5 Cool Things About Online Education

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15 Responses

  1. Lori says:

    Having had the pleasure to work with Mrs. Carbajal for the past six months as my students teacher, I have to say her influence and guidance has been a wonderful tool. She makes learning fun, leads the students in online discussions, and attends field trips. I will agree, online learning is “cool” and our experience through the years has been 100% positive for my children and myself!

  2. Shelle says:

    Number 2 is the reason why we chose a virtual environment. I have a child that will never fit into a cookie cutter world. To force him to conform as completely as has been recommended, simply would have broken him and destroyed the love of learning we had spent years cultivating in him and in the end won’t give him the life skills he will need to be successful. CA has been a wonderful place for him. He excels where he can and gets the extra attention where it’s needed.

     The biggest misconception about a virtual academy that I hear, is that kids just sit in front of a computer all day long and miss out on the care and interaction with a teaching professional. The people who will say this are amazed at the level of dedication we have experienced from the team of teachers associated with my son’s education. Everything from lesson enrichment to tutoring. His teachers have been fully aware of his learning quirks, his strengths and his weak areas. They work hard to exploit the good and to eliminate the bad.

  3. Pam says:

    My son has attention issues. This has been great for him because he can go back and catch what he missed the first time, whether it’s a regular lesson, or a live lesson, since the live lessons are all recorded.

    When he went to a traditional school, i always thought it would benefit him to tape record his classes, so that he could go back and make sure he caught everything. This isn’t an issue with Connections. I also like the way I know everything he is doing.

  4. Alex Panzera says:

    5 not so cool things about an online school.

    1. Lack of P.E. Sure, they have the activity log, but it is too easy to lie.

    2. The test questions can be Googled.

    3. No spelling.

    4. No ability to make friends. (Field trips only go so far.)

    5. The teachers. . . Don’t Care.

  5. Dear Alex,

    Thanks for posting your comments and input.  I think it’s great to be a critical thinker and consider all sides, and think the ideas you brought up are important to address.  A recent blog post by an online English teacher addresses some of these concerns, and is a great read.  I’d also like to address some of your concerns from my own experience. 

    You mentioned cheating on assessments and PE, and this is a valid point.  To ensure my students are being held accountable for their assignments and are doing their own work, I build personal relationships with them and get to know them.  I call my students and work with them in synchronous, LiveLesson sessions weekly, and I can tell if a student’s work is not consistent.  I also ask questions that require students to demonstrate if they really mastered the content or not.  In elementary levels, I feel it is my job to educate the students on academic integrity and what it means to site sources appropriately, and my 3-5th graders work on this throughout the year.  I also hold my students to high academic standards in their writing (answering with correct spelling and with complete sentences from second grade and up), but support my students in these high standards. 

    This relates also to your comments on student social interactions and caring teachers.  While I can’t speak for all virtual students and teachers, I have seen students in my own class develop close relationships through our LiveLessons, message board discussions, and in-person field trips (which we’ve had more than 50 of so far this school year here in Southern California) and testing events.  My current group of 4th graders invite each other to their birthday parties and arrange get-togethers because of the relationships they’ve built with each other virtually.   I love getting to know my students in small group LiveLesson sessions, phone calls, and in person events.  I have wonderful students and brag about them frequently.  I wouldn’t be doing a good job, or even like my job, if I didn’t care about my students.  

    While online education may not be for every student, I feel it is a great option for many students.  It’s great to consider the self-discipline, motivation, and integrity of a student when considering online learning, but I believe students who lack this off the bat can be supported to develop these skills.  I think the students (and teachers) who do the best in the virtual world, are those who are willing to take initiative to build relationships virtually.  

    I hope this helps, but please let me know if I can address any other questions,

    Cindy Carbajal

  6. Kristin Wing says:

    I’m not at this point the parent of a student who does online schooling, but I’d like to say that I think a lot of the concerns put forth by Alex are things that can happen/do happen in a traditional school setting as well. There are certainly kids who cheat on tests and reports, and teachers who don’t care. There are lots of lonely kids in traditional brick and mortar schools who have trouble making friends or who don’t have any friends, though school is not the only place that relationships can be built. I stopped having PE as a mandatory class after 5th grade, and don’t feel like I’ve suffered from it. But things like PE, placing kids in situations where they can build relationships with others, and ensuring the integrity of the student’s work, should be something that the parents/learning coaches are looking after in my opinion. Even in traditional settings, things work best when parents are involved and there is team work and cooperation between all parties involved.

  7. Mary T says:

    I am considering Connections Academy for my son.  We talked about it and he is most concerned about the social interaction with his buddies in the public school.  We do not live close to any kids his age so all his social interactions are conducted at school or at Boy Scouts.  Capistrano is a great distance from us so field trips would not be easily attended.
    Do you have any suggestions?

  8. Kelly P says:

    I am seriously considering an online school for my daughter going into 3rd grade. My concerns are her letting me (as mom) assist as needed with her schooling without having an attitude. Also, how much time as the parent home with her am I hands on? I have MS and because of this my family is concerned it would put a huge burden on me. I am more than willing to guide her, but am not sure how much is done with her having teacher/student contact vs work alone/with me. Any thoughts? Ideas?

  9. Michele Hwndershot says:

    I have enrolled my daughter for the 2012-2013 school year for 10th grade. I am looking forward to a great school year! Its our 1st time for cyber-school and I’m not concerned about her interaction with others as many of her friends are not in her school anyway. For PE my daughter rides our horse and that’s plenty physically demanding. I’m hoping I will do well as her learning coach. I am a bit worried since I was in school in the 1960’s -1970’s schoolwork I don’t believe was nearly as demanding then as it is now. I’m just hoping the school and teachers will be able to guide us and sure hope the teachers don’t get annoyed with me as I do not understand much of what/how things are taught today. We enrolled because my daughter is a struggling student and I’m hoping personal guidance will help her achieve.

  10. Tyra Johnson says:

    This is our first time using an online school but I do believe my son, a 7th grader, will benefit from it. The first thing he does 7am in the morning is hop on the computer so he’s very disciplined and will have no problem with attendance. As far as PE, my fiance and I signed him up for football so that’s his PE that I know he enjoys. I wish every new family luck and for the ones who have done this before please help us with tips and ideas.

  11. Shannon Tacheny says:

    My daughter wants to attend CA, she doesn’t want to attend her current school in the fall. Can anyone give me advice? She talks with myself and my husband about not having any friends at school and she isn’t happy there. We took her from a public school and put her in a charter school, where she has done very well academically. Socially is a different situation. She fells that she gets bullied for being different. She doesn’t fit your average 5th grader, she loves to dance, she is involved in theater through our community center, and she is extremely active. She is also very tiny, and she feels that this puts her at a disadvantage. I only want to do what is best for her, if anyone has any advice, that would be great.

    Thank you

  12. Beth Werrell says:

    Shannon, it is important that children feel comfortable, safe, and confident in their learning environment. And as you note, there are opportunities outside the traditional classroom for children to thrive socially—through dance classes and community center theater productions. In virtual schooling environments, it does not matter if students are tiny (or petite ☺)—what matters is that they learn, thrive, and maximize their potential. Students interact with one another and their teachers online and in web-based classrooms. They explore, share, and develop their interests in the arts, athletics, science and more through elective courses, clubs and activities, and Specialty Academies. You can learn more about our personalized programs and curriculum enhancement opportunities through our website. Also, feel free to contact one of our experienced Connections Academy parents in your area. They’ll be happy to answer any other questions you may have.

  13. Freddy says:

    I agree with Alex

  14. Alexis says:

    Do you have to get up early

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