An educational alternative
Finding a school for your child when moving to another country can be an overwhelming experience. There are many factors you need to consider such as the schools reputation, the type of curricula, class sizes, and costs. Currently, parents have a choice between international and local state schools, both of which have their pros and cons. But, could there now be another alternative in the form of online education?
What is online education?
Most people would regard online education as a form of distance learning. This being, the course and its content are provided online, the student works through topics each week and sits an exam at the end of the course. Obviously, this is nothing like attending a traditional school and would never be considered an alternative. So, you might be wondering at this point, what could possibly make online education an alternative to a physical school? The answer is simple, a school but online.
Even with the advances in technology, education has not changed a significant amount over the last 50 years. Depending on the country you are from, the key features remain the same:
- Students wear the set uniform of the school
- Students study a fixed number of subjects, including ones they might not be interested in
- Students start and finish school the same time every day
What if a school was flexible enough to let parents have the final say on what subjects their child takes? What if students only the spent the required teaching time in school, freeing up space to pursue interests and build hobbies? And what if a school’s pedagogy began with ‘who is the student’ rather than ‘what shall we teach’. This increasing demand for a modern structure of education has led to the creation of a number of ‘online schools’ that are considered by some to be the future of education.
How does an online school work?
Using digital technology, virtual classrooms form the basis for teaching on the web. These classrooms are just like physical ones, a teacher is present via a webcam, a whiteboard area is used to deliver the lesson and students can input and interact through a microphone device and keyboard. One of the main advantages of learning in this format is the increased control the teacher has over the lesson. They can fully focus on teaching for all the lesson time without having to divert their attention away to deal with behaviour issues or other interruptions you may expect to encounter in a more traditional classroom setting. Disruptions are kept to a minimum as misbehaving students can be removed in a mouse click and chat features can be disabled to avoid subjects outside of school being the topic of conversation.
But even more, two of the biggest benefits that online schools possess is firstly their ability to avoid over sized classes. As there is no limit to how many classes there can be in each individual school year, it makes it a very appealing draw for parents that are concerned with the common trend of local state schools taking on far more than they can manage. Each will differ in their policy of class sizes so it’s worth researching what each online school sets as a class limit. Secondly, another plus point of being online is that students can access lessons 24/7. The digital aspect of school means each lesson can be recorded and stored, so if a student has been ill or away and needs to catch up, or simply wants to go over old lessons to prepare for exams and tests they can access them as if they were in the lesson again.
What about children with special educational needs?
In fact, the actual structure of an online school benefits children with special educational needs greatly. Accessing school from a comfortable setting such as the students home not only makes them feel at ease with contributing in lessons, it removes the distractions and disruptions of a traditional classroom setting, further improving the child’s education. Another issue that many students face is having anxiety in asking the teacher for help when they do not understand a particular question or topic. The ability to have one to one conversation with the teacher in the middle of lesson reduces this anxiety attached to asking for help, resulting in the student leaving the lesson with a thorough understanding of what’s been covered.
Is online education recognised?
To date, the only country to officially recognise the existence of online schools is New Zealand. Many other countries class online education as a form of home schooling which means it is therefore legal as an alternative form for mandatory education. In years to come, it is highly likely that further countries will follow and officially recognise online schools as a genuine form of schooling.
Sponsored article from Kings InterHigh
King’s InterHigh is an independent British international online school. Offering Primary, Secondary and Sixth Form education, we cater to students from age 7 – 18 who are looking for a high-quality British education delivered in a way that revolves around their lifestyle.
Considered the original online school and founded in 2005, King’s InterHigh offers easy access to quality live and recorded lessons from anywhere in the world. Lessons are designed and optimised for online and taught by fully qualified and experienced UK teachers. Combined with a proven educational model and innovative delivery, we bring life to lessons and increase students’ involvement in learning new concepts. The school offers International GSCEs and A Levels.
King’s InterHigh is an extraordinary blend of 50 years of academic excellence of the King’s College Group and of InterHigh’s more than 15 years of delivering unparalleled online education. With over 10,000 alumni and graduates progressing to fulfilling careers and to further studies in universities across the UK and internationally, King’s InterHigh is a global learning community.
InterHigh Secondary School and Sixth Form College, providing an excellent form of education for expatriates around the world