Online education is an alternative to a traditional brick and mortar high school education that is rapidly growing in popularity. Though many people are very excited about the concept, others think it deprives students of a natural period of socialization that is key to who they will become. Here are some pros and cons of online education.
Pro: One On One Attention
Online education is highly customized to meet the needs of the student. Whether they are talented or limited and whether they prefer to move slowly or quickly, their curriculum can be tailored to meet their needs. In a brick and mortar classroom, the student is limited by the pace of their peers regardless of whether they are ready to move forward or everyone else seems to be leaving them behind.
Con: Missing Popular Social Activities
The teen years are a time when a lot of celebrated milestones happen via school. First dates, proms and sleepovers are all activities that happen among high school friends and are fondly reminisced about for years to come. Though forums and certain activities are available in some areas. online education removes an aspect of traditional socialization that some people view as necessary.
Pro: Schedule Flexibility
With online education, students who work better in the evening, have varied sleep schedules or have a hobby or job that keeps them busy or traveling have the flexibility to pursue their high school diploma online when it is most convenient to them. This prevents them from having to decline opportunities that would take them out of the state or country, as long as they are able to access the Internet in order to meet deadlines.
Con: Real Time Answers Must Fall Within A Certain Time Frame
While schedule flexibility due to online education is a major pro, it is important to remember that even if a student is ready to do calculus at 2 am, it doesn’t mean their online instructor will be available at that time to answer a question. Sometimes this means putting an assignment on hold until assistance is available, as opposed to just raising one’s hand as one would in a classroom.
Pro: No Bullying
For teens that have struggled with social acceptance and bullying, online education can be the haven they need to get away from an unsafe space. While most brick and mortar schools have strong policies against bullying, it does not stop it from happening- and anyone who has ever walked the halls of a high school knows how much more hostile that environment can be than any adult workplace.
Turning a blind eye to bullying isn’t preparing a student for a real world reality, it is just torturing them. For a student who simply doesn’t fit in with their peers, online education gives them the opportunity to complete their diploma and move on to a situation where they can find happiness and acceptance among like-minded peers.
In the end, only a student and their parents and educators can say for sure if online education is the best fit for that individual. It is clear that this educational format offers new opportunities to teens and their families and is a worthy consideration in both traditional and non traditional settings.