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Are online schools as helpful as they seem?

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Although+online+schools+offer+a+convenient+way+of+learning%2C+secluding+children+from+a+regular+school+environment+could+hinder+their+social+development.
Although online schools offer a convenient way of learning, secluding children from a regular school environment could hinder their social development.

Although online schools offer a convenient way of learning, secluding children from a regular school environment could hinder their social development.

Kyla Taylor

Kyla Taylor

Although online schools offer a convenient way of learning, secluding children from a regular school environment could hinder their social development.

With expanding technology, new avenues of learning are designed to fit the learning of individuals and their needs. Although experts have researched the quality of online high school education programs, a lot is still unknown about them. Many question the value of education that these programs offer, along with the social development of students who take classes from home.

The number of students enrolled in online courses has grown to 5.8 million across the nation, according to the 2016 report from the Babson Survey Research Group. Although these numbers continue to grow, experts are becoming less confident in online programs. Other reports have found that in 2015 less than two thirds of full time online schools, such as K-12, were rated academically “acceptable.”

But have things changed in recent years?

In 2017, a study from RAND Corporation and New York University found that students with low test scores in Ohio had fallen even farther behind when enrolling in online schools. Although higher performing students received better scores, the study shows that they still do worse than they would have had they not been enrolled in an online school.

Although these schools offer a convenient way of learning, secluding children from a regular school environment could hinder their social development. Numerous advocates of homeschooling argue that there are multiple opportunities for children to socialize outside of a school setting, but not all students have access to these outlets. Where there are homeschoolers involved in field trips, sports, or music lessons, there are also students who remain detached from a wide array of social activities, leading to the development of social phobias.

Many misleading studies show that homeschooled children score equally as well, or even higher than conventionally schooled students on social tests. However, most of these studies are conducted by homeschool advocates, whose bias may interfere with the results. Also these studies use very small sample sizes, which rely on students’ and parents’ self reports. With the pressure that students feel, they may feel obligated to substantiate that their social skills are in fact healthy. In reality, many homeschooled students have reported feelings of loneliness and degrees of social isolation.

Much more research has to be done before determining the exact quality of online education. Many aspects factor into an individual’s unique educational experience, making the debate over online schooling less concrete than that of others. Although some students fare well socially, many are proven to reap negative consequences. If you are looking into online school for yourself, it would be most beneficial to consider your personality and how online school may affect you.

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Are online schools as helpful as they seem?