Cyber schools…Let’s get connected!
In today’s “Virtual World” of cyber networking, cyber marketing, cyber shopping and cyber everything else, it’s virtually impossible not to add cyber education to the mix. Cyber schools are schools that offer classes online. Colleges and universities have utilized these high-tech teaching platforms for many years. But in recent years, grade schools have jumped on the fast-paced information super highway as well.
Students can earn a diploma by fulfilling graduation requirements which are congruent to standards required by brick and mortar institutions. Parents who choose to homeschool their children sometimes opt to enroll them in cyber schools, because the students can learn from home in a structured virtual school program without fear of peer pressure, classroom distractions or school violence. Students learn in an environment controlled by their parents.
The student population is growing yearly and school systems are having trouble keeping up with building needs. Teaching students remotely through cyber schools is a solution to this problem. Cyber schools can reduce school crowding.
Although students may have deadlines for turning in assignments, some cyber schools allow students to advance through classes at their own pace. Cyber schools can also offer a solution for military dependents who wish to take classes that are not offered on base. Student with special needs may benefit from these alternative educational choices as well.
There are numerous cyber schools throughout the country. Here are a few differences among these organizations.
- Some cyber schools offer a customized curriculum for students.
- Other schools may require students to be online at a certain time to participate in live school sessions.
- Some cyber schools are affiliated with a religion.
- Certain organizations employ online, certified teachers who work with the students.
- Other cyber schools feature independent learning in which the student does not interact with a teacher.
- Attendance at some cyber schools is free, because these schools are affiliated with the public school system.
- Other cyber schools are fee-based.
A lot of parents choose cyber schools for their children because of the benefits these schools offer. Most certified cyber school programs include the following advantages.
- The curriculum has been well thought out and it has also been tested in order to ensure that it will benefit the child. However, parents should understand that this is not the same curriculum that is being taught in the public school system. While a cyber-school will always cover the main subjects, which include English, math, history, geography and Science, it has some added perks. Most programs offer classes based on individualized preferences. For example, students who follow the Christian faith can choose to take lessons that focus on Bible studies. Cyber schools also let students choose various electives. So, if there is something that you would like to see your child learn, you can choose an elective. Some electives include such things as college prep courses, history on any of the 50 states, etc.
- All cyber schools provide all the software that your child will need to use. You can also make backups of your child’s work. In fact, there are a lot of cyber school programs that will actually do this for you.
- Parents can assign special projects that they come across and think that their child may enjoy. This allows kids to explore many areas to determine where their true talents lie.
- Most cyber school lesson plans are also customizable according to your child’s needs or the way in which they learn the best. This is also one of the many pluses associated with traditional homeschooling. Parents can personalize the curriculum based upon their child’s own personal needs.
Like with most things however, online educations have drawbacks too. Students who attend cyber schools miss the physical presence of working with a teacher and interacting with other students. Although students can socialize with others in online classrooms, they miss the warmth of the classroom experience. What’s more, students maybe more tempted to cheat without the presence of a monitoring teacher or parent.
Students who attend a cyber-school should be able to work well independently. The ability to follow written instructions is important. Likewise, students should be bold enough to participate in online discussions and ask questions if unsure about the course material. Parents need to choose an accredited cyber school, especially if their child plans to earn a diploma from the school.
Cyber schools probably won’t replace traditional schools. Many students need and crave human interaction and the socialization that traditional schools offer. Cyber schools do offer a more convenient means to educate students who otherwise would not attend a traditional school. So, it may be an option worth considering.
By Mona Chabra