learning environments, and so do many other online education programs. Students interact in our virtual classrooms through group chats, discussion boards, and the like, and we are always so proud of how respectful and encouraging they are to one another. Our teachers set the tone for a supportive and positive environment, making all students feel safe in expressing their feelings and contributing to class discussions. If your child has struggled with focus, bullying, or social anxiety in a traditional school, an online education might be perfect for him or her.


More Access to Instructors

Many people believe the myth that online students never interact with their teachers. This is incredibly far from reality. In fact, many of our teachers are available at a variety of hours and they are always willing to offer extra assistance or answer questions for students who seek them out. Students don’t have to wait days or weeks to get to class to have their needs addressed because they can email or message their teachers at any time, helping them right when they need it and encouraging their motivation and progress on assignments.

Better Preparation for the Future

Whether your child goes on to complete an online college education or not, online learning will prepare them for the future better than any other educational environment. Not only will they have mastered the soft skills necessary for them to be a successful adult, but they will also understand the importance of personal responsibility and independence. Those two things are completely vital for high school graduates to have success in anything they take on after high school, including a job, a college education, or a training or certification program of any kind.

An online education offers countless benefits to students, no matter their age, grade level, or educational experience. While middle school students may need a little more assistance navigating their online learning environment at first, independence and self-discipline are skills they will master in a short time, followed by all the other important soft skills that young people need. To learn more about enrolling your child at SDVS and getting the best online education available for him or her, contact us today.






How to Deal with Online Bullying

October 31st, 2019 by

Bullying in any form is awful. It’s unacceptable behavior regardless of the bully’s age, and it can occur in a number of different ways. It can have devastating effects on children and teens, so it’s incredibly important that it is handled appropriately and quickly. Bullying used to be something that only happened in face-to-face situations, such as on the bus, at school, at an afterschool hangout, and the like. Nowadays, online bullying has become rampant among children and teens, although other forms of bullying are still present. Let’s look specifically at online bullying, its effects, why it needs to be addressed, and how to deal with it if it affects you or someone you know.

What Is Online Bullying?

Online bullying is any form of harassment, threatening, or humiliation done via digital technology. This can include text messages or instant messages, emails, or anything done on social media. Online bullying can seem minor, such as one child texting another child mean things, or it can seem as extreme and major as a group of kids creating an entire social media profile to make fun of a classmate. No matter the level to which the online bullying is taking place, it can be very challenging for students to deal with and should never be ignored. It’s important to note that cyberbullying can be done by one person or several, and the identity of the bully may not always be known. Online bullies may make physical threats, inappropriate and sexual comments or suggestions, spread lies or rumors, reveal secrets, or exclude individuals from certain things. Because online bullying is done via the internet, students may feel at risk anywhere because their attackers can reach them anywhere they have an internet connection. This means that every safe place they’ve known no longer feels safe.

Effects of Online Bullying

The effects of online bullying are more far-reaching than most people realize. Even if it’s just a one-on-one situation and the entire school isn’t involved, victims of online bullying can experience significant distress, fear, sadness, and more. The most common feelings associated with being a victim of online bullying include feeling hurt, angry, scared, isolated, helpless, hopeless, and anxious. Some children will experience depression or anxiety due to online bullying, and some children have even become suicidal because of the relentlessness of an online bully. Students who are bullied are more likely to drop out of school or skip school, see their grades suffer, and withdraw from the things and people they once enjoyed. They will likely experience physical health concerns, including sleeplessness, more frequent sickness, and a number of mental health issues, such as depression, low self-esteem, and even a form of PTSD.

While regular bullying is absolutely hard and awful, cyberbullying may be even worse for a number of reasons. First, it can happen anywhere. It’s not specific to just happening at school, and it can leave children feeling like there is no escape from it no matter where they go. Second, online bullying is often done anonymously, which can make kids feel paranoid, untrusting, and more threatened. Cyberbullies often get bolder when they think they won’t be caught or found out, which can make them go to more extremes and be even meaner. Third, since the bullying isn’t done in person, the bully often doesn’t see the immediate reaction of the victim, which can be unsatisfying for them, so they may push things too far for the sake of getting a reaction and feeling fulfilled in their bullying. And finally, the lies, threats, and humiliation associated with online bullying can be something that hundreds or thousands of people see. It’s not just about a few kids in the hallway overhearing someone making fun of a peer anymore. People on the internet are ruthless and students know how to quickly spread their posts to far-reaching avenues to get the most exposure and make the most impact on their victims.

