There are so many reasons why an online school makes sense for so many students and families, and some are more obvious than others, but all have at least one thing in common: an online school provides better access to educational resources.
Certainly, the benefits of technology use, in an online school, for students, as they prepare to enter into an ever changing professional landscape, cannot be overstated. Training students to work effectively, collaboratively, and safely, with the tools they will be using after graduation is vital to their education, and an online school can provide that training in a most effective and efficient way(see: http://www.gettingsmart.com/2015/11/the-shift-to-digital-learning-10-benefits/); but there are some other key benefits to an online school that sometimes don’t make their way into the conversation.
Amongst all of these is how an online school can provide access. Many times we take access for granted in education. A student shows up to a school and gains access to that institution’s resources of teachers and equipment and other elements, simply by being “in the room.” All well and good, but what about students who live in areas where that kind of access is simply not possible, due to the realities of finances, community infrastructure, or even the student’s physical limitations?
One commonality, between brick-and-mortar and online schools, is that specialized programs, critical in today’s education landscape, require specialized tools. And specialized teachers, for that matter. But these specialized resources are not always easily accessed for any number of reasons. Certainly in the more traditional brick-and-mortar setting.
Should a gifted student, who lives hundreds, if not thousands of miles away from a particular education opportunity, not have the ability to take advantage of that opportunity, simply because of their location? Something likely well beyond the student’s control. An online school can make distance essentially irrelevant.
Or what about the student who has an incredible intelligence, but is confined to a bed, making it impossible for them to attend a brick-and-mortar school? Again, an online school can make this potentially severe limitation irrelevant.
There are, of course, any number of other examples, surely enough to fill pages here, but the bigger point is that an online school can be the key to ensuring that any student, anywhere, regardless of their circumstance, does not need to be limited in terms of educational opportunities.