What is Cyber Schooling?

Category: Education

Cyber schooling - or distance learning as educators call it formally - is an increasingly popular educational model at all levels. Learn more about cyber schooling, virtual academies and other online schooling options for K-12 students, high school, college and beyond...

Educate Yourself on Cyber Schooling

Adult continuing education has long embraced cyber schools. The majority of colleges and universities offer at least some online courses at undergraduate and graduate levels. A virtual high school online is common in public school systems. And virtual K-12 schooling enables many students to learn at home at their own paces. Truly, virtual academies have come of age!

Online home school for K-12 students is offered by public, private, and online charter schools - parent-run mini-schools operated under the auspices of public school districts. Internet home school has proven helpful for non-traditional students who have social difficulties, physical disabilities, or behavioral issues in the regular school environment. Cyber charter schools are often dedicated to innovative methods of teaching gifted or talented children. Many privately funded cyber schools foster certain religious or social value systems. It is important to find the right fit between your child's needs and any virtual academy you select.
Cyber Schooling

Public school districts often implement perfunctory "alternative" online schools simply to get "problem" students out of the classroom while fulfilling the letter of their educational mandate and collecting tax dollars for each student enrolled. Sometimes, minimal resources and staff are devoted to such online schools, and students often receive a sub-standard education. But at least the students are not bullied by peers.

Beware of public online schools that do not provide computers, printers, and reimbursement for Internet service for online home school students. And be sure that any online school you consider has certified teachers and good technical support.

Home and Cyber Schooling

The best online school offers both virtual and face-to-face education. Students get together with teachers and classmates regularly, but not too often, for field trips, group activities, and other cooperative experiences. Good virtual academies also provide complete support for the technical aspects of online home schooling.

There is a common misconception that students exposed only to online home school are not "well rounded" or well socialized. It is even rumored that home schooled students have great difficulty getting accepted into better colleges. But in fact, studies show that students who participate in virtual schooling are generally more independent, self-motivated, and organized than the average classroom student. Ivy League colleges look quite favorably upon home schooled applicants because these traits are essential to success in the "on your own" secondary school environment. (See my Top Ten Sites for Homeschoolers.)

To find an online school for your child, start with his or her public school district. But if you run into resistance or have concerns about adequate resources, look into online charter schools run under the same school district. If there are none, then you can turn to the home-schooling community for leads to online schools; just be aware that many (but not all) home-schooling groups have a religious orientation. Finally, there are a number of private, for-profit online virtual academies with good reputations. They cost money but not as much as a classroom-based private school. A bit of Googling will help you find a cyber school that meets the needs of your student.

Do you have something to say about cyber schools, online education or virtual academies? Post your comment below...

 
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Most recent comments on "What is Cyber Schooling?"

Posted by:

Tim
30 Jun 2010

Hey Bob, appreciate the info you give, it's helped me in Windows and Linux, I think I pick your brain on a daily basis and you're good! I work at a major New England University in tech support and let me tell you, this school is pushing Distance Ed more than ever and I find that there are a whole slew of folks that SHOULD NOT BE TAKING ONLINE COURSES!! I am amazed at the calls and emails we get from all ages and all levels of intelligence and I swear that most of these folks WANT us to do their work for them... Keep up the good work, you Rock Bob!!


Posted by:

SarahL
08 Jul 2010

Bob, our daughter has been in a local public school "virtual school" program for the last two years. She takes her "core" classes at home, and has the option to take two electives at the school building. She is in VS because she has multiple health issues, and by going VS, she can not only keep up with her class (and graduate with her friends) but she also can still see her friends a couple of hours every day.

Your previous commenter was correct - VS is NOT for everyone. You have to be at least somewhat computer savvy, and you have to be able to work independently, and be able to speak out when you have a question or need help.

Having said that, it has been a true blessing for our daughter. Your Mileage May Vary!


Posted by:

Jim S
08 Jul 2010

I completed my Master's Degree through a Big 12 university last May. I never had to set foot on campus. We used a web cam for some face time
but never even met anyone related to the program in person.

I was also able to use several electronic textbooks where I could buy a chapter at a time which saved me quite a bit of money as we didn't use all of the chapters.


Posted by:

Jim
15 Jul 2010

I just retired from secondary education. Most teachers don't believe that cyber school is here to stay and will grow beyond their wildest imagination. I think the future of public K-12 education will definitely include on line classes, due to cost. It will be poorly done if it is done only to increase student/teacher ratios and save money. If it is done to supplement the current class offerings, then great! I also agree that cyber school a wonderful way for "alternative" students to achieve success and get on with their lives.


Posted by:

Laura
18 Jul 2010

Our 16 year old son has been in cyber school with Advanced Academics Institute through our public school system for the past three years, since eighth grade. Since he was accidentally enrolled in high school classes while in 8th grade, he is almost a year ahead of his age cohort and could graduate early if he wished to. I agree with your first poster, that cyber school is not for everyone. That being said, however, it has worked fabulously well for our son, who was being bullied by both students and teaching staff at the public school on a regular basis. He had gotten to a point where even the sheltered classroom, which didn't provide adequate challenge for his exceptionally bright mind, was no protection against the bullying. When this program was proposed by his counselor we jumped at it, since the next step would have been a private residential setting that we felt was the wrong choice for him. Things were that dire. It's been great, though: he has consistently maintained a high "A" average, has scored at or above the 90th %ile in all annual standardized tests, and scored in the 85th %ile on the PSAT as a sophomore. The teachers are available and interested in his questions and concerns, and have been exceptionall supportive. His CP, dysgraphia, blocking stammer, and speech impediment are irrelevant in the cyber school environment, and life is much better without the depression and anxiety caused by the suffering at school. He stays in touch with friends on his terms, and is much happier. He's looking forward to college and has received dozens of invitations to apply -- even though he is just entering his junior year -- because of his exceptional performance. Cyber school has been extremely effective for us.


Posted by:

Vanessa
11 Oct 2012

Does cyber school have a fee through out the year. Because we can not afford an expesive one.


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