Can Online Schools be as Effective as Traditional Schools?

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Everyone’s learning style is different. Some people learn better in traditional schooling, but there are certain circumstances or lifestyle choices that could lead someone to pursue online schooling. Lifestyles, health, learning ability and availability can all be deciding factors in what type of schooling is right for the student. 

Traditional schooling and online schooling are different in so many ways, but they also have quite a few things in common. One of the most controversial things about online schooling is the lack of face-to-face interactions. Both traditional school and online school are taught by teachers, but in traditional schooling, you see your teachers and classmates everyday in person. In online schooling you may only see your classmates and teachers through your computer screen. Face-to-face communication is very important, especially since technology is such a huge part of our lives. Face-to face communication is often a major part of jobs today, so if you don’t interact with your peers face-to-face on a daily basis, it may affect you in the future. 

Something that online schooling is well-known for is the ability to personalize the courses that you take. While online schooling and traditional schooling both have the option to participate in AP (Advanced Placement) classes, traditional schooling usually has set courses for specific grade levels. Traditional schools have to cater to a wide range of abilities, but online schools are specific to the individual student, which can make it a better learning experience if you are further behind or ahead in your academics than your fellow classmates. One of the reasons that many families decide to pursue online schooling is because of the flexibility that comes with it. In traditional schooling, there is a set time schedule everyday as to when school starts and ends, and how long each class is. With online schooling, if you have a doctor’s appointment in the morning, but are free all afternoon, you can rearrange your schedule without missing any schoolwork. In traditional school, you would have to miss a class or two and make it up later. Whether you choose online schooling or traditional schooling, both require you to manage your time wisely and complete your work. 

Online schooling is becoming more popular, and while it remains controversial, many studies back it up. In an article from Business Insider, two families explain how homeschooling was a successful option for them. One student who has been homeschooled since she was in kindergarten is now a sophomore at Harvard studying psychology. She explains that she wasn’t at home all day, and was usually out in the world learning new things. “After seven years of the standard menu of subjects - math, science, history, English - her mom let her study whatever she chose. She says she drifted toward psychology, which she ended up taking additional classes for at local community colleges and at Harvard Extension.” The Business Insider asked a family of five why they started homeschooling. “In the beginning, it was to help her oldest son, Nat, who has a genetic disorder that makes traditional learning difficult.” She didn’t like how strict traditional schools are. She also said that she wanted a religious aspect in their education. Some families say that religion is one of the main reasons that they homeschool their children, while others have no religious aspect in any of their education. While the article shows how homeschooling can be a great thing, “there are some things that happen in traditional school that, for better or for worse, are hard to recreate outside its doors.” Some of those experiences are cliques and bullying, and while no one wants to put their child through that, it can teach kids to stand up for themselves and be confident. Research also shows that online-schooled children do better on standardized test than public and private school students. They also stay in college longer, and do better while enrolled. Some people believe that the reason that homeschoolers are doing better is the personalization of the courses and the different options that they have. 

On the opposite side of the debate, some people are saying that traditional schooling is the best way to get an education. In an article from the Huffington Post, the pros and cons of public and private schooling are outlined. Private schooling, while each student gets a great education, is usually very expensive so it isn’t an option for most people. Public schooling on the other hand is free. Public schools are more convenient. There is usually transportation provided, so if you are a working parent, you don’t have to drive your child to school every day. In addition, students can participate in band, sports, clubs or other extra-curricular activities. Students also socialize much more than homeschooled students, and with many different personality types, which will help later in their lives. While all of this sounds great, public schools are only set to teach average students. If a student is behind or ahead of other kids, they will not do well. Some people learn better in traditional schooling, but there are certain circumstances or lifestyle choices that could lead someone to pursue online schooling. 

If you are a focused student who wants a flexible schedule and personalized courses, online schooling may be for you. If you are a student who wants interactions on a daily basis and a set schedule throughout their day, then traditional schooling may be for you. Whichever option you choose, you must work hard and manage your time wisely. 

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Can Online Schools Be As Effective As Traditional Schools?. (2021, May 22). Retrieved July 16, 2024 , from

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