Virtual learning is on the rise. Not only are some states and schools requiring students to take at least one online class before they graduate from high school, but several students are opting to complete their entire education online. Online classes offer countless advantages to students, including flexible scheduling, self-pacing courses, unique and positive learning environments, and the acquisition of several important skills that are important for success later in life. Although they are increasing in popularity and availability, online classes are still an enigma to many students and parents, leaving room for misconceptions and confusion regarding how online classes work.
Here at San Diego Virtual School, we offer free public online courses for both middle school students and high school students. Our school is fully accredited and nationally recognized, meaning you get a real high school diploma upon graduating and are prepared and qualified to attend any college or university in the country. Not all online schools have this accreditation, however. At the same time, not all online schools have complete curriculum programs either. Online classes are only as comprehensive and beneficial as the school behind them, so be sure to enroll in an accredited and nationally recognized school should you choose this educational outlet.
While we can’t speak for other schools, here is an overview of how online classes work at San Diego Virtual School.
Most brick-and-mortar schools follow a traditional style of educating where the teachers lecture and the students listen. Occasionally, there will be opportunities for students to facilitate their own learning or to actively engage in the material they’re learning, but more often than not, teachers teach and students learn. In online classes, there is far more self-directed learning and independence than in traditional schools. While there may be videos for students to watch a lecture or a presentation done by the teachers, a lot of the information comes from reading text and interacting with activities. Because students don’t have a designated class time to work on assignments with a teacher present, they are responsible for completing their assignments on their own, meaning they take on more personal responsibility and independence than their traditionally educated peers.
Because of the focus on self-directed learning, we are able to offer a more individualized approach to learning than most traditional schools. We have students with varying backgrounds and academic needs, and we meet each and every student right where they are. Some students are aspiring athletes or performers with unique schedules, some are academically advanced and want to be challenged, some have learning struggles that make certain classes more difficult, and some are previously homeschooled students or students in a military family. No matter what needs your child has academically or in terms of scheduling, SDVS is a great place to take online classes and get a quality education completely online.
Timelines & Flexibility
Students who take online classes at SDVS are not required to log in to their classes at any specific time. This is very different from traditional school, of course, but we’ve found it more beneficial to our students in many ways. Not only can they complete coursework on their own schedule, but our flexibility gives them more freedom in other parts of their life, such as getting a job or attending athletic practices. Additionally, students have to improve their time management skills, as well as their abilities to self-motivate and discipline themselves to get their work done. We do set deadlines for our students, but they can complete their assignments on their own schedule and at their own pace, helping them grow in independence and self-reliance.
Interaction & Communication
One of the biggest concerns of parents who are considering online classes is the interaction their children will get with their peers and with their teachers. Our students interact in our virtual classrooms quite frequently, and they actually get a significant amount of experience with collaboration and working as part of a group. They are given ample opportunities to improve their written communication skills since that is the primary way they will interact with their peers. At the same time, our students are able to communicate with their teachers directly almost any time they want. Unlike at a traditional school where students have to meet with teachers at designated times, our teachers are available to your child during a large portion of the day so any questions can be asked and answered in a timely and thorough manner.
While our programs are only available to those who reside in the greater San Diego area, students can complete their coursework from anywhere. You may be at home, at the library, or at a local coffee shop, but as long as you have internet access, you can log in to your classes and submit your assignments. If you are a child of a military service member who travels frequently, you can still do your classwork on the road. Additionally, if you are an aspiring athlete or a performer of some sort and you travel often to compete or perform, you can still access your schoolwork and meet the required deadlines.
To learn more about how online classes work or to learn more about our programs, get in touch with San Diego Virtual School today. We can get the enrollment process started and answer any questions you might have regarding your child’s education.