Why It Needs to Be Taken Seriously

A lot of people may say that “kids will be kids” and while that is true, kids need accountability for the things they say and do, and that includes instances of online bullying. Children and teens have committed suicide in response to cyberbullying and although that is an extreme, no child should be made to feel inferior or less than simply because another student wants to harass them on the internet. Kids need to learn how to interact with others appropriately and respectfully, both online and in person, and it is the responsibility of the adults in their lives to do so.

At the same time, children and teens should learn how to handle being bullied in an online setting and respond as well as they can. The best thing to do is not respond to the cyberbully attack and tell a trusted adult about it immediately. Students should remember who they are and stand firm in that and in what they believe, and they should be encouraged to ignore what a bully says to them as best as they can. The stronger the mental fortitude of our children, the less power cyberbullies will have and the more the problem will begin to dissipate.

If you are an adult that learns about online bullying, you should speak to the parties involved and get as much information as possible. Speak to other adults involved in the kids’ lives and come up with a plan to handle the situation before it gets worse. Monitoring technological devices and social media accounts that your children have is also a great way to stay on top of what they are sending and receiving online.

What to Do If You or Someone You Know Is a Victim of Online Bullying

If you are involved in bullying, whether online or face-to-face and whether as a victim or as a bully, you need to talk to someone about it. Victims should not seek revenge or even respond to their attackers as that will likely fuel them to continue. Report whatever you can to the police, the internet service provider of particular websites being used, and any other adults or authority figures that need to know. If you are a student at San Diego Virtual School, talk to one of your teachers or a school counselor or administrator about the issue. You can get in contact with the school via their contact form, through email, or by calling. It’s best to have proof of the cyberbully attacks for your records, but victims should avoid re-reading the comments. If you are struggling due to online bullying, talk to someone right away about the bullying and the feelings that you’re having about it.



Volunteer Opportunities for Students to Get Involved in the Community

October 21st, 2019 by


Food sorting. Group of volunteers packing donation for homeless into paper bags, working in office, copy space. Most students are focused on school, sports, and socializing, and there is nothing wrong with that. But if you or your students are looking for something more meaningful and productive to do on the weekends or with free time, volunteering is a great idea. There are countless volunteer opportunities for students, and each option comes with a slew of benefits and advantages both for the students and others involved. Take a look at the primary benefits that all volunteer opportunities for students will offer, several ways for students to get involved in their communities, and how to find volunteer opportunities in your area.

Benefits of Participating in Volunteer Opportunities for Students

The best part about students volunteering is that they get to contribute to their community. Whether they’re serving food at a homeless shelter, building homes in a local neighborhood, or spending time with the elderly at a nearby retirement home, it feels good to give back. The community will benefit from having more people loved on and cared for, and students will experience a sense of accomplishment, significance, and joy when they serve others. Additionally, students can gain important skills while volunteering. This might be physical skills like learning how to lay a roof or fix a car, or it may be interpersonal skills like compassion, empathy, and understanding. Students can often take on leadership roles in their volunteer position, allowing them the opportunity to help others and grow as a leader. Volunteer opportunities for students often give them access to a wide network of individuals in their community, some of which may be important individuals within a particular industry or in the community itself. It always helps to have connections, especially for students looking to go into certain fields, and volunteering alongside CEOs and other executives will only benefit the student. Volunteering also looks great on applications, both those for college and jobs. Admissions boards and employers like to see that students care about others and are willing and able to serve others and put their community before their own needs. Another big benefit of students volunteering is the difference it makes in the community. It can build awareness of issues in an area, and it can bring about radical change to a neighborhood or city when people help others and then bring the needs to the rest of their community.

