High School Diplomas: Methods Versus Benefits, A Case For Online Learning

 

 

The value of a high school diploma has been well documented for many many years, and yet, as the world puts increasingly more value on concrete skills in the labor market, there are those who might feel that forgoing a high school diploma, in an effort to enter the workforce sooner, is a better life path.

 

Certainly, in the short term, and even in some communities, there may be an appeal to this concept, as the notion of gaining more direct experience sooner will yield the best long term career path.  Add to that the reality that many students, in the face of mounting academic pressures, and the ensuing frustration, and many students may feel that a high school diploma is simply not worth the aggravation.  None of that is true of course, but on the surface, one can easily see the initial appeal of the flawed logic. Of course we know, again, the real benefits to having a high school diploma, including better earning potential, and so on, but that does not seem to stop many from at least considering, in an effort to escape all the pressure, abandoning the high school diploma altogether.

 

But, perhaps, the real issue is not the high school diploma itself, but rather the methodology in which it is pursued.  As a society we are still quite locked in to any number of tired methodologies. We tend to keep with what we know, because it makes sense, or has worked well for us in the past; but, we don’t know what we don’t know, and, in the case of earning a high school diploma, the fact is that we have allowed so many students to get lost in the shuffle, to slip through cracks as it were. Not because they are not capable, but, many times, because we have not allowed for the possibility that the key to their success is not the same as what has been perceived as the key in the past for others.

 

This is not about learning disabilities, though certainly, there is ample evidence to suggest, for example, that online learning, when executed correctly, can significantly help students overcome any number of disabilities, but rather about differentiation.  The notion of “one size fits all” is not only terribly outdated, it’s irresponsible. Just because we have, generally, as a society, for so long, worked under the assumption that the best way, the only way, to earn a high school diploma, is through a traditional, brick and mortar, institution, does not make it so.

 

That does not mean brick and mortar are, or should be, finished, but rather that it is not always the best way to ensure a student’s success in pursuit of a high school diploma.  If the goal is really to help the student gain the knowledge and skills – the benefits – of a high school diploma, shouldn’t we be pursuing all methods of ensuring real student success?

 

The fact is that online schools allow for greater, far easier, and far more cost efficient access to significant and real resources to students pursuing a high school diploma. We owe it to students to see beyond their limitations, self imposed or otherwise, and provide them with every opportunity.  Even if that means changing our methodologies. Is an online school the answer to every high school diploma issue? Of course not. But all evidence suggests that it can be a true and viable solution.

Richard Maxwell

The Need to be a 21st Century Learner

We live in a complex age. When looking at the calendar, it says we’re eighteen years past the millennium and yet so many 20th century attributes and practices are being desperately clung to. The world is changing so quickly around us and it seems each leaf on each branch of our world has to be connected to the online world. While nearly every part of our society is connected to the online world, it’s time to start letting our society transform to the online world. We live in a digital age with public schools that have one foot in the analog world. In a lot of ways public schools are simply reaching over the threshold, but have yet to set foot in the new dwelling of the online world. American brick and mortar schools have scratched the surface of what is possible in the digital world. Teachers have website and social media to related apps to keep students engaged but it’s simply scratching the surface. There are so many elements of brick and mortar schooling that cling to an old age where xeroxed copies are needed and the coffee mug of pencils always needs sharpening. It’s time to push these tools into the precipice and jump across that threshold into the new online world.

 

Imagine a world where the school bell never rang for the next class. Imagine a world where your educational limits were not confined by a shrinking education budget. Imagine if your educational spirit could flourished and was defined by what you wanted to accomplish not your surroundings. The age of online learning has just begun. At eighteen years into the new millenium, it’s time to take the step into the next dwelling. Physical worksheets, handouts and school supplies have no place here. Online school is where you want it to be. You could be confined to your home, in another country or traveling the world and still find a way to connect to an online school. Online school is on whatever device is easiest for you to use. Be it a laptop, smartphone or desktop computer, you can find a way to connect yourself to your success. Online school is the wherever you find focus and time for you to push yourself to the next level. You can choose the best environment and surrounding for your to succeed. It could be a quiet study room, a library, a coffee shop or enroute to your next destination. Online school is what you want it to be.

