The 2012 Virtual School Symposium Student Panel: What Students…
Two students from Louisiana Connections Academy (LACA) spoke about their online learning experiences on this year’s iNACOL Virtual School Symposium (VSS) Student Panel. The VSS conference, which was held in October in New Orleans, gave over 2,000 virtual school representatives the chance to network and learn more about the latest online learning trends and challenges.
The virtual school students on the panel were asked several questions about their experiences with online or blended learning. Besides sharing their favorite things about virtual school, the students also described how online learning compared to their previous experiences at traditional brick-and-mortar schools. Although the students had a variety of answers to share, one thing they had in common was their enthusiasm about virtual school.
When asked to describe her online learning experience in one word, LACA senior Sarah Jane answered “life-changing.” Sarah Jane, who is a world-class fencer, says she started online school because she was bullied during her first two years of traditional high school. “Online school allowed me to just find myself and learn,” she says.
When asked about their favorite part of online school, both Sarah Jane and Chase, a seventh grader at LACA, praised the involvement of their teachers. In particular, they both love how quickly their teachers offer additional guidance and resources whenever they need help mastering a new concept.
Chase started at Connections Academy because he was looking for the same supportive learning style he had at his previous school, a pre-K through grade 5 Montessori institute. “They’re there for you!” he emphasized about his experience at Connections Academy.
Sarah Jane felt she wasn’t receiving enough support and encouragement from her honors teachers at her brick-and-mortar high school, so getting much more guidance from her virtual school teachers had a huge impact on her.
“Connections Academy really wanted me to do well. I had teachers calling me from the first day, saying, ‘You know, it’s okay what you did last year, but we’re going to work with you and we’re going to help you be the best that you can be.’ And with the help of those teachers, I went from really, really bad grades to straight A’s now,” she explains.
To find out what else Sarah Jane, Chase, and the other members of the student panel had to say, watch the full video of the panel discussion below.