As the world becomes more interconnected due to globalization, the development of an online schooling system seems natural. Cyber schools were created to allow students that are living on the outskirts of the public school system the opportunity to obtain a quality education. Over time the importance of these schools has broadened as their popularity has increased. What is a cyber-school, and why are they becoming increasingly popular?
A cyber-school, also known as a virtual or online school, is considered a type of charter school. Through cyber-school instruction, you can receive your high school diploma while taking classes online. This type of school takes the classroom out of the equation and allows a student with self-discipline to obtain a quality education with flexibility not available in a traditional school system.
Many parents are concerned about the costs of a cyber-school. Depending on whether you choose a public or private option will determine your cost. The public options are “paid by dollars allocated by the state and district of residence for each child’s education” (PA Cyber). Therefore, students can attend a public cyber-school at no cost to the parents. Private schools have more control over pricing options. The costs of private cyber-schools are determined by the school. Interested parents should contact the cyber-school and discuss the financial obligations the parents must meet in order to enroll their children at that school.
If you are interested in enrolling your child in a cyber-school it is important to understand the pros and cons of removing a student from a traditional classroom environment and enrolling them in an online program.
- Education at your fingertips
- Great for traveling parents (military, diplomats, etc.)
- Student can work at their own pace, allowing students to work ahead when they may be stifled by the confines of a classroom pace or take more time on an assignment that seems particularly difficult to them.
- Allows a structured atmosphere for parents who always wanted to home-school their children but didn’t know where to start.
- Gives parents and students the ability to customize their education
- Differentiate instruction to fit the needs of individual students
- Flexible schedule
- Possibility of leaving the traditional classroom behind and experimenting with more authentic learning experiences
- Less social distractions
- Safety of the home (limited access to bad influences like drugs and alcohol)
- Possibility of collaborating with others across the cyber-school network
- Limited opportunities for development of social skills, such as working with others, forming friendships, learning social norms required for participating life beyond high school, and being exposed to different types of people
- Sacrificing direct instruction from teacher
- Without the correct self-discipline, students can lag behind those in a traditional school setting
- Possibility of promoting another avenue for cyber bullying
- Limited access to after school activities such as clubs, sports, etc.
- A traditional school teaches students to prioritize, schedule, and work within a rules based system, which are all important when entering the work force after school is complete
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