The future of high school is now! There, we said it. The start of 2020 saw a monumental change on how people interact socially, in business and in education. Every generation sees a pivotal moment change how things are done in our global society. The big shift we’re preparing for now, is how people will work and learn in a physically distanced and digital-first world.
Summer is approaching quickly. The weather outside is getting much nicer and the days are longer. With summer comes summer school! Sure, we’re excited, but are you?
Taking a high school course online has never been easier. Technology has been developed to make online high school courses much more intuitive and interesting. Students are much more in-tune with technology as so many of us are tech natives, meaning we grew up with the internet and technology that comes with it. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy to learn online. Learning in the digital-first world is different, but it offers many advantages. Let’s look into a few of them.
Online courses for high school offer flexibility. Flexibility in learning is extremely important for the understanding of concepts being taught. This is what makes it one of the core benefits of online learning. The student can work with an instructor to set their own learning pace, be it quicker or slower. It allows for a good balance of work and studies and provides the opportunity to take more time with a subject if needed, or allows a student to fast track a course if they need a credit quickly.
Flexibility with online high school courses also allows for more flexibility on when you schedule your lessons. As this article from study.com notes, some courses “require students to attend online sessions at specific hours, others are self-paced, allowing students to complete assignments on their own time.” OES courses, for example, are self-paced so you can be the driver of your learning. There are some time constraints on how long you can take to complete a course and some lessons will require you to coordinate presentation times with your instructor, but scheduling those times are at your discretion.
Location is also flexible with an online high school course. Centricity to a school or specific location is not necessary with online learning. Therefore, you can learn from anywhere in the world, whether it be your home in Ontario, or while travelling or living abroad. “Online education allows for the attendance of class wherever the student has access to the Internet. Online learning is, in many cases, available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, so the student can participate in class whenever it’s most convenient.” (study.com)
A Customized Learning Experience
Often online high school courses offer a customized learning experience. Now, not every lesson will be customized to each student, but often online courses offer a balance in the types of media used to teach. We know that many online students can become frustrated when they take a course consisting mainly of text and images. This is a “flat” learning experience that may work well for verbal learners, but students who have other learning styles may find learning within this sort of environment difficult. Between readings, visual presentations, audio and video lessons and direct teacher and student conferences; online courses through Ontario eSecondary School offers a little bit of everything to work with a variety of learning styles as we discussed earlier in this article.
If you’ve ever taken a quiz to identify what kind of learner you are, you’ll know that there are many different kinds of ways people learn. Most simply defined there are four types of learners and are defined as follows:
- Visual learners prefer to see info and visualize the relationships between ideas
- Auditory learners, who prefer to hear info rather than reading it or seeing it displayed visually.
- Reading/Writing learners learn best by reading and writing down content.
- Kinesthetic learners prefer hands-on experiential learning. They learn best by doing.
Most physical, in-school classes try to accommodate all four types of learners, and Ontario eSecondary School courses do as well!
There are online course options and earning credits from home can be easy! Since online learning is new to many people we thought we’d use our blog to answer a key question that often people new to online learning have; what should I expect when taking an online course?
More Variety in Course Options
There is often more variety in online high school courses that are offered. Often we hear of students who took a course with Ontario eSecondary School simply because it wasn’t available at their current physical school. Often school boards are required to offer the essential classes as there is a balance between class-size and availability of instructors. The courses with lower enrolment may not be offered due to this. There may also be a lack of specialist teachers who can teach a subject. With online learning, certified instructors are not tied to a specific location and therefore can teach from anywhere. This provides the flexibility that allows them to teach from anywhere.
The first thing to consider when taking a high school course online is what sorts of course options are available. It may come as a surprise, but many of the options aren’t as limited as you may think. For example, OES even offers a physical education credit course, online! PPZ3C – Health for Life is a course at OES that is structured for online learning that emphasizes the concept of wellness, which addresses all aspects of well-being – physical, cognitive, emotional, spiritual, and social – and promotes healthy eating, physical activity, and building and maintaining a positive sense of self.
