Over most of the past year, schools around the world have had to quickly shift from learning in classrooms to learning online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This experience is helping educators rethink what teaching and learning looks like in the long term and the role that online learning can play as well as the value they bring to students.
This is happening at a time when online education is coming of age. We’re not just talking about educational resources that you can find on the internet like Khan Academy or Crash Course. Nor are we talking about supplementary education like online tutoring services. But rather we’re referring to a digitally native primary and secondary education where students will undergo almost all of the academic, extracurricular and social experiences of schooling in a virtual environment.
This is not something unimaginable or futuristic. Right now, Crimson Global Academy (CGA) offers a digital high school program staffed by award winning teachers averaging over 20 years’ experience. It gives anyone in the world with an internet connection the potential to access a world class high school education.
Online learning will be the future of education. So where is online learning headed and how will it help students to achieve more than ever before?
The world is more connected than ever before. Nowadays, schools frequently boast the integration of international perspectives into their curricula as a way to show that they’re keeping up with the times and to attract potential students.
But no matter how well integrated the international perspectives are, the traditional school is still fixed to a certain geographic place. Its students will tend to come from the neighborhoods surrounding the school and teacher expertise would be limited to what’s available locally.
Online learning builds truly global classrooms. Online schools like CGA enrol students from around the world. This brings super valuable insights and experiences for students to learn and grow together surrounded by inspiring and driven classmates. These students will be challenged with a broader range of ideas that would serve them well academically and professionally as they head into an increasingly globalized society. Global thinkers will be those that are making the changes of tomorrow.
New technology innovations drive online learning. By now, everyone is familiar with Zoom and other various online meeting platforms. But students attending online schools like CGA will learn to master a whole host of productivity and collaboration tools like Google Calendar, Slack and Asana. These are the kinds of technologies that enable the digital learning environment. They are also the same technologies used by some of the world’s leading corporations like Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.
By giving primary and secondary students a digital native educational experience, online learning is helping them to gain the upper hand over peers who went to traditional schools, allowing them to better adopt the technologies used in the modern workplace.
Increasingly, online learning is driven towards tailoring the educational experience to each individual student. A digitally native education tracks a broad range of learning metrics that can be used to create a holistic learner profile of students. Using developments in machine learning and big data, students can better understand their strengths and weaknesses and create targeted studying methods that give them a personalized pathway to success.
Gone are the days of a one-size-fits all approach to education that traditional schools still use. Online learning recognizes that it’s impossible for every student in a class of 25 kids to all be learning at the same pace set by a teacher. Using a data driven approach, online learning personalizes school into something that serves you.