Should schools continue to utilize virtual learning? That’s the question districts are trying to answer. But the solution isn’t so clear-cut, as the reviews are incredibly mixed.
The Washington Post released an article in July, for example, titled, “Online Schooling Is the Bad Idea That Refuses to Die.” And research exists that has shown online learning can negatively impact students’ academic outcomes.
Regardless of any negative perspective, however, online instruction seems too valuable to let go of, especially among high school graduates.
Here are the key findings:
- 74% of K-12 graduates reported feeling optimistic about their future careers, compared to 56% of their peers who didn’t participate in an online school.
- 78% of K-12 graduates reported they were excelling at their current job, compared to 46% of those who didn’t participate in an online school.
- 71% of K-12 graduates say their online schooling taught them the importance of having a strong work ethic, and 66% say they obtained complex problem-solving skills.
“This research proves what we’ve known for two decades: online learning not only works for students in their K-12 years, but it gives them what they need for future success,” said James Rhyu, CEO of Stride.
It has also become an increasingly popular tool for higher ed institutions in creating the next generation of teachers. Lewis University recently partnered with Proximity Learning to provide education students with the opportunity to become virtual teachers.
Perhaps best of all, online learning gives students options.
“It comes down to one word: choice,” says Kip Pygman, director of virtual schools at Proximity Learning. “When we go to dine out at a restaurant, the first thing we do is open up the menu to view the wide variety of options they have. You get excited about all of those options because they meet your needs, wants and goals directly in the moment. With virtual learning, when students open up their academic menu, how awesome is it that they now have options? I can take it face-to-face, I can take it hybrid, or I can take it virtually.”
More from DA: Students say they need more emotional support and better safety procedures