5 Ways for Students to Get Involved in the Community

Help Other Kids

Whether you volunteer at a camp, coach a sports team, or tutor younger students, helping other kids is a great way for students to get involved in the community. You may have had an older student or adult assist you at a pivotal time in your life and know that it meant a lot—you can be that person to a younger child! Use your skills, interests, and hobbies and give back to the community by serving other kids. Just like you, kids of all ages are our future, so the more we pour into them when they’re young, the more our community will benefit in the future.

Take Care of Animals

If you love animals, there are plenty of ways for students to get involved in the community by serving animals. Volunteer at a local animal shelter, foster pets, or become an advocate for no-kill shelters. You may be able to work with a national park or wildlife rescue organization, or you may be able to secure a volunteer opportunity with a veterinarian. Especially if you’re interested in working with animals in a future career, getting involved with animals as a student is a great way to volunteer.

Clean up the Environment

If you are passionate about the environment, get involved in an organization that feels the same. You can start a highway cleanup crew, join an advocacy group for reducing emissions, volunteer with a property conservation organization, or find a group that supports marine wildlife protection. There are countless volunteer opportunities for students when it comes to the environment, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one near you.

Prepare or Serve Food

Homeless shelters, soup kitchens, food pantries and more are constantly looking for volunteers. Maybe you have a passion for cooking, maybe you think you’d be great at organizing a giant pantry full of food, or maybe you just want to meet the basic needs of those in your community. Several places will take on student volunteers to prepare, package, collect, and serve food, and this is a great way to meet a tangible need of individuals in your area.

Love on the Elderly

Retirement homes are full of people who get very few visitors, and they are always looking for volunteers to come spend time with their residents. Go play a musical set list, join in on bingo night, or simply sit and read with a senior citizen who doesn’t have a lot of visitors. Students may be surprised at what they can learn from the elderly and how their lives can be radically impacted by spending time with an older generation.

How to Find Volunteer Opportunities for Students Near You

If you’re searching for ways for students to get involved in the community, it helps to narrow down your search to what you’d like to do. If you’re not certain, doing a general search can give you some ideas and a starting place to delve deeper into specific organizations and ways to serve. Here are a handful of places for you to start looking for volunteer opportunities for students:

  • United Way
  • YMCA
  • Red Cross
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Local Libraries
  • Food Pantries
  • Animal Shelters
  • Retirement Homes
  • Girl/Boy Scouts
  • Foster Programs
  • Churches
  • Local Hospitals

Students can make a big difference in their communities and they will enjoy many benefits of volunteering in their area. Start with this list to get some ideas of how and where you would like to serve, and we’re confident you’ll enjoy your experience and gain a great deal from it, in addition to imparting change in your city.


How to Effectively Choose the Right Elective Courses to Boost Your Future Job Prospects

October 21st, 2019 by


Happy young woman using laptop computer sitting on couch, smiling teen shopping online, banking in internet, freelance and work from home, running e-business, remote distant working, writing web blog. Gone are the days when simply getting a college degree secured a good job. In times past, any college degree in any field was enough to get you an entry-level position, if not higher, at a good company that offered plenty of room for growth and the opportunity to work your way up the ladder. Nowadays, post-graduate unemployment is at an all-time high, and college grads are struggling to get even the lowest positions in a company that specializes in what they majored in. How can you avoid that? How can you prepare yourself for the best career possible and increase your future job prospects? One way is through the electives you take in both high school and college. Sure, majoring in a field that has a lot of jobs is a great start, but not everyone is suited for a career in the medical field or the world of science and technology. So even if you’re choosing to major in something that’s not considered high-demand in the job market, you can still boost your future job prospects by the elective courses you take before graduation. Here are a few tips on choosing the right electives, along with some suggestions of what electives to register for next semester.