 

The benefits of online school are abundant and liberating when given the chance. Find your own pace and find your own way to succeed. Online 21st century learning is not about where you are, or where you come from; it’s about what you can accomplish at the tap of a keyboard and your own focus. Push yourself to finish your high school diploma faster than you would at a brick and mortar school. Fit in class time at your own structure and pace. Find accomplishment and success on your terms in your schedule. Online school may be that way to not just connect to the online world but transform the way we live into the online world.

Eric Luse

Accessing Education: Why An Online School May Be Right For You

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.

-Richard Maxwell

What does it REALLY take to be a successful student?

Everyone seems to be looking for the perfect recipe on how to be a successful student. The recipe varies from student to student and the quantity of ingredients changes as students change. However, there are certain recurring qualities and actions that lead to the most successful students.

            The first important feature is understanding the “why” behind the student’s motivation. This important aspect is oftentimes overlooked because students are expected to go to school and graduate. While that mandate exists, the better job we do to understand a student’s true motivation, the better we can keep them engaged.

Graduation from high school and going to college is not a “Why”.

Becoming a doctor or a lawyer is not a “Why”.

Those are just means to an end. Perhaps a student had a family member get sick from cancer and they want to become a doctor to help with research and advancement. That deeply rooted cause is the “Why”. It is important to know what drives the student to better show them how their first step of high school graduation is eminent in all future steps.

           The second key feature is time management. This can mean different things to different students so understanding how a person best operates is helpful in planning out a guide for success throughout not only their high school career but all future endeavors. It is important to identify whether a student is task or time centered. A task-centered student will look at a calendar and set a progress goal of completion. For example, making sure to complete my homework by Friday. These students commit large sections of time knowing they must invest the time to get the results. Other students are more time-focused. They construct their schedule from a time perspective such as committing to 30 minutes per day, or 1 hour on specific days. Once the student is identified as being task or time centered, a schedule can be created which plays to their strength and builds successful habits.            

          The third key element that regularly emerges is being responsible for one’s own learning. This should not be confused with having to teach themselves content. Students should take the steps needed to seek out resources to be successful. Rather than feeling as if things just happened to work out, this type of quality focuses on the person taking action steps to reaching their goals. This type of ownership allows students to see and feel a more comprehensive sense of success as their day to day actions led to that success.

          Are there more qualities that can lead to student success? Of course! There are infinite assets that one can possess to help be successful; however, almost any additional quality can be categorized under being motivated, a good time-manager, and proactive.

 

Rony Assali

 

Do I really need a high school diploma?

    A high school diploma is not simply a milestone in one’s life, but rather it is a required ticket to help you springboard your future. That future may consist of higher education, immediate career, or a trade; nonetheless, a high school diploma is essential in allowing you to take that next step.

            There are many obstacles to completing a high school diploma that typically deal with time, and effort. These vary from person to person and from culture to culture. However, it is important to note that those who have a high school diploma, on average, make over $10,000 per year more than those who have not finished high school. Therefore, those challenges that may seem so dire and immediate will end up being less significant in the grand scheme of things.

            The great news is that with the internet and technology connecting the world, lack of time can no longer be a prominent barrier in attaining a high school diploma. The answer is an online high school. However, with a simple answer comes a wide variety of options that include  availability, cost, and quality. So how do you choose the best online high school that will meet the needs of the students?

            There are a few different types of Online High Schools available:

  1.       Public/Charter Online High School Diplomas

These online high schools are governmentally funded and typically work with students that reside in the United States. Often times, these schools offer a limited curriculum with limited offerings. Charter online schools are also considered public schools but are viewed as less stable due to the non-secured government funding sources.

  1.       Private Online High School Diplomas

These schools tend to offer more diverse courses to choose from and higher quality curriculum. The cost of private schools can vary so it is important to ensure that the high school is accredited. This means that the hard work students have put in results in a diploma that is recognized by major universities across the world. This accreditation should also provide comfort knowing that a creditable body has reviewed the school system to ensure it is focused on maximizing learning and student success.

Don’t be afraid to do the research on your own to find the school that makes sense for your child. iAM Global Education is an example of a private school that is accredited and works with international students to truly help make the world more united.

Rony Assali