Categories Education

K-12 Online Education: Everything You Need to Know

Educational opportunities for today’s students continue to expand. Traditional neighborhood schools, regional school districts, and private schools have been options for students for years. Now, there is the growing influence and availability of a K-12 online education.

Before you make any decisions about which school is best for you or for your child, continue reading for all you need to know about participating and learning in a K-12 online education.

Expectations of Students

K12 online public schools will establish similar requirements of students as those set in traditional brick-and-mortar schools. Attendance is taken in each online class, so students are expected to attend and participate in class. Online schools will follow their established attendance policy and notify parents and/or guardians if students miss a certain number of classes.

Online schools also anticipate that students will develop educational independence. Each grade level will have benchmarks to assist students as they academically mature. Students will be shown different techniques to track their assignments with the goals that each student will develop their own routine.

Personalized Learning

With the increased independence that online K-12 students acquire, they become more motivated learners. This trait and the set up of online schools provide the ability for a more personalized approach to learning. In a traditional school, teachers often move all their students in their classes at the same pace. For some students this is too fast, for others it’s too slow, and for only a few students, the pace is just right.

Letting students learn and grow at the pace that fits their needs, interests, and backgrounds is the best way to develop confident life-long learners. Online classes present an opportunity for students to revisit lessons or move more quickly through topics with which they are already knowledgeable.

Class Structure

Online classes can be structured in a variety of ways. In the differing formations, students can find tremendous flexibility, which is very appealing to many. This flexibility permits students to travel, pursue hobbies and other interests, or work.

Sometimes classes will be synchronistic. This means that all students registered for the course will log into the class at the same time. Teachers will present their lesson. Then there is usually time during which students can ask questions, work together on projects, or complete individual tasks. The teacher is present during this time to assist students.

Often the synchronistic class is recorded, especially the part during which the teacher presented their lesson. If a student missed class, they could access the lesson. Or if a student needs to review the material, they can revisit the lesson.

Other times and other courses are asynchronous classes. For these courses and classes, teachers will post in their online classroom the information students need to complete their work. The post can contain a variety of materials. It can be a recording of the teacher, a visual demonstration by the instructor, videos to support the lesson, and other resources for students.

Asynchronous classes do have teachers and instructors. Frequently, times are established before the beginning of a unit when the teacher is available to support students. Most instructors respond promptly to online messages as well.