Access to virtual education has become increasingly vital for today’s Ontario students. For students who are unable to attend regular classes, online curricula allow for an interactive experience where students can learn at their own pace from their home. Through the guidance of teachers and academic aids, students can reap all of the benefits of their education online even though they are unable to be present in a classroom.
e-learning has been a growing asset in education within recent years. Forbes reported a 2012 study conducted by Babson/College Board which found that 77 per cent of academic leaders regarded online learning as equal or above physical classroom learning.
Let’s explore why e-learning at a virtual high school in Ontario is vital for students.
Accessibility Allows for Inclusion
The availability of electronic learning can help bridge gaps for students who need courses unavailable in their districts. On Professionally Speaking, the online blog from the Ontario College of Teachers, author Stuart Foxman uses the example of a Grade 12 student who required a physics course for a particular university and had to utilize e-learning, as the only school to offer this course was hours away. Thanks to e-learning, this student could attend his university of choice.
Meanwhile, some students may struggle with social interactions within the traditional academic environment and virtual learning can be a way to reach them in a manner that benefits their unique needs. Foxton says that, beyond this, students can also learn to build self-confidence and take responsibility for their own learning by attending online classes.
According to a study from Simon Fraser University, Indigenous students in Ontario often use e-learning tools. Due to their remote location, traditional schooling isn’t often an option and virtual classrooms and learning tools become a necessity.
Students Can Choose Their Learning Speed
Unlike the timeframe given in a regular classroom setting, the flexibility of online learning allows each student to adapt the lesson to their learning speed. Students then often find themselves more comfortable with the material and can participate in online discussions, according to Stuart Foxman.
Virtual high schools that allow students to complete courses in a as little as four weeks or up to one year are offering learning space that is custom-tailored to individual students’ needs.
They’re Able to Develop Vital Skill Sets
One of the strongest cases for Ontario students unable to attend standard classes is the number of life skills they can build on. Learning independently from a set of online lessons requires time management skills, a strong work ethic, and the ability to take initiative.
Working outside of the classroom can help at-home students build on these skills which will benefit them in post-secondary studies as well as through the workforce. In a progressively digital world, working and learning virtually is becoming increasingly relevant. Many post-secondary institutions offer online classes in lieu of the traditional classroom, and the number of remote jobs continues to grow. Students that are already familiar with the responsibility that comes with independent learning can excel in their educational or workforce careers.
By setting students up early in their academic lives, they can begin to navigate what may become a new normal for Ontarians.