One of the biggest concerns parents have about online school is socialisation — how can students get to know each other and make friends when they’re learning miles apart? In reality, a lack of socialisation at virtual schools is a myth.
You may be surprised to learn just how many ways there are for online school students to make friends with each other, even without physical classrooms, cafeterias, or playgrounds. Through video, audio, and text chat, here are five of the most common ways virtual learners socialise.
1. Interactive classes
Just like in a physical school, one of the first spaces where online school students get to know each other is the classroom. At a virtual school, lessons take place in a digital classroom environment where students can communicate with their teachers and each other. During lessons, students may also split up into breakout rooms for small group discussions. As they work together and collaborate on their learning, online school classmates quickly build their communication skills and get to know each other better.
2. Clubs and extra-curriculars
Signing up for an extra-curricular activity is always a good way to meet people who share your interests, and things are no different at an online school. Great online schools offer a wide variety of virtual clubs to join and initiatives to get involved in. From coding clubs to debate teams, your child should have no trouble finding an extra-curricular that suits them. There, they’ll work together with classmates who like the same things as they do, forging fast friendships.
3. Online platforms
Some online schools also have dedicated virtual platforms where students can spend time talking to each other. From common rooms to school-specific social media platforms, learners can drop in at any time to strike up conversation or join a welcoming group of friends. These chat platforms are designed to be completely safe and secure, giving students a protected and monitored alternative to public social media platforms.
4. Tutorial sessions
Has your child struggled socially at school in the past? If so, consider choosing an online school that holds regular tutorial or mentoring sessions. During these small group gatherings, teachers and mentors guide students through various life concerns — including wellbeing, mental health, and surviving everyday difficulties. As students and teachers talk through these situations, your child may find that they’re not alone in their feelings or troubles. In turn, this makes it far easier for students to open up to their peers and form friendships without fear of judgement.
5. In-person events
Finally, the top online schools also hold regular in-person events where students can meet each other face-to-face. These events may include activity weekends, proms and graduation ceremonies, casual meetups, and even foreign exchange programmes. While students can form close bonds with online school classmates they’ve never met, many learners enjoy the chance to bring these friendships into the physical world too.
A warm community at King’s InterHigh
As the UK’s leading online school, King’s InterHigh is proud to be home to a vast, welcoming community of students all around the world. Collaborative lessons, extra-curricular activities, common room chats, a school-wide social media platform, tutorials, and in-person events are all part of everyday life for King’s InterHigh students. As part of Inspired, the world’s leading schools group, King’s InterHigh also gives learners the opportunity to connect at in-person events with students across the globe. To learn more about how your child can form bonds and find a sense of belonging at online school, check out the King’s InterHigh website.