I made some videos regarding virtual school when the first wave of Covid “stay-home” started. You can find these videos here on Odysee / LBRY. I got a boat-load of questions about every aspect of virtual school.
This handy blog post about some of the pros and cons coming from an actual virtual school student comes out of that.
First off, virtual, online schooling will not work great for everyone. I enjoy it, but it’s not all fun and games. It is not even close to fun and games. It is a lot of work, but I wouldn’t have traded it for anything else despite all of the work.
- Enjoy school on your own terms. I don’t have to get up and rush out the door. For that reason, I can get up on a schedule that is less pressure than getting dressed and commuting.
- Location flexibility. Now that we can get out of the house, access school anywhere, anytime, as long as you have internet. This means you can work at the coffee shop, the library, or the mall. This also means you can take your school with you when you travel on vacation.
- Learn at your own pace. If you need to take more or less time with particular subjects, then you can.
- Set more flexible start and end times. You can work the whole week or part of the week and get ahead on your work.
- Negativity-free social environment. This is one of the key advantages, in fact. Learn at home and get away from toxic distractions such as cliques and bullying. You control your environment. Yes, cyberbullying does happen online, but it’s not allowed in an online school, so you’re pretty safe.
- Greater opportunities. You can advance a grade, get done your learning faster than in traditional school if you’re focused. I can speak from experience that you can realistically jump a grade or even two. All these opportunities combined mean you can get a free 2-year college degree in addition to your high school diploma. Be done with high school and have a 2 year college degree already when you turn 18.
- Compare this to public school students who have to work two years longer and pay college tuition to get the extra college degree—that’s saving two years and thousands of dollars.
- No homework. Since all your work is online and at home, you have no homework and more free time.
- Home all the time. Students have to take the lead role. The teacher just guides you and helps you if you get stuck. This is good for some and bad for others. You have to be disciplined and be your own teacher. All the material is at your fingertips. There’s no handholding by the teacher.
- Social life. One of the benefits of traditional school is interaction. You have group projects, meet in person, collaborate, make friends, make connections. For virtual students, it’s a disadvantage. Making friends is always a struggle unless you’re signed up for many clubs and activities and are super connected.
- Self-discipline, time management, and responsibility. If you’re a procrastinator, virtual school will probably be more difficult for you. There’s lots of independent work. Everything is pre-paced for you in a traditional school, not in a virtual one. No routines or bells unless you make them yourself. You have to turn everything in on time and keep track of everything. You have to become organized and well prepared.
- Misconceptions. Many people think it’s easier, but it’s the other way around.
- School sports. There are no sports or activities in virtual school. For some, this matters a lot. You have to figure this all out on your own.
- Motivation. It’s easy to procrastinate and be lazy because you’re studying alone. If you miss a day or two, it’s easy to get behind.
- Technology issues. If the internet is down or something’s wrong, and you can’t do your assignments, sometimes you will be set back, and you can’t do anything about it.
- Home all the time. You don’t have human interactions; you have to sign yourself up for something to meet people.
Even with all its pros and cons, I still love virtual school and would choose it over traditional school. However, it comes down to personal preference and what works best for you. Covid affected many students, and it was tough for some to adjust. IT DID NOT AFFECT MY SCHOOLING since I was doing virtual school pre-Covid. It was sad for me to hear parents and students struggling. Many parents and students reached out to me to try to understand how to do virtual school. I even made some schedules and routines for some to help guide them. Some even suggested that I lead a small group of virtual students, but I politely declined because I’m pretty busy already.