Think Big Picture

According to a study done by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, only about a fourth of college graduates have a job related to their field of study in college. That means that even if you have your heart set on being an art historian and study art history for four years during college, you’re more likely to end up in a completely different field. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t pick a major that lines up with your interests and future goals and plans, but you need to think more about the big picture when you’re registering for classes. You should, of course, take the courses that are required for your major, but consider other alternative career paths as well. Maybe you don’t become an art historian but can land a job as a museum manager. You may need some management classes, business classes, and finance classes to improve your odds of getting that job. Or maybe you can get your foot in the door at an art museum by writing grant proposals on behalf of the museum or working in the museum’s IT department. You need some specific skills to do each of these jobs, and while they aren’t directly related to your specific career goals, they could get you in the door at a place you’d like to work.

Consider Your Skills, Not Just Your Interests

You may be incredibly passionate about art history, but you may also have a natural ability to understand complex mathematics. Or you may be thrilled about the idea of working with computers when you graduate, but you also have a knack for writing. When you’re choosing electives, be sure to think about what your natural skillset includes rather than just simply what interests you. We know you spent years taking classes that you didn’t have a say in, and the freedom to select your own classes in high school and college may give you a whole new level of excitement, but you can’t and shouldn’t ignore what you’re naturally good at either. It never hurts to fine-tune some natural abilities and increase your knowledge base of something you’re already gifted in, especially when it comes to future career prospects.

Push Yourself Beyond Comfort Zones

In the opposite way, don’t be afraid to take some classes that push you outside your comfort zones. If you’re not a “math person,” you may shy away from anything math-related, like economics, finance, statistics, and engineering. But you may be shocked to find that something outside your “comfort zone” is actually really enjoyable and you may discover a hidden talent or inclination toward a particular subject that you didn’t know existed. Particularly when it comes to electives classes, you should really take your time to explore a variety of courses to see what you may enjoy and what you may be good at so that you cover all your bases and get a good well-rounded education.

What Electives Should I Take?

Now that you understand the importance of varying your electives, let’s talk about some specific classes that you should take. Some of your electives will depend on your major, while others are just good choices for anyone. If you are a math or science major, it may be important for you to focus on electives that help you with soft skills and non-mathematical knowledge, such as psychology, communications, and writing. If you’re majoring in something more arts-focused, like English, art, education, and so on, you will benefit from the more technical electives, like statistics, engineering, and computer technology. All students should consider taking courses that will benefit them as a business person (such as economics, finance, business, management, and financial planning), a communicator (classes like writing, communications, psychology), and a tech-savvy individual (courses like computer technology, computer programming, and statistics).

While your degree is going to be specific, your education as a whole should be as well-rounded as possible. The goal is to get a leg up on other prospective employees and show your future boss that you will offer more to the company than someone else. Your well-rounded educational background will also show that you are not just a one-trick pony but that you can excel in a variety of areas and learn a variety of different skills.


6 Misconceptions About Online Learning

October 21st, 2019 by




Serious experienced female coach makes records in notepad, focused at screen of laptop computer, has long red hair, wears transparent glasses, watches webinar online. Business and job concept. Getting an education online has a great deal of benefits associated with it. Whether you’re planning to complete middle school online, high school online, or a college education online, you are sure to experience a number of advantages that traditional students will miss out on. However, even with all the benefits and perks of online learning, there are a number of misconceptions about online learning that make some people hesitant or skeptical to even consider it. Let’s take a look at six common misconceptions about online learning and explore the actual truth behind the misconception.

Misconception #1: Online Learning Is Easier Than Traditional Schooling

This is a misconception that needs to be handled promptly so that students don’t enroll in online school with misguided ideas about what the experience will be like. Many traditional students think that online classes are easier, shorter, and less involved than regular classes, but that simply isn’t the case. Online classes cover the same information as traditional classes, and they have similar expectations and standards for all students. While the physical time spent on an online class may be shorter (although it may not be), that doesn’t mean the coursework is easier or the material is simpler. The standards for each class are the same for every state and school district, whether the courses are taken online or in a traditional educational setting.

Misconception #2: You Have No Peer Interaction with Online Classes

Most people think of online learning as completed isolated time sitting in front of a computer with absolutely zero human interaction. However, online learning environments are actually very stringent about the requirements they set on students for peer interaction. Not only do online students post discussions, respond to others’ comments and questions in writing, and have real-time discussions with peers during class time, but they also take part in group work and collaborative activities quite often. Additionally, many virtual learners choose to participate in extracurricular activities, whether through their school or with local organizations, so that they are regularly interacting with peers and others during the school week.

