How Do You Take THAT Class Online?

Sonya Saatzer's picture

By Sonya Saatzer - Posted on 04 August 2010

As we enroll new students in classes for the fall, I am frequently asked by families how certain courses work online. As we look to opportunities outside of a traditional classroom, we all naturally have to shift our thinking from what classes used to be like for families, to what opportunities online versions of these classes bring.

For a course like Physical Education, which most families understand to be team sports and physical tests of endurance, I get many questions about how this class can be accomplished online. At iQ Academy, we teach skills that will encourage students to lead a physically active lifestyle. Imagine a PE class where your completion time in an activity like the mile-run does not determine your self-esteem. Instead, teachers instruct on learning how to take care of your body and challenging yourself where you are at. Students learn the rules and techniques of a variety of individual sports and are encouraged to try new things. By keeping a log of their activity, students can see how many hours a week they spend staying active.

For the Life Skills class, families often assume it should involve learning how to cook and sew, but recognizing the challenge in doing those activities online, they wonder what they’ll actually be learning. There are so many valuable skills we develop as young adults and in an online environment, it’s so exciting to see students feel comfortable opening up about goal setting, making decisions, determining right from wrong, exploring relationships and solving conflicts. Issues that are often very difficult to talk about in a traditional classroom setting.

Art class in a brick and mortar school usually involves students playing with clay, drawing still life images and developing a color wheel with paint. Taking art online also requires quite a shift in thinking. In a class like Art Appreciation at iQ Academy, instructors base the curriculum on art history and culture rather than technique. For those with a desire to create, iQ Academy uses today’s technology and the changing workforce as a foundation, offering electives such as Digital Photography, Web Design and Game Design.

I hope that in giving some examples of what a few classes are like online compared to your previous experiences with them, you have a better sense of what you or your student will experience with online education. Choosing an educational path for your student is one of the most important decisions you will make. If the opportunities that online courses bring to your family sound like a great fit, I encourage you to find out more by visiting an Open House.

Visit this page to find a virtual school near you.

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