Online High School-Issues and Solutions
November 24, 2010
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As technology increases and continues to make life more convenient for people, when does society draw the line? Just because the capability is available does not mean we as a society have to embrace it. Most technological advances are very helpful and add to better efficiency, however, with high school courses being offered online we must consider the idea of this technology not being beneficial to our students and their education. With extensive research and some first-hand accounts from online students, we see there are many issues that arise with online high school courses. Solutions to these issues are not easy, but with careful consideration, solutions do exist.
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For several years now, many college students and adults have enjoyed the convenience of taking college courses online via the internet. This has allowed individuals who either work full time, or are unable to attend traditional college classes the ability to obtain a college degree around their schedule. While this has been a big success, more recently online courses are being offered to high school students and in some cases, even younger students. Most people agree that a person furthering their education beyond a high school diploma takes a lot of self motivation. A student being able to complete courses online takes an even greater amount of self motivation. This raises the question of “Are high school students mature enough and motivated enough to succeed in online schooling?” Therefore, should online courses and diplomas be offered to high school students?
The complex issue of online courses being offered to high school students actually consists of several smaller issues. First of all, should all students have the opportunity to take online courses? As parents and educators, we cannot in good faith allow a student that would ultimately fail in online schooling to take that path. Currently, any student can attend an online high school, regardless of previous performance. Another smaller issue is the amount of social time online students would get with their peers. While most online schools offer chat rooms and social networking, most online students miss out on traditional school activities like prom and homecoming. Issues such as accreditation and quality of education arise. Parents and students are responsible to do the research to ensure the online school the student attends has the proper accreditation in order to attend most colleges and universities. There is currently not a standard in place that online schools must follow to be sure the students are getting the equivalent ONLINE HIGH SCHOOL 4
education of a traditional high school. These issues, as well as a few more, must be resolved in order to determine if high school students should be able to obtain a diploma online.
Online high school impacts a number of people, most of all the students. The demands and pressures of online schooling could have a very negative impact on students not capable of performing well in those circumstances. As well as the students, the parents and siblings can be affected. Many parents already feel the pressure to allow their children to do some things “everyone else” is doing, and online schooling will quickly fall into that category. While one child in the family may thrive in an independent school setting, other siblings may not and would feel it is not fair. Instructors and school staff are impacted by this issue also. As the number of online students increases, the need for quality teachers and schools will decrease. The issue of online high school exists throughout our country as well as the world. It exists in our education systems, our communities, and in our homes.