By Jason Agins

It’s the 21st Century–the future is now and education should reflect this. Place-based education is taking a bold approach to maximize learning through geographic or location independence. Kids should be immersed in culture, science, history, art and humanities, rather than simply learning about it from a textbook.

While many of the families at global online K-12 private school International Connections Academy (iNaCA) move due to a job relocation or other factors, they often thrive from these unique opportunities. Here are three cool stories of students whose own experiences are prime examples of Place-Based Education.

Anastasia

Anastasia’s family travels quite a few times per year due to her parents’ careers: they are actors in a worldwide performing arts show. For traditional students in a brick and mortar school, this schedule would be incredibly disruptive.

After diving headfirst into an online learning program, this family takes part in school clubs, events and live lessons. Anastasia is always eager to get involved and share her experiences traveling the world and learning from all the cultures she’s been immersed in. We caught up with Anastasia in Volgograd, Russia and asked her to share more of her story:

Lily

Lily is an incredibly driven student who is both self-motivated and confident. She is aspiring to make a name for herself in the performing arts and is already working towards that goal. She spent her childhood growing up in Southern France,  then moved to Paris to pursue her talents in the Parisian arts scene. She plans to move yet again to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams even further.

Lily works hard at her academics and takes full advantage of the flexibility and scheduling of online learning to handle the balance of her work, education and passions. Listen to her chat with us about her dreams, French cuisine, French music and French fries here:

 

Pranav

Pranav lives in India, but chose to learn online to get a high-quality American education and diploma, all without having to leave home. He’s incredibly intelligent and will certainly make a name for himself in whatever field he chooses to pursue.

Learning virtually allows him to dive deeper into the content and find the academic pacing that he thrives under. He makes this education environment work for him with the flexibility and pacing online and even still has time to play cricket with friends or to just be a fun-loving teenage boy. Listen to more about Pranav’s experience here:.

As you can hear from these stories, each student comes from a different corner of the world with a different set of life experiences and challenges, yet the virtual environment and the ideals of place-based education can help a student thrive much more than they would be able to otherwise in a traditional brick and mortar environment.

While students are able to get a high-quality virtual education with excellent support from instructors who are specially trained in online learning, they also have constant opportunities to be immersed in culturally rich surroundings and experiences. As you have heard from the podcast, these students are bursting with enthusiasm to share the opportunities and stories they have been able to collect from having embraced place-based education.

Jason Agins is the head of International Community at International Connections Academy (iNaCA). Follow Connections Academy on Twitter: @ConnectionsAcad


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