Dec 13, 2013 9:00:00 AM
Who could have imagined, even 20 years ago, that education would change so drastically by the 21st century? Today's options for education, from kindergarten through graduate school, are significantly different than they were two to three decades ago.
Turning Tides of Today's Technology
An increasing number of students in today's education system, along with their parents, are turning to online schooling for either supplemental or full-time education. The growing popularity of online schooling, made possible by educational technology, has made global education a reality.
Parents of busy high school students, for example, no longer have to decide how to fit school activities into their lives, or totally disrupt their family and work time for teens to attend high school as traditional students. Instead, online schooling makes it possible for learners to fit high school education into their busy lifestyles, whether studying for individual courses or entire high school programs, designed for online high school graduates to earn globally recognized diplomas.
Considerations for Online High School Learning
Whether a parent is assisting a teenager with educational plans, or an emancipated learner is exploring educational opportunities to complete his or her education to receive a diploma, there are important considerations to keep in mind regarding choosing and attending online high schools.
Type of online school. Parents should make sure to choose the type of online high school most suitable for them and their teens. These choices include public, private, and online charter high schools, as well as those affiliated with specific universities. It is essential to check details such as admission and program requirements, prices, and proven success records of any online high schools under consideration.
Feasibility--or will it work? Parents and their high schoolers have to honestly evaluate the realistic aspects of attending online school. They should determine if the requirements of such an option will work for all of them. For instance, will teens be home alone, or will one parent be available during the day to supervise or monitor the program? Will teens need tutoring for subjects such as algebra or biology? Will the parent or responsible adult be available for consultation with a teacher.
Appropriate skills. Teens enrolled in online high schools need to possess a number of important and appropriate skills to ensure they can succeed. Online education at the high school level can be just as challenging, if not more so, than attending traditional high school. Perhaps the most important requirements for teens are that they must have the self-discipline, motivation, and persistence necessary to seriously devote the time and effort necessary to study and complete assignments on a solitary basis, without the supervision of teachers or the interaction with peers. Other important skills, in alphabetical order, include the following:
Communication skills. These include using language appropriate in an online school venue, as well as grammatically correct language. Teens should also know how to properly use the communication tools provided by the school, such as email, discussion boards, and chat rooms.
Reading and writing skills. These are probably even more essential in an online learning environment, as primary means of learning and communicating.
Study skills. These include turning off or disabling all distractions during established study time: cell phones, background noise (music, television, radios), computer games, and Web surfing.
Technical skills. Online education necessitates these skills including document creation, uploading and downloading, as well as navigation of the school's learning management system.
Time management skills. Since online schooling is not in real time, teens have to establish and maintain time to study and complete assignments.
This should provide an initial checklist for exploring online high school learning.