Is Online School Right For You? (Part 1)

Is Online School Right For You: The Pros and Cons of Online Education (Part 1)

Learning online is quickly becoming the norm and many are experiencing the benefits that an independent learning style can bring. That said, not all are feeling comfortable with their learn-from-home situation. This article is intended to help high school students understand if they’re a good candidate to register at an online school.

Why you should consider an online school

For schools like ours, the curriculum is delivered entirely online and students can go through lessons and lectures at their own pace. This provides an environment where students are in full control. This environment is free from class distractions, unprepared substitute teachers, and bullying. iLearn students can wake up when their biological clock determines it’s appropriate, and work through courses in the fashion they please.

What you should know before considering an online school

Online school is not for everyone. Learning online can be difficult for students who are not used to working independently and who do not advocate for themselves. It’s also important to consider the (physical) learning environment as students may have a hard time maintaining focus for long periods of time if the environment is not quiet and comfortable.

Are you trying to determine if online learning is right for you?

We’ve broken down the biggest pros and cons for online learning to help shed light on the perks.

The Learning Experience

Learning online is much different than in-class. Your content is all available 24/7 and it’s up to you to get through the material independently. The environment is free from distractions and dead time waiting on presentations and handouts. Plus, the content provides multimedia learning opportunities where students learn from videos, apps, and self-guided activities rather than only textbooks.

For students who are confident in their learning abilities, they can move faster than when in a traditional class. For students who are less confident, they can get the assistance they need through 1-on-1 meetings or office hours as long as they recognize they need help, and reach out to their teacher for assistance.

Pros:

  • Online Curriculum
  • No social distractions
  • Multiple learning formats
  • Learn when you’re most ready to learn

Cons:

  • No classmates to encourage you
  • Requires more discipline
  • More screen time

Study Space

Being comfortable learning at home is a big contributor to overall student success. Is there a desk and computer you can use? Do you have a reliable internet connection? Do you have a quiet environment to focus?

If you did not answer ‘yes’ to all three of the prior questions, then either you need to make adaptations or online education may not be a good fit.

Pros:

  • You can control your own space
  • Can be anywhere in the world

Cons:

  • Requires more space in your living environment or local library facilities
  • Requires a computer with sufficient internet access

Social Support

Socializing is a big part of high school for many students and it’s important you do not feel isolated while studying online. Do you have outside friends you see often? Are you involved in many social activities outside of school?

Students who transfer out of the physical classroom environment may have to readjust as they can fall behind without the social pressure to perform. It’s not always easy to find a study group for an online school as you need to find peers who are working on the same course at the same time.

At iLearn we like to promote our students to be involved in their local community. Sometimes we will organize volunteer opportunities or field trips to help students interact with their peers where the goal is to have students make meaningful relationships in the areas they live.

Pros:

  • Easier for those with high social anxiety

Cons:

  • Fewer social opportunities
  • No social pressure (fall behind/get lazy)

Part two coming soon.