Misconception #3: You Have to Be a Technological Genius to Take Online Classes

It’s true that you need basic tech skills to succeed in an online class or to complete your entire education online, but that doesn’t mean you need to be a technological genius or even be tech-savvy. You’ll need to know how to connect to the internet, how to navigate a web browser, and how to use basic word processors, plus you will need to learn how to use the software program that the online school uses. Most young people are tech-savvy enough to begin online schooling without much preparation, but even the lesser technologically advanced individuals can be ready for online classes pretty quickly by mastering only a few key skills.

Misconception #4: Online Degrees Aren’t Accredited or Transferable

While some online schools are not accredited, that is not something you have to worry about if you enroll at San Diego Virtual School. Our entire program is fully accredited both nationally and regionally, and our students get real high school diplomas upon graduation. Additionally, if at any time one of our students chooses to transfer to a traditional school in the area, their classes will transfer easily and they won’t lose credits. It was once a mindset that online schools were “less than” in terms of legitimacy and challenging curriculum, but those days are long gone. Especially since SDVS is fully accredited, our students never have a hard time enrolling in excellent colleges or landing their dream jobs after graduation.

Misconception #5: There Is No Timeline or Time Limit for Completion of Courses

It’s true that online students can make their own schedules and work at their own pace. However, our online courses do have deadlines, just like any school does, and there is a time limit for completion of classes. This is to ensure students are kept on track with graduating at a certain time and don’t spend unnecessary amounts of time enrolled in classes when they should be moving on to the next course. We fully support scheduling flexibility and allowing students to work ahead or slightly slower than the standard pace, if needed, but assignments, tests, projects, and more all have deadlines that students are expected to abide by. Additionally, courses are done in semesters and students are expected to follow due dates and make classwork submissions in a timely manner.

Misconception #6: No One-on-One Instruction Takes Place in Online Learning Environments

A lot of people think that online learning is all about self-directed study and that no actual one-on-one instruction takes place at an online school. While we do believe in and encourage personal responsibility, independence, and self-motivation amongst our students, our instructors are incredibly engaged with the students throughout the entirety of every semester. Our teachers lead discussions, present lectures on new information, and work with the students to understand the material being presented. Additionally, if students need additional help or have questions, our teachers are very accessible and easy to reach. One of the best parts of SDVS is our staff, and our students and their parents all speak highly of how involved and helpful our teachers are.

If you have any other ideas about online school and you’re uncertain of their validity, please contact us at San Diego Virtual School. If you have any other questions about online schooling, the virtual classroom environment, SDVS’s accreditation, or anything else related to online learning, please contact SDVS today. We would love to talk with you to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have, as well as discuss your ideas and plans for an online education.




How to Build a Well-Rounded Resume as an Online Student | Infographic

October 3rd, 2019 by

Getting your degree online, whether in high school or college, offers a number of advantages that traditional students simply don’t get. You enjoy the flexibility of making your own schedule, you get to work at your own pace, and you also acquire and master a number of soft skills, like personal responsibility, self-discipline, and time management. However, you may feel like you’re at a disadvantage when it comes to securing a job after school due to your online education. The good news is that simply isn’t true, provided that you take the necessary steps to prepare yourself for life after school. Having a solid resume is important for anyone, but it is even more vital for online students since some employers may view virtual students a little differently than traditional students. Thankfully, you can create an incredible resume that stands out in the best ways, and you can use your online education to your advantage to prove how well-rounded you are, how much of an asset you’ll be to any company, and how qualified and prepared you are to take on a new career. Here are some top tips from industry experts on how to build a well-rounded resume as an online student.

