In the past two years everyone has become familiar with terms like ‘online schooling’ and ‘distance learning’. As most countries went into Covid-related lockdowns, millions of students worldwide started learning online. However, there is a major difference between the two terms as well as the closely-related ‘home schooling’. This article takes a closer look at how each of these forms of education is different.
What is online school?
An online school is just like a physical school in many ways, although without the actual school buildings and limitations of geographic proximity. This means students are enrolled like they would at a regular school, except they study online from home. The online school provides the curriculum and qualified teachers, as well as a timetable for the student’s classes. Like regular school, the child is in a class of peers and the teacher is responsible for their learning – even though they learn from home. Most of the learning happens with the aid of the latest education technologies. Also, unlike correspondence courses, where material is physically shipped to students, online school is conducted completely online without the use of physical materials.
The concept of online schooling evolved from distance learning. In countries where schools were too far – or at a distance – many children would study at home. This is still common for rural areas and farming communities. However, online school students don’t necessarily have to be at a distance from a physical school. They could be picking the online school for a variety of reasons.
In recent times, blended learning has also become quite common. Blended learning is a combination of offline (face-to-face, traditional learning) and online learning in a way that the one compliments the other. Unlike online school, students still attend physical schools with a teacher present. However, face-to-face classroom practices are combined with computer-mediated activities regarding content and delivery.
Online school is also different from home schooling where a parent or guardian is the primary educator. The parent plans and teaches the child all the lessons. While many countries recognize home schooling, there are strict rules that parents must follow, including inspections in some cases.
How does online school work?
As it is a genuine alternative to physical schooling, online schools function exactly as their counterparts, except that students can attend classes from anywhere, at any time.
While each school may differ, most online schools will need an entrance diagnostic test to determine a student’s numeracy and reading abilities. Once they pass the tests, students attend classes taught by teachers in a live classroom setting. The learning material, class schedule, assessments, and timetables are all provided by the school. Teachers will even provide a list of textbooks that the students would need during the course of the school year.
Once registered, students will have a timetable much like a regular school. They will have to attend classes during those times and structure the rest of their day to complete homework and assignments as well as other extracurricular activities. Most schools even provide a variety of ways for students to interact with their peers.
At Crimson Global Academy we believe that students should study to their ability, not age. Based on the diagnostic tests, each student is placed in a class that allows them to expand their academic ability. Many students accelerate in one or two subjects, while taking their regular grade level in others. Through small, live classes taught by world-class teachers, students study the International GCSE and A Level curriculum, or Advanced Placement courses. By using the latest education technologies, students are able to engage in the classroom and interact with the teacher. Through our data analysis methods, students and parents receive the most updated reports on performance – creating full transparency between student, teacher, and parent.
What are the advantages of online school?
1. Personalised learning
Many students are not challenged by their regular school. In those cases, online school can help students study to their ability and challenge them. Through our flexible enrolment options, students can even join us part time in the evenings or weekends to accelerate in a subject of their choice.
For those students who have significant pursuits outside the classroom, online school is the perfect place. Online school will allow an athlete or someone in the performing arts to build their timetable around their other commitments. Online school is also a great option for families that move a lot or for students who work part-time. At CGA our flexible enrolment options allow you to study at your own time.
Not all families have access to quality education. If students want to study with world-class teachers or want to pursue a curriculum not offered by a local school, online schooling is a great option. At Crimson Global Academy our teachers have over 20 years of experience and we offer the globally recognized A Level curriculum.
Sadly, many students today suffer from anxiety or are bullied in school. In such cases, online school can provide a safe environment for them to learn at their own pace while socializing with peers. At CGA, our community support and pastoral care mean that each student is looked after in a holistic manner.