Online and virtual education programs are on the rise as many parents and students turn away from traditional school models—but many more still have questions or doubts about this growing form of education. What are the benefits of pursuing virtual education over traditional schooling?
Perhaps the most obvious benefit is the flexibility that online education offers. Students can take classes and learn at their own pace around work or other obligations. For some, it’s merely a matter of an unusual or strenuous work schedule; for others, it’s a medical condition that makes operating within traditional schooling difficult.
By learning online from home, students are able to fit in schooling when they can and with the best learning environment for them.
In addition, online schooling allows access to more specialized classes that students may not otherwise have access to. Courses covering specific interests that a traditional school may not have the resources to offer are available virtually.
Plus, students will never be turned away from a class they want to take because the class is full—virtually, there’s always room.
Students are not trading quality for convenience with virtual education. They still get direct access to a teacher fully certified by the TEA, so they can rest assured that the teacher knows what they’re doing and knows the material they’re teaching.
The opportunity for one-on-one connection to teachers means students are getting more personalized support, instead of being one of many students in an increasingly overcrowded classroom.
Studies show that smaller class sizes are the most beneficial environment, both for a teacher’s ability to teach and a student’s ability to learn. This can be an issue in many traditional brick-and-mortar schools, where a declining number of teachers is leading to larger and larger class sizes.
A Safe Environment
As mentioned earlier, learning online from home allows for more control of variables that can negatively affect a student’s health. Special diets, allergies, and prescribed medicines are all significantly easier to keep track of when learning from home.
But physical safety isn’t the only benefit—mental health is also known to improve. Many students who have transferred to virtual education from public schooling have greatly improved in their studies, once they no longer have had to worry about bullying or other distractions from their peers.
Some parents worry that removing their child from traditional schooling will negatively impact their child’s socialization skills—but this doesn’t have to be the case. After all, socialization happens in plenty of other spaces other than in school. From extracurriculars and clubs, to trips to museums or other educational places, to any family observances or traditions, socialization can still happen and leave children able to connect with others in meaningful ways.
Virtual education may not be for everyone, but it’s certainly a great option to have when deciding what’s best for a student. Greater flexibility alongside great quality instruction means that students can have the best education that will prepare them for their future.