Wondering what’s driving the buzz around online learning?
Online education allows K-12 students to learn in a flexible classroom from anywhere they have access to a digital device. What’s more, technology is dramatically enhancing the learning process. With the right program, students can get one-on-one attention, work through personalized coursework, and advance at their own pace.
Still, not all online learning programs are the same. That means it is important to take time to understand how online learning works and how the best programs out there are operating.
What Is the History of Method Schools?
At Method Schools, we’ve experienced shifts in education firsthand. When we first launched in 2013, we wanted to build a K-12 public charter school that used better, more flexible models to inspire academic growth. So we developed a blended learning model that combined online and in-person learning.
However, in recent years, several legislative bills forced us to move out of our blended learning centers. In the time since, we’ve worked hard to create fully online classrooms that connect with students, help them to grow at their own pace, and inspire deeper learning outcomes.
So far, our journey has worked out beautifully.
Today, we provide engaging online coursework, tap into a team of teachers and staff who are experts in distance learning, and serve thousands of students across California.
Common Misconceptions About Online Education
Before jumping into how online schools work, it’s worth clearing up some common myths about online education. Here are some misconceptions you may have heard about online education and the truths behind them.
1. Community is sacrificed with online learning.
Many parents are apprehensive about online learning because they’re worried their child won’t have a chance to develop socially. However, the right online learning experience will include built-in opportunities for your student to be a part of a community.
Here are some ways Method Schools is promoting a more connected community and inspiring positive social development:
- Field trips and clubs: At Method, students can participate in all kinds of field trips, in-person learning events, and extracurricular programs. That includes interactive groups like our mountain bike team.
- Learning tiles: Method Online Learning Tiles are designed to help students discover their extracurricular passions and uncover learning beyond the traditional classroom. At Method Schools, they can tap into a range of learning tiles extensions, such as robotics, comics, drawing, and athletic performance.
2. Learning experience is sacrificed with virtual learning.
There’s an especially nasty rumor out there that suggests student performance suffers in online programs. We’ve found the opposite to be true. When done right, online learning actually gives teachers and students the tools to boost learning outcomes. Here are some ways Method Schools’ online learning experience is driving a higher standard of learning:
- Ongoing support: Through weekly, skill-based touchpoints with teachers, students form a deeper connection with instructors and receive the personalized direction that leads to success.
- Help in all forms: Our online coursework is stimulating and engaging, but we don’t confine learning to online spaces. Students can receive both online and in-person help to meet their needs.
- Adaptive curriculum: Coursework is designed to adapt to each student’s needs. That means students don’t waste extra time on areas they’ve mastered, and they receive the support they need on subjects that are more challenging.
3. Online instruction is replacing teachers.
When you hear about online learning, it may conjure images of stiff, robotic systems replacing teachers. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Online instruction actually gives teachers more powerful tools to reach students on a deeper level.
And instructors seem to be recognizing these advantages. According to statistics from University of the Potomac, nearly 70 percent of professors now say online resources are necessary teaching tools.
An important advantage of online learning is that it lets teachers deliver more personalized instruction, and it makes it easier to identify academic barriers. Because some online systems use self-paced modules and built-in analytics, teachers can help learners excel on a more intimate level.
Benefits of Online Learning
Even with so many misconceptions about online learning muddying the waters, the benefits are clear. Here are some groups that stand to benefit the most from online learning:
- Student athletes: With constant practice, travel, workout routines, and games, student athletes have to deal with hectic schedules. Online learning lets student athletes juggle those responsibilities and learn on their own time without missing out in the classroom.
- Artists: In a traditional, brick-and-mortar school, artists and performers are penalized for missing class. Online education lets creative students control their schedules and perform while staying on track for graduation.
- Homeschoolers: It can be a big move for homeschooled students to jump into public classrooms. Online learning lets homeschoolers transition to college smoothly without having to uproot them from the home-based lifestyles they love.
- All students: Online K-12 learning makes it possible for all students to engage with custom coursework in a flexible learning environment. That means they can move at their own pace, get extra help with difficult subjects, and stride forward without having to wait for peers to catch up.