Land an Internship

Whether you’re in high school or college, an internship is only going to benefit you. Not only will it teach you valuable skills related to a job or industry you hope to work in, but it will also give you some connections in certain fields that could help you get your foot in the door. Caleb Backe, Certified Life Coach and Business Consultant, says this about creating a well-rounded resume: “Finding an internship or volunteer position related to your field of study is always a plus. The key is to network as much as you can so that you have plenty of material for your resume.” Basically, the more you learn and the more you do while in school, the more you’ll have to brag about on your resume.

Get Volunteer Experience

If you can’t get an internship for some reason, get some volunteer experience. Find an organization that means a lot to you or one that relates to the field you hope to be in one day, and do anything they’ll allow you to do. Even if you can’t find something that’s related to your chosen industry, just showing a potential employee that you care about others and are willing to volunteer some of your time is going to benefit you. Being a volunteer will also help with networking and if you can make strides within a particular organization, that will help improve your resume as well.

Have a Job

Maybe an internship isn’t feasible and you simply don’t have enough time to volunteer. If that’s the case but you still want to build your resume, you can get a job. Ideally, the job would be something that is related to what you want to do after graduation, but that’s not an absolute requirement. Caleb Backe says, “Even if you opt to find a job that’s not related but pays the bills, the responsibilities and skills required can be reflected in an advantageous manner in your resume if you write them the right way.” All skills you acquire, no matter how simple or complex, can be translated into meaningful abilities that apply within various fields. Even a job at a fast food restaurant or a grocery store can teach you important skills like punctuality, personal responsibility, respect for authority, a good work ethic, and more.

Take on Extracurricular Activities

Most students tend to participate in extracurricular activities, and the key to creating a well-rounded resume is selecting the right ones. If you play a sport or are extremely passionate about a club or activity, getting involved in it during school is a great use of your time. If you can make it into a leadership role in any group, that’s even better. Business coach Stacy Caprio says students should “try to find actual outside activities to participate in so your resume includes more than simply sat in front of a computer to get a degree. It will be helpful to do volunteer activities, try to find some community leadership activities, and join outside speech clubs or other events you’re interested in. This will show you’re well-rounded and more than just someone who can learn in front of a computer.”

Do Your Research

When you’re applying for a specific position, or even if you’re preparing for an interview, you need to make sure you do your research. You may have a general resume that you use for all jobs you’re applying for, but you can tailor each resume to the specific company and job to make yourself stand out more. The more well-rounded and well-read you appear, the better off you’ll be. Do your research about what works on resumes and what doesn’t, and do your research on the company that you’re applying to work for. BP Greycastle of Name Colorology Group says, “The best way to build and stand out and succeed in a resume or interview is by knowing [about] the person … that will be interviewing you or reading your resume.”

Consult Resume Experts

If you’ve done all the legwork of being well-rounded but you need a little assistance in putting together the perfect resume, you may consider hiring experts to help you. Various companies and individuals will craft an incredible resume for you or will look over what you’ve already done and help you make improvements. A large part of building a well-rounded resume is not only having the experiences but also having the right words to make yourself come across the way you desire. Alexandra Nima from The Sophisticated Geek says that career hacking courses “help anyone, in any situation, to structure and present their skills and past work experience in a way that makes any recruiter pay attention.”

6 Tips to Get Back into the Swing of High School After Summer Break

September 12th, 2019 by

X Tips to Get Back into the Swing of High School After Summer Break

As summer draws to a close and school supplies, syllabi, and textbooks grace your home with their presence, you may experience some mixed emotions. The end of summer can be a bit of a bummer, as the lazy days at the pool, sleeping in, and constant outing with friends fade into responsibilities, schedules, and schoolwork. You may be a bit excited about the upcoming school year too, however. New classes, new friends, and new opportunities can make even the most reluctant learners look forward to the fall each year. If you’re struggling to get back into the swing of high school after summer break, or if you simply want to be as prepared as possible for the transition from summer to fall, check out these back-to-school tips from SDVS.

