Choosing Virtual/Online Schools

May 18, 2011 by  
Filed under About Online Degrees

Choosing Virtual/Online Schools

Online education has reached new heights since the advancement of Internet communication. You can be in one continent while you study special courses in another. Homeschooling programs have also become a more feasible option for many families, especially those who are constantly moving or those who are living with special circumstances like disabilities. Virtual schools are also now widely accepted in many institutions in terms of credentials.

The convenience of homeschooling programs is the primary reason why families choose to enroll their kids in this type of setting. You get to work with a schedule that’s convenient for you and you also get to determine how long you’ll be taking the given courses. Online schools provide flexible schedules that are designed to work with broken-time schooling. Requirements have also been made to adapt to the availability of students with non-traditional lifestyles. In addition, these virtual schools allow you to be anywhere in the world and still have a full education.

Another known advantage of enrolling in online schools is that it is way cheaper than an ordinary school. You save money on transportation expenses because you don’t have to be in school every weekday. Both high school and college programs are comparatively cheaper that attending an actual high school or university. An online academy is about 20% cheaper than ordinary schools.

CLASSIFICATION OF ONLINE SCHOOLS

There are actually 4 types of virtual schools: Public, charter, university-associated, and private online schools. As one would expect, private homeschooling programs are the most costly. These private online academies are also more preferred because of their regional accreditation-the most widely accepted accreditation for such an institution. Charter online schools are supported and partially funded by government bodies. Students that get accepted to charter Internet schooling programs generally belong to certain groups such as special students and dropouts. These are almost as cheap as public virtual schools.

Homeschooling programs that are university-associated are of course, specific courses offered by universities. International students that want to take up courses from a foreign university are the ideal candidates for this type of online program. These are also called open-universities. However, their prerequisites differ per school.

Some public online home schools are state-initiated. High school units and tertiary courses are available in these institutions. These are also regionally-accredited schools which is another additional preference of parents. Public online schools are probably one of the most preferred options because there is little or no difference in the curriculum they implement to students. The only difference is the manner of teaching and the requirements.

THE DOWNSIDE

The main downside to homeschooling is the socio-emotional effect to the student. Since there is decreased peer-to-peer interaction, most kids in online homeschooling programs experience socialization problems in the long run. Instructors who manage online classes also tend to have a more difficult time getting their lessons across because of the absence of face to face interaction.

But generally speaking, online school programs have more positive benefits over the bad ones. Both parents and students get to choose their schedules and still be able to live the lifestyles.

Melissa Langley Mar 10, 2011
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