Dispelling The Many Myths About Virtual Schooling
Online learning is a new concept to many, but iQ Academy has been serving students with online high school and middle school opportunities for almost ten years. Undoubtedly, when you talk to other families about the education options you are weighing for your child – you will probably get a range of reactions and opinions. This is especially true when you bring up the subject of online learning.
There are a number of myths out there concerning the subject of online learning and I’d like to take the time to dispel some of the biggest myths we hear about virtual schools:
- Taking classes online requires you to just sit in front of a computer all day. Although all of our courses are housed online, there are plenty of assignments that require work away from the computer. From science experiments in your kitchen using basic home products, to taking a bike ride outside for gym class or getting comfy in your favorite chair to write a journal entry – there are plenty of opportunities to step away from the computer in iQ’s curriculum.
- There is a lack of socialization for online students. False! Many of our students maintain the circle of friends they made growing up, and iQ Academy provides several opportunities for students to get involved socially on a monthly basis. We recognize that exploring interests and getting to know other students are vital experiences in any student’s school career.
Local iQ programs also plan several face to face event opportunities throughout the year from baseball games and amusement parks to movie nights and bowling. Check the "Community" page on your local iQ Academy website for a school calendar and listing of upcoming events.
- Online education is the “easy” way out. Many students may spend less time actually “in school” than they would in a traditional school environment, but what’s great is that a student who struggles with one course can spend more of his or her day working on that difficult course. That student can then quickly finish a course they feel stronger in. As far as it being “easier” – that’s just not true. Actually, online learning has proven to be more rigorous than other types of learning because of its independent nature. If you think your student and family is up to the challenge – the rewards will be great!
- Online learning is the same as homeschooling your student. Online learning is a natural next step for many families that choose to homeschool, and while it provides many of the same great benefits – there are a few major differences to point out. All iQ Academies are partnered with a local, public school. That means our classes are taught by fully trained and certified teachers and students work towards an accredited high school diploma. Also, students are required to take any state standardized tests. With those being the major differences, many families that appreciate being able to continue their schooling at home while providing their students with a great education and support system.
- Online learning is a lonely environment and students have little support. Virtual schools provide support for students in many ways. At iQ Academy, a learning coach is on staff to help guide students and offer advice when they are struggling. Our teachers correspond with students daily via email, phone and Elluminate live online chat. For technical difficulties we have a Technical Support Help Desk that is available 24/7 to assist with internet or computer problems. We have also found that many students who would normally be too shy to speak up in a large brick and mortar school environment feel far more comfortable asking questions of our teacher given the 1:1 nature of online learning.
I hope I’ve helped dispel some of the myths and concerns you may have about online learning as you make the best possible choice for your student’s education.