Establish a Routine

Whether you attend a traditional school or an online school, you need a routine to ensure you’re completing your assignments and getting other parts of life taken care of as well. Start immediately—don’t want until you get your first big project or have your first test or feel like you’re struggling with time management. Start from day 1 of the fall semester by establishing a routine. Your routine may look incredibly different from some of your peers, but make a list of what absolutely has to be done every day, then a list of what should ideally get done every day. You may need to write out a schedule for yourself with hourly time blocks, or it may be enough to simply know the order in which you’ll complete the days’ activities. Either way, establish a positive and productive routine from the start of the school year to keep yourself on track with your various responsibilities and commitments all year long.

Set up a Work Space

This is one of the most fun parts of going back to school. Once you’ve purchased your school supplies and decided where your work space is going to be, set up the area to be conducive to learning and productivity. Whether you use the work space only for homework or if you’re a full-time online student who spends hours at your work space each day, it needs to suit your needs and help you get things done. Your work space might be a desk in your bedroom, a section of the dining room table, or a freestanding table in the living room. No matter where it is, it should be neat, organized, and as free of clutter as possible. Everything you need to do your schoolwork should be easily accessible, such as extra paper, pens and pencils, highlighters, and the like. Having a designated spot to work will help you stick to your routine and get your schoolwork done in a timely and effective manner.

Be Consistent About Sleep Times

This can be extremely hard, especially for all those night owls out there. Waking up for school can be a challenge for anyone, no matter how much or a morning person you are or if you don’t have to wake up quite as early as your peers. It’s important to get into a positive morning routine though, and being consistent about your wake-up times from day one will help. If you can muster the motivation to start a few days before the first day of school, that’s even better. And if you can maintain your early wake-ups on the weekends, that will help even more. Along with consistent wake-up times come consistent sleep times. This means setting a bedtime for yourself. This can be a struggle for high school students, but it will serve you well in getting back into the swing of high school after summer break.

Get Organized

Being organized is important when it comes to your physical work space, but organization is also about keeping track of what you have to do and knowing where to find the assignments that you need. You may choose to use a paper agenda to write your assignments in, or a digital calendar may work better for you. You might have folders at your work space to keep your assignments in order, or you might prefer paper trays or something similar. Know how you’re going to keep track of all your assignments before the school year begins, and be sure to stick with that organizational model all year long.

Start Strong

This back-to-school tip goes hand-in-hand with several of the above-mentioned suggestions. Starting the school year strong is about establishing those positive habits right from the start and maintaining them. It can be easy to wait until a few weeks into school to really get into the swing of things, especially since the beginning of classes is often more about expectations and syllabi than completing actual assignments. However, the sooner you can establish an effective routine, get organized, and stick to your schedule, the better off you’ll be when the rubber hits the road and you have multiple assignments to juggle.

Be Patient with Yourself

Sometimes, you can ease into a new school year with calmness and simplicity, but other times, a new grade level can hit you like a ton of bricks. One important tip to get back into the swing of high school after summer break is to be patient with yourself. You spend two glorious months with no homework, no tests, and no stress, and now you’re thrust back into the chaos of school, and you simply have to give yourself a break sometimes. It’s okay to feel like you need a little time to get adjusted to the new year, and it’s okay to struggle with some of these back-to-school tips. Just keep pushing forward and give yourself a little grace, understanding that both are important to your overall success and growth this school year.

Difference in Applying to Cal State University vs. University of California Schools

August 26th, 2019 by
Difference In Applying to Cal State University vs. University of California Schools

Difference In Applying to Cal State University vs. University of California Schools

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How Students Can Advance Social Skills While Pursuing an Online Education

August 23rd, 2019 by

How Students Can Advance Social Skills While Pursuing an Online Education

Online schooling provides student with an excellent opportunity to work at their own pace and on their own schedules, as well as gain access to a quality education from anywhere. There are so many benefits for students who enroll in a virtual school, but some parents and students alike may have a few concerns when first considering an online education for middle or high school. One of the biggest things we hear from prospective students and their families is that they are concerned about social interaction. Since our classrooms are all virtual and we don’t have any face-to-face classes, it’s reasonable to be concerned about the lack of social interaction that your student will be getting. Before we delve into the various ways our students can advance their social skills while pursuing an online education, let’s take a look at the importance of social skills and how their proper development is vital to your child’s success.