Many of the courses we have available are in science and math and this can be a huge benefit for international students, but also for students who may not have all prerequisite courses available at their physical school. Need a law credit? Try CLN4U- Grade 12 Canadian and International Law! Missing that much-needed calculus prerequisite? We have MCV4U – Calculus and Vectors. There are so many options available for students online, check out our courses page to see what works for you.
Consider Technology Requirements
It sounds pretty obvious, but when taking a high school course online you need to be just that… online. One of the big challenges for people learning online is the availability of technology and a good internet connection. Some students without reliable internet access or technology struggle to participate in digital learning.This is a completely understandable challenge. If you have challenges with this technology, perhaps visit your local library or community centre to use their internet or computers. All you need is a library card.
The world economic forum recently released information about how learning changed during the Covid-19 pandemic. For those who do have access to the right technology, there is evidence that learning online can be more effective in a number of ways.
“Some research shows that on average, students retain 25-60% more material when learning online compared to only 8-10% in a classroom. This is mostly due to the students being able to learn faster online; e-learning requires 40-60% less time to learn than in a traditional classroom setting because students can learn at their own pace, going back and re-reading, skipping, or accelerating through concepts as they choose.however there are many options available to take an online course.”
We understand that there are some challenges to online learning in terms of internet or technology availability, but if this is not a concern for you, online learning through OES can be a super effective way to learn and get ahead in your courses.
What Sets Ontario eSecondary School Apart?
For many organizations the shift to online in March of 2020 took them off-guard. Public school boards through Ontario were not prepared for the needed shift to online learning. The New York Times recently published an article highlighting the difficulties that many institutions had when making the quick switch to online. Many students may have seen this shift and noticed how rigid it was. Perhaps your teacher sent out an email with some lessons or is trying to teach your whole class on a Zoom meeting. This doesn’t work. As the New York Times described;
“what people are mistaking now for online education — long class meetings in videoconference rooms, professors in their bathrobes, do-it-yourself tools made of rubber bands and cardboard — appears to be making them less, not more, open to it.”
This is not a good online learning experience. Educators should consider their course content, intended learning outcomes, class size and the types of learners in their class in order to tailor instruction. Our instructors remain in contact with students and gather feedback about which online learning tools are working effectively and which are not throughout the lesson plans.
As the Harvard Business review highlights in a recent article on the switch to online, many teachers and students alike may not have had access to proper technology or internet access. Additionally, not all teachers making the shift are trained or competent with technology. At Ontario eSecondary School, we were built to be online. Our instructors understand the technology they are working on and the world of online learning. We have structured our lessons to function seamlessly online and follow consistency in structure.
Whether you take a science course or an English course, it will be clear how you can be successful and learn the content. As the New York Times Highlights; “Real online education lets students move at their own pace and includes such features as continual assessments so they can jump ahead as soon as they’ve mastered a skill.” This is what we’ve done at OES. We want you to learn at your own pace and have thoughtfully placed a variety of assessments and evaluations throughout our courses that vary in length and complexity.
Why Ontario eSecondary School?
As an accredited Ontario online high school, we structure our courses per the Ontario Ministry of Education standards. We break up our lessons into very intentional and digestible content. This is partially out of necessity to ensure our courses are consistent for all students and creates a positive and streamlined experience so you can have a positive online learning experience.
If you’re currently attending high school in Ontario, or if you’re looking for an adult high school in order to upgrade your marks as an international student, OES has a wide range of courses available. From SBI4U to MHF4U, the amazing teachers at OES are ready to support you and help you meet your goals all over the world.
The Ontario eSecondary School has been inspected and accredited by the Ontario Ministry of Education. What does this mean? As a virtual school, all of our courses are recognized by and can be used toward an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) and are also recognized as part of your OUAC application. This makes OES a great partner for upgrading Ontario high school credits online and is also perfect for adult students or international students looking to earn credits for post-secondary.
Learn more about our courses at oeshighschool.com