If you’re looking for just one word to describe online education, allow me to suggest this one: “Cool!” My name is Cindy Carbajal, and I think online teaching really matters.
Early in life, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. My mom and grandma were teachers, and I fully intended to join the ranks in a traditional classroom setting. I hadn’t heard of a virtual charter school before, but I’ve always been intrigued by technology, so I decided to check it out. After doing some research, I came to the realization that not only did I prefer it over substitute-teaching for a year but also that there actually wasn’t anything else I would rather do.
Online teaching provides a wonderful opportunity for parents, students, and teachers to work together to create unique and personalized education plans that really work. Below are some of my favorite things about online education and how it can benefit your children in truly positive ways:
1. Use of online teaching best practices. Online educators build strong relationships with one another, sharing ideas, brainstorming solutions, and completing projects together. Because we use a very collaborative teaching approach, you and your kids have access to teachers who provide a seamless learning experience.
We’re always coming up with new ideas and best practices for how to effectively teach online. We’re on the cutting edge of virtual education practices, which is really cool for us and extremely beneficial for your children.
2. Virtual learning is highly personalized. As you know, being the same age doesn’t mean that your kids are always at the same place mentally, physically, or emotionally as their peers. With online learning, kids can get extra help or take gifted and talented courses that match their learning levels. Teachers work one-on-one to develop plans that meet each student’s needs.
3. Collaborative learning environment. To me, being an online teacher means being responsible for student learning, although from a distance and on an individualized level. In online education, teachers flex their creative muscles to find ways to design instruction and create interaction that engages your kids personally, while also encouraging them to interact and collaborate with their peers.
4. 21st century readiness. Online learning also places a stronger focus on teaching your kids the 21st century skills and life skills that will help them be successful today, tomorrow, and later on in life. My job as an online teacher is to help them acquire technology skills, develop self-discipline, be conscious of recognizing when they know something or not, and realize that asking for help is okay.
5. Building friendships and socializing with peers. I could go on and on, but I’ll end by sharing what I think is one of the absolute coolest things about online education: seeing students interact, connect, and build relationships.
The kids who form friendships in real-time online classroom sessions, virtual study groups, clubs, and online activities often meet outside of school, attending each other’s birthday parties and spending time together. It’s so great to watch them form such supportive, cohesive groups, and often at young ages.
Everything considered, I have to say that there’s no doubt in my mind: Online education is pretty cool. It offers you and your children unique and exciting learning opportunities, and it is just as rewarding for the teachers who lead it.