A student attending a virtual high school clears up some misconceptions about online schooling.
Myth #1: Online students don’t have as much schoolwork as traditionally schooled students.
Reality: Before I began my freshman year at Ohio Virtual Academy, I thought schooling online would be easy. However, I was proven quite wrong. At my middle school, we rarely made it completely through a textbook, but at OHVA we do. Also, as an online student, there are no snow days, so I have to work some days even when my friends are off.
Myth #2: Virtual schools limit students’ social interactions.
Reality: Sure, virtual students may not see their classmates on a daily basis, but synchronous class sessions allow students to chat and participate with their class. Also, at my school, we are required to attend four face-to-face events each year. I’ve been to history museums, bowling alleys, community college labs, and more with students from my virtual school. These events are great for getting to meet new people and to be able to pair names with faces.
Myth #3: Online schooling is the same thing as traditional homeschooling.
Reality: In some ways online schooling is similar to homeschooling. Students can work at their own pace in a comfortable working environment. However, at OHVA, I have a teacher for every subject and counselors, advisors, and principals who help me stay focused with my present and future goals. The level of support from people outside of direct family on a daily basis is one benefit homeschooled students may not have.
Myth #4: Virtual students have more distractions than traditionally schooled students.
Realty: Yes, virtual students have distractions, but traditional “brick and mortar” students do also. Virtual students may be tempted to text or Internet search when they should be working, but with the abundance of smartphones, many traditional students also have access to temptations. The benefit of virtual schools is that students who truly desire to focus can. They aren’t distracted by noisy classmates or note-passers, as is the case in traditional schools.
Myth #5: Online students are less prepared to enter college and the workforce.
Reality: Students acquire many valuable life skills attending virtual schools. Computer skills, time management, independence, and responsibility are just a few examples. My high school also offers counselors and advisors who meet with students and help them prepare for their futures. With virtual assessments, four-year plans, and informational sessions, students are well on the path of success.
Would you consider attending a virtual high school? What’s your opinion of online classes? Let us know in the comments!