The case for online schools

What is the best type of school? Is it the traditional brick and mortar schoolhouse? Do new technologies make an online school a better option? Many people have many different opinions on this topic, some stronger than others. Online schools are better for many reasons, however. Online schools are a more practical approach to education that benefit all involved.

Online schools offer much more flexibility and convenience in education to a world that is moving at the speed of light. In a traditional school setting, a student spends about six hours a day moving classroom to classroom spending equal amounts of time in each subject regardless of their level of achievement in that class. With an online school, a student can spend more time on a lesson he or she is struggling on and breeze through easy classes without sitting idle when he or she finishs. This stands true for the studies done on teen sleep habits and how teens need to sleep more and later. Students can wake up when they want to and start their class while eating breakfast. In this economy, money in families is very tight. These students can be out working full time, if the laws are changed, whether it is at a store on checkout or on the set of a Hollywood blockbuster, and still be working on their studies and getting a high school diploma. Flexibility is important, but to some, cost is a bigger issue.

As with everything in the world, in order for something to work, it has to be cost effective. With online schools, there is no actual building to go to; it is within one's own house. This eliminates the need for buses and other transportation to and from school. Without a building, the school district would not need to pay for heating and cooling the school, hiring a custodian, or supplying water and electricity. There would be one central administration building that houses the school servers that have all the lessons. There could be fewer teachers handling a greater number of students. The teachers would put the lesson online and once they put it up, they can be available to students who need extra help. If a student excels in English, he or she will not need to have an English teacher guiding him or her systematically; he or she can work through the lessons alone. This greatly decreases the costs associated with the traditional school model.

Students are constantly exposed to social pressure from other students. Online schools eliminate many of these pressures. There are no bullies inside a student's house. One does not have to be afraid to go to a class because someone who he or she is afraid of is in that class. Some students that might be tempted to try drugs will stay clean because one will not see the drug deals going on; or be approached in the hallway having drugs solicited to them. Without all these pressures, a student will be able to become who he or she really is, not who someone tells him or her to be. This gets rid of social interaction, though it is a necessary part of the school experience.

Some critics may argue that there would be no social interaction at all and then society would turn into a bunch of mindless introverts with no social skills. This would not happen. With all the money saved off the buildings, there would be a lot more money for extra-curricular activities. A student who wants to try a sport could do a sport. If he or she wants to join a music group, try theater, or participate in dance, he or she can can. Some students might want to join Mock Trial, Academic Decathlon, newspaper club, Science Olympiad, or be on the Math Counts team. These are all options one could explore. Some will still do nothing but they are the ones who do nothing in the traditional model as well. This provides great social interaction.

Socially, online schools may seem not to work but they do. They are cost effective and convenient for everyone. These online schools are a more modern and utilitarian educational system that has a positive outcome for all. The brick and mortar school may seem more aesthetically pleasing but it is not the best option. With the new technologies, online schools are quickly becoming a better, more feasible option. So what is the best type of school? The answer is the only school that can keep up in the fast-paced, economically focused, socially adept world; online schools are the answer.

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