In the age of the world wide web, there are a lot of different options to choose from when it comes to education. Many of these schools are affordable and as accredited as any traditional school. Some school districts in the U.S have even added online schools as an alternative to schools that give at risk students a way to stay in school. So, here begs the question: are online schools better than traditional schools? Are online schools the future replacements for traditional schools? If they are, when will the revolution begin or has it already begun?
I was fifteen when I officially dropped out of high school. The high school that I went to had been transformed from an old recreation center and the conditions had been quite sub-par. There were about fifty girls in the school and only two bathrooms with two stalls in them each. So, it was quite inconvenient when lunchtime came around and the majority of us had to use the bathroom. On top of that, it was becoming quite clear to me that I wasn’t as good looking as a lot of the other girls and I couldn’t take another four years of teasing when I had low self esteem to begin with. So, I dropped out of school. It was nearly five years later when I decided to get back on the horse and finish up. I had found a great option called the Monroe Virtual High School and I have to admit that enrolling in that school was the best decision I’d ever made in my life. I was able to do my classes on my own time and pace. I was able to pick my own classes and I was able to do all of this for free. One of the biggest advantages was that I only saw a teacher when it was time for exams. Other than that, I could e-mail the teacher or call him on the phone. I found this to be a very convenient option and I tell every teenage that I see is at risk of dropping out of high school that this might be a great option for them as well.
Traditional schools seem to be deteriorating and getting bad reputations because of incidents that have occurred in the past decade like the Columbine High School Massacre and the school fights that are being recorded in Milwaukee. Budget cuts have taken away such classes as Home Economics. Teachers that are more concerned about students rather than their paychecks are becoming a rarity. All in all, schools have become fashion shows or social arenas rather than a place to learn. Online schools enhance education by giving students the option of choosing more difficult classes that will give them a challenge. There are disadvantages, though. For instance, online schools are very much like home schooling and there is a lack of socialization with their peers. There are also some classes where students probably have to be in a classroom to really understand the material and when a child chooses an online school, there is a risk that he or she may do poorly in a class unless you can find someone to help them understand the material. Personally, I believe that there are more advantages to an online school than disadvantages. Some online high schools in Wisconsin will even give you a computer with internet access for free when you’re accepted at their school.
In conclusion, traditional schools are fine and might be the best option for some students, but there is a lot of room for improvement that is needed. If your child in the appropriate age range (which is about age 14 to 21), they can transfer to an online high school and possibly succeed if they’re at risk for dropping out of high school. Just know that there are some risks with the transition, but I believe that these risks are not the kind of risks that can’t be fixed easily. In about twenty years from now, I wouldn’t be surprised if online schools are more prominent. Just remember that it’s ultimately a parent’s decision whether or not they want their child to stay at a traditional school or go to an online school because it’s not for everybody.