The popularity of K-12 online learning is growing across the United States and the world. Just this August, 29 middle schools and high schools in both the U.S. and India added an online learning option to their repertoire.
These schools will work with VHS Collaborative (a non-profit organization that has been providing online courses to students since 1996) to provide a selection of higher-level courses to students interested in expanding their schooling options.
In addition to VHS Collaborative, several other online learning programs are noticing an increase in interest among parents and students, and more advertising for the idea has been popping up on television and in print media. Numerous local news articles have been written covering the topic on a local level, as well.
As awareness grows about this new form of education, more demand can be expected, but e-learning is not for everyone. What types of students benefit most from online coursework? Listed below are four examples of students who could experience academic improvement through this new form of learning.
- Students who get good grades and are bored with school: If a student consistently brings home perfect report cards, it could be a sign that they are not being challenged by the traditional school curriculum. If this is the case, parents should schedule a parent-teacher conference to discuss what options there are for enhancement. Some schools will allow advanced students to move up to the next grade. If that is not a choice, adding a few extra higher level online courses to a student’s schedule may be a great way to enrich their education.
- Students who plan on going to college: If a student is planning on attending college, they should consider taking online college credit or AP courses beginning their junior year in high school. Some students have earned as much as a semester’s worth of transferable college credits, which helps cut down on college tuition and gives them the option to graduate from college in less than four years. Many high schools and community colleges offer traditional college credit and AP courses, but the online option allows them to earn more credits outside of regular school hours.
- Students who want to learn about a subject not offered at their school: If a student exhibits an interest in a special subject not taught at their school, online courses may be a way for them to learn more about it. These subjects are usually career-related and taught at the honors level and can be quite helpful in guiding them towards their dream job.
- Students who have difficulty concentrating in the classroom: Although e-learning may not seem like the best option for a student with concentration problems, it may actually be the best thing for them. This is because online courses require full attention for progression and completion. No one can pass an e-learning course if they don’t do the work, because it is mostly self-driven. Distractions are few for online learners, because students must remain focused on the computer screen to complete work. The classroom is also usually very quiet with minimum student interaction.
Before enrolling in any online coursework, be sure to do your homework. The internet is a great resource for information on e-learning. Teachers and school counselors may also be able to offer valuable advice to students and parents interested in online learning.
Katheryn Rivas is a freelance writer and blogger who has contributed articles to numerous education resource websites. Covering topics that range from education, technology, career advice and college preparation, Katheryn works hard to research the facts about recent education news and trends to help her readers make the best decisions for their schooling and careers. Please direct your questions and comments to her at [email protected]