One of the major concerns for most parents and students related to online schooling is whether the online students get the chance to socialize in the virtual learning environment. The advantages of learning online give the student much more convenience with learning by having access to teachers and lessons online. The online school removes the need for physically attending a conventional building with pre-set class schedules.
Just as in traditional school, an online school can build relationships through classes by using lessons, curriculum and several other forms of activities. Class projects, discussion questions, and research papers assigned to teams need online students to work together. The online students get to learn the value of long-distance cooperation and power of collaboration.
Communication is key to growth. Here communication mainly implies digital communication. Though many parents might not be happy with the digital forms of socialization, they need to accept the fact that it is important for today’s student to be good at it. Only then can they flourish in their careers.
Here are some major ways how online schools provide students with the chance to socialize:
Promotion of meaningful socialization
Most of the parents complain about bad habits learned at school. Peer pressure and bullying are some of the common troubles that conventional school students face. These harm student development, both physically and emotionally. When it comes to online learning, students are modeled in a more mature way. Most importantly, these online courses allow students to study from the peaceful environment of their homes. Their main interaction happens with their online teachers and parents. This kind of socialization is meaningful and mature. They learn more and grow academically as well as personally.
More Student Diversity
At the time of attending traditional school, the students are generally from the local geographic area. When it comes to online learning, students can be from any place around the world. There are no country boundaries here! Online schools make it possible for students to make global friends. This strengthens the “global village” concept as well! This kind of socialization leads the student to grow a worldwide perspective.
A good number of offline activities
There are no set schedules in the online learning system. Here, students can complete lessons online at their own pace. This pace is often faster than that followed at traditional school. However, it depends on the student. He can lower the speed or increase it, as per whichever suits his learning pattern and objective.
Online students also have the liberty to re-arrange classes around activities. This lets the online learners have more time to devote towards developing talents. These talents might be music, arts, and sports. Also, online students can join more community clubs, take more field trips and volunteer. This helps them to bond with other local student groups effortlessly.
In this digital era, digital literacy is of paramount importance. It is essential to student growth and success in every aspect. Students should know the right way to communicate online. It is a critical step toward building relationships in the current century. They should know how to use email, online meetings, instant messaging, discussion boards or forums etc. In short, students need to become more social online. This is what online learning leads to. It teaches the kid to bridge the Internet with friendships and interaction in the most effective manner.
Less number of stereotypes
It is a fact that students associate with like-minded peer groups. Forced socialization is of no benefit or value. In the case of online learning, appearances do not determine value. Online students can go beyond stereotypes while making friends. Thus, they end up making genuine friends.
Better bonding with family
Online students tend to develop family values in a short period of time. This is because they do not have to choose between family and education. They can maintain a good balance between the two. Thus, chances are less for them to neglect their parents at a later stage, even for a bright career! They realize that siblings, grandparents, and parents can all help them in growing academically as well as personally. They do not view their family as a hindrance in their path towards achieving their goals. Since interaction is for longer periods, the bonds and relationships are stronger as well. There is a deep level of understanding on both parts. Thus, no conflicts arise within the family, at least when it comes to the question of the career of the child.
It is a common myth that students are not allowed to socialize in an online learning environment. This very myth even stops many needful students from joining a good online school. It needs to be debunked as soon as possible since it is completely baseless.
Quite the contrary, in a conventional learning environment, students are almost forced to socialize with a bunch of strangers and peers. This might be stressful for many kids, especially who do not get along well with a certain category of peers. Socializing with a demotivated bunch of students has no positive impact on the child’s performance. Thus, socialization is good only when it is effective. It is effective only when the students have the choice to go for a particular group of students who are like-minded. Only then a healthy exchange of ideas can happen.
Why the online learning environment is more preferable?
In a conventional learning environment, bullying is a serious issue. This is almost eradicated in an online learning environment that is way more peaceful and devoid of distractions. Also, in this environment, kids can interact well with adults. After all, adults are the ones who can guide them when they are facing issues, whether academic or non-academic. Overall, online homeschool kids can avoid being distracted by the social drama that often occurs in a conventional school setting.
Most of the online instructors offer students at least some real-time interaction. This is usually through a Skype meeting, email or instant chat. The online students need to be good initiators, at least when it comes to communication. They need to interact with their primary instructor as much as possible.